How Do I Properly Trim Rose Bushes?


A rose garden is a treasure for a flower lover. Fragrant blossoms add beauty to the landscaping of a home. Rose bushes are an investment of money, time and energy. Give your rose garden or singular bush proper care throughout the season. Trimming or pruning a rose bush will keep it healthy and productive for many growing seasons. Prune dead, damaged and weakened branches and twigs from the bush each year to promote blooming roses.

Step 1

Look for the first buds of live greenery on the rose bush in early springtime. Put on protective gloves when you prepare to prune or trim a rose bush.

Step 2

Identify dead areas on a rose bush branch. The normally healthy green areas will show splits, blackened or dry brown coloration.

Step 3

Cut the cane or branch at a slant 1/4 inch above an emerging bud with the sharp pruning shears. Remove all dead and damaged portions from the bush. Cut away overgrown branches that cause the bush to be misshapen. Prune climbing rose branches or canes flush with the cane each one shoots off from.

Step 4

Cut away dead branches at the base of the bush. Stack the discarded branches and burn or throw them away after the pruning is finished to prevent spread of disease and infestations.

Step 5

Coat any open cuts that are 1/2-inch wide or larger with grafting wax or pruning compound according to package instructions.

Step 6

Prune wilted and dying rose blossoms away from the plant during the summer blooming period. Cut the twig 1/4 inch above the five-leaf cluster nearby.

Tips and Warnings

  • Make sure that your shears are sharp to prevent smashed branches that will be slow to heal.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy work gloves
  • Pruning shears with curved sharp edges


  • In Depth Info: Trim Roses
  • Gardening Made Easy: Pruning Rose Bushes
  • Fine Gardening: How to Prune Climbing Rose Bushes

Who Can Help

  • About Rose Bushes: How to Trim Rose Bushes
  • Rose Gardening Made Easy: Pruning Climbing Roses
Keywords: pruning, rose garden, pruning shears

About this Author

Suzie Faloon is a freelance writer who has written online content for Demand Studios and Associated Content. As a professional crafter and floral designer, Faloon owned a florist business for nearly 25 years. She completed the Institute of Children's Literature course in 1988.