Pruning Tea Roses

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


As always when pruning roses, we have to remove dry, sick and weak shoots first, to get an overall picture.

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.

Pruning Tea Roses: What To Consider

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 not possible to specify the cutting length in inches because of unequal leaf-spaces of the different rose types.

What To Keep And What To Cut

  •  It is essential to keep all mature shoots from the graft union
  •  Keep green colored, healthy canes
  • Try to keep the outward canes rather than the inward canes. The goal with pruning tea roses is, to open up the center and not to get too congested.

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

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

A rose plant should always have old, younger and young canes to achieve an overall balanced growth.

With each pruning, the weak and close to the ground canes are severely shortened.

The strong canes, on the other hand, get a longer cutting. That leads to an early blooming. These canes get a more severe cut the following year.

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.


› Pruning Tea Roses

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