The onset of Autumn and Winter bring plenty of jobs to do in the garden and there are a few important jobs to do in your rose beds.
If you're lucky your any repeat flowering roses can still flower right up until the first frost. Don't be too keen with the secateurs in September cutting off any buds forming as we've seen flowers still going in November on the nursery if the conditions are right. While it is possible to have flowers this late in the season, don't worry if they've started going dormant earlier and have started losing their leaves in September and October, this is just the plants getting ready for going through the winter.
Pruning doesn't need to be done this early, it's best to wait till early Spring (Click here for our Pruning information) to carry out the full prune on your roses as they will be fully dormant by then. If you're worried about how tall the plants are and do want to take some growth off, on all bush roses you can take their height back by half to prevent wind rock in excessive wind damaging the plant.
Autumn is also the best time to practice good hygiene and make your roses the healthiest for next season. Many of the fungal diseases that affect roses such as black spot and Mildew overwinter on dead and decaying leaf matter at the bottom of the plant. Cleaning up any dropped leaves and either burning them in an incinerator or composting (at a high temperature) is the best way to help prevent reinfection next year.
You can also help feeding your roses with a low nitrogen feed to get as many nutrients in the rose roots before they die back over the winter. Something like a good well rotted farmyard manure, chicken manure pellets or another low nitrogen feed is perfect. Low nitrogen is important to prevent the roses putting on excessive soft growth before the winter which will be killed in the frost, effectively leading to the plants losing energy overall.