Climbing rose Claire Austin

How to prune a climbing rose

Do it:

Jan, Feb, Oct, Nov, Dec

Takes just:

one hour

Climbing roses are the perfect plants to add height to a garden. 

Nearly all climbers offer more than one flush of flowers, and the time to prune is from autumn and through winter, while the rose is dormant.    

Unlike rambling roses, which can be pruned back hard more readily, it's only the side shoots of climbing roses that are pruned. This gradually builds up a framework that can be tied in to fences and walls. 

Discover how to prune a climbing rose, below. 

You will need

  • Climbing rose
  • Secateurs
  • Long-handled loppers


Leave the main framework of stems unpruned, unless they are reaching beyond their supports. Simply prune the side shoots to four healthy buds. 

When pruning climbers, cut just above a bud that points in the direction that you want a new stem. Avoid cutting above a bud that will direct growth to the garden path, for example. After pruning, it's also a good time to tie in climbing roses, ready for the growing season ahead.



Wear gloves and protective goggles when pruning climbing roses as most have vicious thorns.

Discover more ideas and inspiration

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