How to Cut Back Climbing Roses


Climbing roses are actually trained roses, as they don't climb on their own. Since most climbing roses are hybrids of bush roses there is no standard on time of bloom, whether the flowers are double or single, repeat or one-time bloomers. The trick to getting your climbing rose to bloom more profusely is to train the canes in a horizontal direction. To keep them from overgrowing the support system and to keep them blooming, climbing roses should be pruned once a year while they are dormant, either in the winter or early spring.

Step 1

Place your pruning shears in a tub and cover them with a solution containing 1/2 cup of Lysol disinfectant and 2 1/2 cups of water. Allow them to soak for three minutes, then rinse them under tap water.

Step 2

Remove foliage from the climbing roses.

Step 3

Cut away any diseased or thin twigs. Cut the twig back to the cane from which it was growing.

Step 4

Remove any canes or shoots that are crossing over others.

Step 5

Remove the fasteners from the main canes and cut them back so that they better fit the support system (wall, trellis, etc).

Step 6

Prune all lateral shoots. These are the branches that grow out of the canes. Lateral shoots should be cut so that only two to five buds remain. Make the cuts 1/4 inch above a bud.

Step 7

Reattach the main cane to the support system.

Step 8

Step back and evaluate your work. If some stragglers remain, cut them back so that they better fit the support structure.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic tub or other container
  • Measuring cup
  • Lysol disinfectant
  • Heavy gardening gloves
  • Pruning shears


  • University of California: How disinfectants compare in preventing transmission of fire blight
  • "‬California Master Gardener Handbook";‭ ‬Dennis R.‭ ‬Pittenger‭; ‬2002
  • Fine Gardening: Pruning Climbing Roses
Keywords: prune climbing roses, cut climbing roses, trim climbing roses

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.