Pruning roses annually is important for the health and overall appearance of the plant. Winter is the key time to prune roses, apart from ramblers, which are pruned in the summer.
Prune shrub and climbing roses between November and February; bush roses should be left until late winter, around February, but avoid pruning in freezing conditions.
Hard prune bush roses to promote healthy looking growth that produces plenty of blooms in the summer. Climbing roses need regular pruning to prevent a tangle of old wood and to encourage fresh new stems that flower along their full length. Prune shrub roses less drastically, by trimming to improve the shape and cut out dead wood and crossing stems.
Follow our practical step-by-step guide to pruning bush, hybrid tea and floribunda roses, below.
You Will Need
Use sharp secateurs to remove the oldest, woody stems from bush roses, making sloping cuts just above a bud or sideshoot. Leave all the younger, green growth in place at this stage.
Cut out any dead or crossing branches and thin, twiggy growth using the tips of the secateurs, taking care not to damage other stems nearby. Also remove suckers coming from the rootstock.
Prune all young, green stems down to about four buds from the base on hybrid tea roses, and six on floribundas. Cut above an outward-facing bud. Aim to create an open framework about 40cm tall.
Prune when dormant
Always try to prune when the rose is dormant – after autumn leaf fall and before the buds break in spring.