Rose Pruning

Almost every gardener knows roses require pruning every year, but many people are daunted by the chore. The most beautiful rose gardens are those that have been carefully pruned and fed throughout the life of the rose bush.

Roses are typically pruned once a year. The breed of rose, depicts how the pruning should be done. Pruning is the best way to give plants the ability to produce lots of lush blooms on sturdy stems, in the coming growing season.

Hybrid tea roses, grandiflora, and floribunda roses are pruned back to approximately 18 inches tall in the early spring. A good indication if the time is right to begin pruning, is to check for the first bud swelling along the stems of the rose bush.

Climbing roses come in two varieties and each is pruned at a different time. Prune single bloom climbing roses right after they have finished blooming and the flowers have faded.

Reblooming climbing roses are pruned in early spring.

Shrub roses may not need pruning at all. It depends on the type of rose plant it is. The modern shrub roses require no pruning except the removal of any dead or damaged growth. A rule of thumb here is similar to the climbing roses – if it is a single bloom shrub rose – prune shortly after the blooms fade. Prune back reblooming shrub roses in the early spring.

Grafted roses will often produce shoots from the roots and not the rose stem. These are usually unwanted suckers from the root system and should be removed at ground level.

Additional pointers for rose pruning:

  • Remove dead, diseased, or damaged growth. This will make your rose plant stronger and healthier.
  • When removing diseased growth, use rubbing alcohol to dip the blades of your pruners between each cut to help prevent spreading the disease.
  • Make your pruning cuts about 1/4 inch above a leaf bud.
  • Make your cut to buds pointing away from the center of the plant. Buds facing the center grow shoots that point into the middle of the rose which then crowds the centre and the branches will often rub and become tangled.
  • Stems thinner than a pencil’s thickness, is generally considered to be weak and should be pruned.

The Transformations Landscaping Ltd crew are knowledgeable in rose pruning and take great care with plants they have been entrusted to care for. We specialize in strata property services, commercial and industrial grounds keeping and landscaping projects in the Fraser Valley of BC, specifically in the cities of Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Langley, Surrey and Harrison Hot Springs. You can reach us at 604-316-7792 or through our website: