How to Trim Rose Bushes for Winter


Pruning roses is a varied task as rose plants have different growth habits, and they need different pruning techniques to support these habits. Most rose varieties need some pruning in the late winter to prepare the rose for the upcoming season. Only climbing roses and ramblers require trimming in autumn.

Step 1

Examine the climbing rose or the rambler rose for shoots that just finished blooming during the recent growing season.

Step 2

Trim away approximately two-thirds of the length of these shoots from the climbing roses. Clip these shoots at a 45-degree angle immediately above another shoot or a bud. Cut off the entire flowered stem of a rambler at the base of the plant with the pruning shears, removing one out of every three flowered stems.

Step 3

Find active side shoots on the ramblers and clip them off by two-thirds to help these shoots grow prolific blossoms in the following growing season. Look for any remaining shoots at the top of the rambler and remove the top 3 inches from these shoots to make the rose bush grow laterally from these shoots.

Step 4

Check for any unhealthy or old growth from the climbing roses and remove this growth back to the point where the vines are healthy. Healthy vines are white inside, unhealthy vines look brown inside.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears


  • University of California: Rose Pruning Facts
Keywords: pruning roses, trimming in autumn, prepare these roses

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.