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I have an old ice berg rose that has been covered by ivy and privet, it only has top growth on it about 8 feet up now would it harm the rose if I cut it down at root level? I don't want to harm it just invigorate it to grow better and give it some freedom from the ivy and privet.



I wouldn't recommend cutting it to the ground, but you can certainly try renovating it - this is best done in late February or early March. In the meantime, reduce the topgrowth by a third if it looks terrible and remove any obviously dead canes, cutting them out completely, preferably using sharp, clean loppers.

One issue is, there's an Iceberg that's a floribunda bush, and another that's a climber, and you don't know which one you have, presumably. Any renovation work is a guess because of that, but next spring, choose three of the healthiest canes (if there are three coming up from the base, without seeing it its hard to say for sure what to do) and cut back to just above a ridge or growth point in the stem, at an angle away from the growth point to allow rain to runn off, about 8/10 inches above the ground. Ongoing, keep a check on it - rub out any growth buds which will produce stems growing into the centre of the bush - you want growth going outwards, not in. In late March or early April, feed with something like Toprose, and apply a mulch of composted horse manure, but don't let the manure sit against the woody stems, just spread it round the rose. Some corrective pruning for shaping will likely be necessary as the summer goes on next year.

18 Sep, 2018


Thank you for that I think it must be a climber because of the height of it, so I will take your advice. Thanks again

18 Sep, 2018

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