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Pruning Rose Bush

Pruning Roses

Pruning Roses

The best time to prune roses is during winter months. Use the time without leaves to get a better look at the shrub shape to determine where to thin and where to make hard pruning cuts. Read on for our tips to prune your roses successfully.
Diagram of Rose Pruning


  • Remove dead and damaged canes. Dead canes should be removed back to the crown.
  • Starting from the base and working your way up, remove all weak and spindly growth.
  • Remove any suckers away from the trunk or root of the shrub.
  • Always cut about one quarter inch above an outside facing bud. There are two schools of though about an angled cut vs. a flat cut. We suggest that either is okay.
  • Seal a pruned cane if it is a half inch or larger, with sealant to prevent insects from entering through the wound.
Diagram of  Hybrid Tea, Grandiflora and Floribunda Pruning Cuts for Roses


Maintain three to six strong, healthy, and uniformly spaced canes. Remove overlapping interior growth to allow good air circulation and light saturation. Prune annually.
Key to Pruning Diagram
Diagram of Shrub and English Rose Pruning Cuts


Maintain six to eight strong canes. Prune lightly during the first two years. As shrubs mature, remove twiggy old growth. Cut back the rose removing about one third of the shrub.
Key to Pruning Diagram
Diagram of Tree Rose Pruning Cuts


Remove any growth from below the upper bud union. The canes should be cut back to eight to twelve inches.
Diagram of Pruned Miniature and Carpet Roses


Prune to maintain shape only.
Diagram of Pruned Climbing Roses


  • Don’t prune for the first two years (unless removing dead or diseased canes)
  • Climbers: Prune flowering laterals to three-to-six inches or three-to-four buds.
  • Ramblers: Remove two-year-old canes to their origin after flowering. Shape the head symmetrically. Pinch off shoots from trunk.
Key to Pruning Diagram
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