Pruning rose bushes can be intimidating, but the process is essential to keeping the plant healthy and growing. Have some confidence knowing that it’s hard to kill a rose by over-pruning.
In general, roses should be pruned before they begin to show new growth. When to do this depends on the rose variety, because some only bloom from new wood while other bloom from old wood. Spring is usually the best time to prune to promote new growth. Look for the swelling of leaf buds on your rose bushes as an indicator to get started.
General Rules for Pruning Roses:
- Use clean, sharp tools.
- Begin pruning from the base of the plant.
- Prune to open the center of the plant to light and air circulation.
- Make your cuts at a 45-degree angle, about 1/4-inch above a bud that is facing toward the outside of the plant.
- Make sure it is a clean cut.
- Remove all broken, dead, dying or diseased wood (Any branches that look dry, shriveled or black. Cut until the inside of the cane is white.)
- Remove any weak or twiggy branches thinner than a pencil
- If cane borers are a problem in your area, seal the cut with a white glue.
- Remove sucker growth below the graft.
- Remove any remaining foliage.
How to Prune Roses in Summer: