Pruning Rose Bushes

An easy guide to pruning rose bushes. What you really need to do and why to prune them


Rose bushes do not produce shoots that steadily increase in size every year. Rose canes grow vigorously and show up with blossoms for only a few years. Then the upper parts of the rose bush become fatigued, new shoots appear from buds lower down, and the parts above the new shoots wither and die.

Leaving a rose unpruned means to get a shabby shrub, a wild growing bush with live and dead wood and a blossom here and there.

Pruning the plants will simply avoid this scene. It is like getting rid of sick and unwanted substances every year to find new energy.

Pruning will encourage the growing of new shoots and abundant blossoms. As a result, you will get healthy and strong plants, given that you do not forget to feed and water them properly. 

A Slightly Different Approach To Pruning Rose Bushes

I already have talked about general pruning guidelines, and they apply to all kinds of roses. Primarily, I always perform these 4 steps to have a clearer picture of my flowers but it is not necessary to cut out the weak and twiggy growth. Just leave these shoots as they are.

Then grab a hedge trimmer or pruning shears and simply cut the bush to half its height. That’s it.

To be honest, first time I used this method, some of my rose bushes had diseases and pests, and I could not see any other chance than cut them down.

Surprisingly, the roses did not only recover fast, but they grew vigorously with more flowers than they ever had.

I always prefer an easy rose gardening approach for my flowers, but for hard pruning, it needs a bit courage too.

The Pruning Cut

As we talk about pruning, we shouldn’t forget how a good cut has to look like. The easy approach to pruning roses may mislead to cut the canes elsewhere. However, to get the best results, all pruning cuts must be clean. What does that mean?

  1. Always use sharp and clean pruning shears, pruners, pruning saws, pruning knives or hedge trimmers. Blades should never be dull.
  2. Perform an inward sloping cut at an angle away from an outward dormant bud. The cut shouldn’t be neither too far away from the bud nor to close. 1/3 inch above the bud is good measure.
  3. Thick and old stems should be cut with prune saws, not with pruning shears

Sometimes it is impossible to avoid some wrong cuts, and ugly snags will form. Just cut them off as they appear.

Where To Go Next


› Pruning Rose Bushes

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