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How To Prune Your Roses

There are many different varieties of beautiful roses such as english, tea, hybrid tea, old garden, shrub, and once-blooming roses and they all benefit from proper pruning at the right time. Roses bloom at different times of the year depending on their variety. Hybrid tea roses need the most severe pruning for best bloom production and optimum plant health. In general, spring is the best time to prune your roses.

Reasons To Prune

  1. Prune your roses to remove dead, damaged, or diseased wood.
  2. Pruning helps to increase air circulation.
  3. Prune rose bushes that are becoming an unruly mess with canes running every which way.
  4. Shape your favorite rose bush with careful pruning.
  5. Encourage new growth and flowering wood by judicious pruning.
Spring is a good time to prune your roses

Spring is a good time to prune your roses

Pruning Fundamentals

  1. Use only clean, sharp tools for pruning.
  2. Cut the stems at a 45 degree angle about 1/4″ above an outward-facing bud. Slant your cut away from the bud.
  3. Remove all dead or dying canes from your rose plant. Shriveled, dark brown, or black canes are dead or dying.
  4. Apply white glue to the cut ends of the stems to seal them.
  5. Remove all weak, thin canes that are smaller in diameter than a pencil.
  6. Remove suckers where they originate at the root of the plant.


Prune your rose bushes to produce an open-centered plant for best penetration of air and light.

Dead-heading is removing faded flowers before they can produce seeds. When dead-heading rugosa and other shrub-type roses with hips, leave all the faded flowers and simply brush away the dead blossoms by hand.

If your rose plant is weak or small, do not cut away very much material as it will hamper the plant’s food-making ability.

Finally, do not cut flowers after October 1st so they can begin hardening off in preparation for winter.

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