More books have been written on the pruning of roses than you can read in a lifetime.
Keep the essential pruning requirements of each type of rose will ensure an abundance of roses and healthy plants.
You may experience some frustrations when you start to prune roses.
Follow our advice, and with a little bit of practise you will be an expert at pruning roses in a very short time.
When you prune roses, remove all old, damaged, dead or diseased wood. Remove the branches that crowd the centre of the bush.
Small or weak branches that don’t produce good blooms also need to be removed.
The best time to prune roses is in the mid winter. If you are experiencing heavy frosts, wait until late winter.
Pruning Roses: The Basics
When you prune or cut, hold your secateurs in such a way that only the best cut is left behind.
Don’t use secateurs that crush the stem as they cut.
The cut angle should be at 45 degrees so that it slopes slightly back and away from the bud.
By doing it in this way any moisture forming on the stem will run away.
The buds should also face outward. Be careful not to make the cut too close to the growth bud.
It is also wrong to make the cut too far from the bud. The cut should be placed 4 to 5 mm above the bud.
When removing a complete stem, use sharp secateurs to cut them as close as possible to the main stem.
Trim the stem using a sharp knife flush with the main stem. Make sure that you don’t damage the main stem when pruning roses.
Larger stems can be trimmed using shears. Shoots should be cut back just a little above a bud.
Each rose must be pruned according to its specific kind and species.
Each species are different and unique and must be handled in their own unique way.
Pruning New Roses
Leave your new plants to grow for the first season without cutting flowers off them. Break off any faded flowers.
Prune them in the winter. Take only a few leaves off. If excessively long roots appear trim them back to 25cm.
Make sure they are put into your planting hole.
Don’t forget that the new rose plant that you have purchased should also be pruned during the first winter.
It requires this pruning rather urgently, because it will encourage your plant to be strong all round.
Pruning Roses: Climbers and Ramblers
Climbers and ramblers only will flower on old wood. They get do get pruned lightly once they have bloomed.
They are should only be tidied up in winter.
Ramblers should be encouraged to grow on a support. Old wood is the shoots growing in one year and bearing flowers the next year.
The reason for pruning roses are to grow better flowers, to keep them growing vigorously, and to keep the “shape” looking good.
Climbing roses are pruned in early winter, and their flower twigs are trimmed back in the summer.
During summer after a climber has bloomed, the flowering twigs are trimmed back to a selected new bud.
New seed pods should not be allowed to form, as they will deplete the climber of energy and nutrients needed for new growth.
All the dead or spindly wood on the climber should be removed.
All the new wood will be the framework for the new season’s flowers.
Pruning Roses: The Modern Bush Roses
Bush roses will flower continuously throughout the summer, provided you dead-head
Hybrid tea roses and floribundas should be pruned hard and right back each and every year.
This way you will develop the open framework for strong, young stems.
The centre of the plant should be as open as possible; this allows air and light to the centre of the plant.
The plant should pruned to have a cup-shaped structure.
Hybrid tea rose
Cut back your hybrid tea roses to one third or even one half of their original height.
Leave half of the original branches. If you prune a plant too hard you could end up kill it, so be careful.
Hard pruning will however results in much larger blooms.
- Cut back the strong shoots to 10 – 15 cm
- Cut out crossing, dead or diseased stems at the base of your plant
Floribundas produce lots of flowers and are pruned less severely.
- Cut the strong shoots to 25 -30 cm
- Occasionally hard prune the older stems
- Cut back strong side shoots from 2 to 3 buds from the main stem
Pruning Roses: Standards and Miniatures
When you are prune miniatures or standard roses remember the following:
Different roses all require different types of pruning.
- Your standard roses are pruned the same as bush roses
- Standard roses should only be pruned lightly
- Miniatures will be pruned the same as floribundas
- Smaller varieties will require very little pruning
Pruning roses is a critical part of rose care and growing roses
More essential information on proper caring for your roses is contained on our rose care