When to Prune Roses

Pruning Rose Bushes

when to prune roses

Learn when to prune roses, get advice on pruning rose bushes, and pruning roses for winter. Get more blooms, and better plants by pruning at the proper time.

Pruning annually helps keep the roses healthy and blooming nicely.

You should trim rose bushes in spring in most areas. Keep reading to learn when to prune roses and how to trim rose bushes in Spring.

Pruning roses for winter is not necessary, other than to remove extra tall canes that might be damaged by wind, or to shorten canes enough to fit under rose cones or other such

winter protection.

When to Prune Roses...

 Newly Planted Rose Bushes

For the first few years of a newly planted bush, all that is required is to remove weak, dead, or diseased wood. After that, pruning will be necessary to control the shape and size of the bush.

The first few years, the rose needs to establish a healthy root system. Cutting flowers is not a good idea, other than some dead-heading to encourage growth and foliage production.

If you give it a chance to become established, you will be rewarded in future years with a much better bush, able to produce plenty of flowers to cut.

Old blooms should be pruned away as soon as possible. Doing this keeps the plant looking neat, and the ground free of all the fallen petals. It also encourages new growth and more flowers.

When you cut the spent flowers, always take a piece of the stem along with it. The proper way to cut is to cut just above a five-leaflet leaf. By cutting to a three-leaflet leaf, your plant will produce numerous small growths at the top of the stem, but these will never grow into flower-producing stems.

 Established Rose Bushes

When to prune roses that are established? When the buds begin to swell, usually between midwinter and mid-spring. This will depend on the climate where you live. If you live in an area that the Forsythia Bush grows, you will prune your roses when you see the yellow blooms of this bush.

 Roses that are Climbers

Climbing Roses should Not be pruned in the Spring. Most climbers bloom on old wood (canes that grew last year), so you would cut away the flowers for that year if you cut in Spring.

If you notice dead wood on your climbers, you can cut out those canes, as well as cutting back winter kill from the canes.

To get the most blooms from your climbers, train canes horizontally on a trellis by using plant ties. When your climber has finished flowering, remove two or three of the oldest canes to make room for the fresh new growth. If the bush seems dense, thin out spindly canes, and shorten the canes on ones that have gotten too long.

To encourage repeat-blooming climbers to produce a heavy second bloom, dead-head the spent flowers soon after the first flush of flowers. Cut back, leaving two five-leaflet leaves on each. This will produce a new stem topped with a flower from each leaf axil.

Pruning Hybrid Perpetuals

You can prune in Spring to shape the bush, but Perpetuals also bloom on wood from the previous year, so remove only the oldest canes, and leave the year-old growth.

Pruning Shrub and Old Garden Roses

Limit your Spring pruning to old, weak, or dead wood. Shape the bush, but try to leave branches tall and natural looking for the best effect.

Pruning Tree Roses

Prune tree roses to keep them as symmetrical and pleasingly balanced as possible. You should prune canes to about 12 inches beyond the bud union at the top of the trunk, leaving them as evenly spaced as possible.

 Roses for Winter in Warmer Climates

Roses can grow quite large in warmer climates. You should prune away about one half to two thirds of the plant each Winter or early Spring. You can do this by removing older canes, and shortening the remaining canes.

When to Stop Pruning

stop pruning for rose hips

Whether you are deadheading roses that have faded, or cutting roses for an arrangement, both are a form of pruning. In either case, all pruning should cease in the fall.

Cutting encourages new growth, that would be tender, and more susceptible to damage from wind and cold. So come fall, let those roses fade naturally, form hips and be better to endure the rigors that winter can bring.

How to care for rose bushes, includes learning about trimming rose bushes, and exactly how to trim rose bushes the right way.

Beginner gardeners, take heed, rose plants are quite forgiving, and even if you don't think you can trim your roses, you'll see how much better the plant becomes after a routine (haircut).

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