Floribunda roses bowl me over. They may not quite have the romance of the old fashioned roses, but for floral impact, quality of display and ease of growth they are real winners. Many of them are the most popular roses, for justifiable reasons - they flower profusely, again and again, with only minimal efforts from the gardener.
Just consider the most popular of recent roses. 'Iceberg', 'Graham Thomas', Margaret Merril' (my personal favourite), 'Heritage', 'Julia's Rose' or 'Chaucer', as well as the wonderful Flowercarpet ground-covers and the miniature roses, are all floribunda types. And, of course, they are called 'floribunda' because they produce masses of flower.
During December you may have noticed that the first flush of flowers on your floribunda roses was beginning to slow down. Many of the flowers were finished and though there were still flowers they lacked the intensity they displayed only a couple of weeks before.
January is the time to cut them hard back, by about a third, to encourage the next generation of flowers. You needn't be too particular about this pruning. It could be with secateurs but if you haven't got a lot of time a clip over with shears will be just as good.
This clipping will stimulate much new growth and, in about five to six weeks, depending upon where you are, you'll have a new display as heavy and full as the first.
For those of you who have a special event coming up, say a garden opening, a garden wedding or perhaps just a few friends turning up for an outdoor lunch, you can time your clipping to make sure there is a great display just when you want it… that's how your nursery makes sure they have flowering roses for Mother's Day, by getting the time of their pruning right to allow flower development for exactly the right time.
To stimulate a rapid response from your roses, the application of Debco Plant Food would be beneficial immediately after pruning.
Before long, your roses will be flowering like never before, a happy reward for all your efforts.