Pruning Tea Roses

Don’t be afraid of severe pruning  tea roses. They will thank you with tremendous flowerage

Hybrid Tea Rose

Hybrid tea roses usually have large, fully double flowers with a high pointed center, though the distinction between these and some floribundas (cluster-flowered roses) is becoming less clear than it used to be.

Even if a hybrid tea is pruned as a floribunda, it is not a big deal, and there will still be a pleasing display of flowers.

What to Achieve with Pruning Hybrid Tea Roses...

Hybrid tea roses are primarily planted to get cut flowers with large, gallant blooms on long stems. This is the primary goal of pruning hybrid teas.

As always when it comes to pruning roses, we have to remove dry, diseased and damaged wood first. This will make it easier to see what remains to be done.

The Annual Pruning in The Spring

Hybrid Tea roses and floribundas get the most severe pruning of all roses.

Even if first sprouts already arrived on the top of the plants, prune back the canes without fear.

The General pruning guidelines and the rules in How to prune roses apply, of course, to pruning tea roses and floribundas with some considerations.

As mentioned above, hybrid tea roses will get a severe pruning, but it is impossible to specify the cutting length in inches due to different leaf spaces of the rose types.

What To Keep And What To Cut

  • Prune all the main stems by about half, or to within 8-10 inches of the ground 
  • Keep green colored, healthy canes. Wherever possible, prune to an outward-pointing bud
  • Try to keep the outward canes rather than the inward canes. The goal with pruning tea roses is, to open up the center
  • Remove badly placed, crossing or very congested shoots

When it comes to pruning, always count the bud eyes, starting from the bud union. Please remember, there are no fixed rules for the size of pruning.

  • In extreme cases, thick canes can be pruned  to about 7 bud eyes
  • Lesser thick canes prune to 5 bud eyes
  • Thinner ones are shortened to 3 bud eyes
  • Prune out very thin, spindly shoots to 1/6 inch above their base, but leave the bark-bulge, as sleeping eyes hide inside. They will bud, due to the pruning
  • Shorten all laterals close to the base of the plant to get vigorous growth

Hybrid tea roses should always have old, perennial and young canes to achieve an overall balanced growth.

With each pruning, weak and close to the ground canes are severely shortened. The strong canes, on the other hand, remain longer. This treatment leads to an early and vigorous blooming.

Additional Pruning Rules

Please respect some more rules...

  • Don't leave two equal laterals on a crutch. Cut the shoot which is closer to the bottom
  • Don't leave any stubs, cut the canes always 1/4 inch above the bud eyes
  • If you have to cut laterals from the main stem, cut them 1/6 inch above their base
  • One-year old shoots with frost damages show a brown core. Remove them until the core is completely colored in white

Last but not least, please don't forget to remove the clipping immediately, to avoid diseases and to keep your plants healthy.

View this very helpful video about pruning hybrid teas for long stem cut flowers

Pruning Tea Roses in Summer

Hybrid tea roses in particular put a lot of power in the production of rose hips. Whether you want to keep them, some varieties develop beautiful decorative hips, or your goal is to keep the plant flowering until fall.

If you are looking for a rich second-flowering in the fall, you must regularly cut-out faded flowers.

For Hybrid teas, it means to dead-head the flower under the first fully developed leaflet. For more information, dead-heading roses will be a great source of knowledge.

Where To Go From Here

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