Pruning Roses

Proper pruning is one of the most important factors contributing to healthy roses. Pruning promotes new growth, increases flowering and keeps plants healthy by removing dead and diseased growth.

Routine Pruning

The process of removing faded flowers throughout the growing season is known as deadheading. Deadheading encourages new growth as well as flower production. For proper pruning use sharp pruning shears or a pruning saw for larger stems.

During the spring and summer remove faded flowers or sprays by making a diagonal cut just above an emerging or already formed bud. As a general rule of thumb cut the spray back to at least the first five-leaf branch. Deadheading should be continued until late summer/early fall.

Also cut any dead or discolored leaves and branches back until you reach white pith in order to prevent spreading of disease.

pruning roses above first five-leaf branch
Pruning roses during growing season


Fall Cutback

In mid to late fall, before the first frost, tall roses should be pruned by approximately half to two-thirds their height in order to avoid cold damage. Winter winds can cause damage to unpruned roses by swaying tall branches and loosing roots making them more vulnerable to cold damage. Rose bushes should be pruned back to a healthy bud in late winter/early spring to remove any cold-damaged shoots.