How to Prune Your Roses

pruning roses

Roses are a hardy plant and are often happy to grow undisturbed, so it can be difficult to tell when to prune your roses. However, light pruning at the right time of year helps to promote healthy growth and flowering as well as helping to maintain a sensible size for your rose plant.
To see your beautiful roses effortlessly bloom year after year, it’s best to prune them at the start of each year. But when? and how?

Keep reading this rose pruning guide to find out how and when you should be pruning your roses.

When Should You Prune Your Roses?

single yellow rose after pruning

Your pruning window may be slightly different depending on where you live. For example, if you live in the south, you can get away with pruning in mid-February. If you live further north, you should probably wait until March when the weather is warmer. Pruning can also depend on the type of rose plant.

Rose Shrubs should be well pruned in mid-March in Southern England, or in the second week of April when you get further north.

Climbing Roses shouldn’t be pruned for two years after planting and then only sparsely, removing unnecessary growing tips. It’s best to prune this rose type in autumn.

How to Prune Roses – Best Methods

pruning roses in the garden

For most roses, you can prune in late winter. Take care to remove dead/diseased wood and deadhead faded blooms which can be done with your annual pruning. Cut no more than 5mm above a bud with a clean, sloping cut away from the bud so water cannot gather. Keep your secateurs sharp for a clean cut.

Pruning Tip 💡 – Use fertilizer on your roses once you’ve pruned them to encourage healthy growth throughout the year!

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When to Grow Indoor Daffodils

When the days get colder and darker, nothing warms the soul more than bright and cheery indoor flowers. Perfect for showcasing around the table in the festive season, the elegance and delicate fragrance of indoor daffodils are simply unmatched.


Quick Summary:

  • Grow time: 8-10 weeks
  • Soil: Peat moss-based potting mix
  • Temperature: After the cold treatment, keep cool, approx 16°C, while plants are in bloom.

When should I plant them?

Typically, indoor daffodils take between 8-10 weeks to bloom. For specific times, stick to this planting schedule:

  • For Christmas blooms: plant mid-October/early November
  • For January blooms: plant mid-November

How to Plant in Pots

Choose a wide pot about 6 in (15 cm) deep with drainage holes in the bottom. Cover the bottom of the pot with potting soil. Now, pop in the bulbs; they can be placed tight, side by side. Cover the bulbs with additional soil, leaving the top third of the bulb above the soil. Water well.

The Growing Process

Move pot to a dark, cool location such as a basement, unheated garage or refrigerator. Keep them in cold storage for about 8-10 weeks. Keep the medium barely moist.

When shoots reach about 5cm tall, bring the pot out of cold storage and place the growing daffodils on a bright windowsill. Rotate the pot daily for even growth.

Daffodils in Bloom

When in full bloom, keep potted daffodils in a bright location out of direct sun. Make your daffodils last longer by keeping the pot in a cool room.

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How to Grow Camassia

blue_camassia_bulbs

Have you bought yourself some Camassia bulbs but you’re not certain on how to plant them? We’ve written this handy how-to guide to get you started!
Native to North America, the Camassia plant is an exceptional perennial. It’s incredibly hardy and will grow in most conditions.

planting camassia bulbs

How to Plant Camassia Bulbs

Camassia is easy to plant and can be done by anyone. Simply dig a hole around 2-3 times the depth of the bulb and space them apart at twice the bulbs width. Cover with soil and water.

white camassia bulbs

When to Plant Your Camassia

Plant your Camassia bulbs in early autumn. The start of bulb planting season is best (September – October). Camassia is the only bulb that doesn’t mind being damp, so proper irrigation isn’t completely necessary.

camassia bulbs in bedding

Where Should You Plant Camassia?

Plant your Camassia bulbs wherever you’d like around your garden. They prefer full or part shade areas, so plant your bulbs in places that are more likely to receive sunshine.

Camassia is a wonderful spring-flowering bulb and pairs wonderfully with its fellow spring flowers and plants. Plant around the garden for drifts of colour throughout your beds and borders during the season.

Shop Our Camassia Range

Camassia Leichtlinii Semiplena
Giant Camassia Collection
Camassia Leichtlinii Caerulea

Check out our NEW Autumn catalogue!

Grow Your Own Gifts With Indoor Bulbs

Indoor bulbs are many gardeners go-to pastime when winter appears and hoards us all inside. Amaryllis, Daffodils, Hyacinths – they’re all wonderful indoor bulbs and create incredibly bright displays throughout the colder months.

As indoor bulbs flower from early December, they make perfect and thoughtful Christmas gifts to give to family and friends. However, they take some forward planning to get right.

Prepare Your Bulbs

Often, normal garden varieties of bulbs are fine to force. This goes for tulips, narcissi, crocus, and many more. However, there are specially prepared bulbs that have been treated in cold conditions, making them appear earlier than you would traditionally expect.

Hyacinths are a good example of this treatment. They are placed in a fridge up to 15 weeks, triggering their biochemical response that makes them flower. At J Parkers, we sell our own range of prepared bulbs, making your life that much easier. However, if you wanted to take your own crack at it, keep your desired bulbs in a cool place (garage, shed, etc) for 10 to 15 weeks. Once this period has finished, it’s time to pot your bulbs.

Planting Your Bulbs

Once you’ve treated your bulbs, they’re ready to be planted. Your indoor bulbs should be planted in well-drained but moist soil. Try to use grit where you can to create the proper amount of drainage. Take your container and fill the bottom with a layer of grit. Lay some soil on top and make a well for your bulbs.

If you’re looking to plant more than one bulb, space evenly so they’re not too packed together. Place your bulb with the pointed tip facing upwards and cover with soil. Water lightly once done.

Caring for your Bulbs

You should see your bulbs flower from early December. If you’re having trouble with your bulbs growing straight, pot in gravel and stones instead of soil as it helps anchor the bulb in place. Wait for the plant to flower and voilà! The perfect hand-made gift.

Our Favourite Prepared Indoor Bulbs

Amaryllis Christmas Gift
Hyacinth Prepared Woodstock
Narcissi Indoor Collection

How to Grow and Harvest Saffron

The king of spices. As the world’s most expensive spice, Saffron is celebrated around the world for its versatility in gourmet cooking. Originating from the filaments of autumn-flowering Crocus sativus, discover how to grow and harvest your very own gourmet saffron spice in the garden.

Steps for planting Saffron

Plant Crocus sativus bulbs anytime between August to late September. Space the bulbs around 6 inches apart and 4-5 inches deep in the ground.

Tip 💡 – Approx. 50-65 flowers will produce 1 tablespoon of Saffron.

Steps for harvesting Saffron – Part 1

Saffron is so easy to harvest. Harvest time is in October/November once Crocus sativus start to bloom. Using tweezers, extract the red filaments of the stigma. After extraction, dry the saffron out in a warm, dry room.

Steps for harvesting Saffron – Part 2

Dry out the filaments for around 15-20 minutes and then vwala! You have grown your very own saffron, ready to use in your favourite recipes straight away.

Tip 💡 – If you don’t fancy using your fresh saffron straight away, store away in an airtight container for later use.

Saffron pairs beautifully with:

  • Paellas
  • Italian risottos
  • Seafood
  • Salad dressings
  • Soups
  • Stews

Check out our NEW Autumn catalogue!

How to Plant Crocus Bulbs

blue crocus flowers

Crocus bulbs are great additions to your spring garden, contributing a display of small purple, white, and yellow flowers. Crocus are also wonderful pollinators and invite plenty of insects and critters to your beds and borders!

However, if this is your first time planting crocus throughout autumn, then you may feel a bit stuck on where to begin. We’ve written this guide with you in mind, to help you go from bulb to border in just a few easy steps.

When to Plant Your Bulbs

When it comes to spring-flowering bulbs, you should always aim to plant them in early autumn. This gives the bulb time to grow through the winter and appear in spring!
Once you receive your bulbs, get them in the ground as soon as possible. Avoid frosty conditions and plant your crocus bulbs in soil that is warm and well-drained.

planting bulbs in the garden

Where to Plant Your Bulbs

Where to plant your bulbs depends on the display you would like to achieve. For example, if you’re aiming for a uniform look, plant your bulbs among your beds and borders. If you’d like a more natural look, plant your bulbs informally through grassy areas of the garden.

Crocus bulbs can be planted just about anywhere, as long as they are in full or partial sunlight and have plenty of soil, moisture, and grit for drainage.

How to Plant Your Crocus Bulbs

To plant your bulbs, you should follow these easy steps. First, dig a hole in your desired area that is two to three times the depth of your bulb. Make sure they’re spaced twice the bulbs width apart.
Plant with the pointed tip facing upwards, cover with soil, and water once done.

Shop our crocus bulbs!

Large Flowering Crocus Mixed
King of the Striped
Yellow Mammoth

How to Create a Cottage Garden

Mesmerising and enchanting, the wild yet simple beauty of cottage gardens have been loved by British gardeners for decades. The cottage garden look is all about unstructured borders, bright and bold colours, and delicately scented blooms. To kick off your own cottage style designs, here are our top six essential cottage garden plants.

Tulips

A springtime treasure. With an assortment of colours, styles and shapes, Tulips are perfect for planting en-masse in borders for a carpet of colourful blooms.

Poppies

A sprinkling of Poppies (otherwise known as Papaver) is essential for any cottage garden. These delicate flowers will bring a burst of life to your gardens from spring into summer.

Alliums

Loved for their culinary uses and beautiful, bobble-like blooms, Alliums are a treat in any garden. Perfect for attracting bees and butterflies to the garden too!

Dianthus

A charming, modern cottage garden plant. These easy to grow flowers are perfect for planting at the front of the border or in containers. They make amazing cut flowers too!

Foxgloves

Providing beautiful architectural height to the garden, the tall spikes of Foxgloves are great for attract garden. Perfect for borders and planting in groups.

Roses

Aromatic, beautiful and versatile, there’s nothing quite like Roses. These striking shrubs are perfect for growing as a feature shrub, at the back of a border, and they also make great hedging plants.

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How to Plant Ground Cover Plants

purple ground cover plants

Depending on the time of year, you can find plenty of ground cover plants that will accentuate your borders and add a much-needed pop of colour throughout any season.
Perfect for planting alongside your other plants and flowers, ground cover plants are perfect for jamming in empty spots along your beds and borders for a more cohesive style.

If you’ve got your eye on some beautiful ground cover flowers but you’re not quite sure how to go about planting them, follow this guide to achieve the best display all year round.

Pick Your Plants

If you’re struggling with problem areas in your garden, like an influx of weeds in your beds, then ground cover plants are the perfect remedy as they suppress the growth of the unwanted pesky plants. They’re easy to grow and maintain and they fill in those unsightly gaps between your favourite plants and flowers.

There’s plenty of options when it comes to ground cover, depending greatly on what time of year you’d like them to flower and what theme you’re looking to achieve. For example, if you’re looking to fill in the gaps between when your flowers die back and to when they reappear in spring, winter bedding plants are a great option. This could be anything from the classic Pansy to the fragrant Sweet William’s.

Our Favourite Ground Cover Plants

Anemone Nemerosa Robinsoniana
Phlox Subulata Snowflake
Pansy/Polyanthus Collection

Prepare the Area

First things first, you want to prep the area where you’d like to plant your ground cover. This includes pulling up weeds like dandelions and couch grass from the root, preparing the soil by breaking it up with a spade or fork, and adding plenty of new compost to the area.

Where Should You Plant Your Ground Cover?

Ground cover plants are best for planting in your beds and borders, but can also be planted as solo plants in containers or patio pots. For an impressive bedding display, plant in between bulbs and plants for a flawless finish. If you lack garden space, use pots and containers for an impressive patio decoration.

How to Plant Your Ground Cover of Choice

Like we mentioned before, ground cover plants are entirely accessible to any gardener, regardless of skill. This is because they are so easy to plant. Our ground cover arrive in plug form, needing little effort to plant. Simply dig a decent-sized hole where you’d like them to grow, pop it in and cover with soil.

Once that’s done, all you need to do is sit back and watch them grow the following year!

When to Plant Bluebells

bluebell

One of the UK’s most well-loved wildflowers. Native to English woodlands, bluebells are one of the easiest plants to grow in the garden, and will delight you for many years to come. To fill your garden with these dainty, little blooms, keep reading and discover how and when to plant bluebells.

English bluebells

When do you plant bluebell bulbs?

The perfect time to plant bluebell bulbs is in the early autumn (September/October time). Plant bulbs at least 10cm deep and 10cm apart, and make sure that the pointed end is facing upwards.

💡 Tip: For a beautiful, natural effect, plant groups of bulbs together with irregular spacing between clumps. 

What about bluebells in the green?

Since these bluebells are further along in the growing process than bulbs, plant ‘in the green’ bulbs is in the spring. Plant at the same depth they were in the ground before (see where the foliage turns from white to green). 

Where can you plant bluebells?

These easy to grow plants are perfect for covering shaded areas due to their ability to withstand dark, damp woodland areas. Plant as ground cover, around shrubs, or naturalise them in lawns.

💡 Tip: Once in flower in the spring, they make great cut flowers for bouquets and vases around the home!

Where to Plant Roses in the Garden

climbing roses

A truly classic English beauty. With beautiful scents and long-flowering blooms, Roses are a treasure in the summer garden. Since autumn is the ideal season to plant Roses (bare root or potted), keep reading to discover where to plant Roses in the garden with our handy gardening guide.

Miniature Roses

Miniature Roses are the perfect compact plants for adding fragrance and colour to patio pots and containers. Place the pots near doorways so you can enjoy their aromatic scent!

Cascading Roses

This cascading, dwarf variety is perfect for adding an elegant, trailing effect to the front of a border or in raised patio pots.

Climbing Roses

Fast growing and vigorous, climbing roses are perfect for training on arches, fences, pillars and walls. Great for adding colour to any bare space in the garden.

Floribunda Roses

Boasting clusters of gorgeous blooms, the compact, upright nature of these shrubs makes them perfect for beds, borders, or a flowering hedge.

Hedge/Shrub Roses

Transform the border of your home with colourful Rose hedging. Plant where you can enjoy their strong, beautiful fragrance such as along walkways, doorways or around a patio.

Hybrid Tea Roses

These hybrid Roses are unmatched for their flowering time and huge blooms. The perfect Rose for beds, borders or containers. They also make stunning cut flowers too!

Check out our other Rose blogs!