How to Cut Rose Hedges


Rose hedges should always be cut with clean, sharp tools. Ideal pruning increases air and light circulation throughout your bush and creates healthy new growth. Don't be afraid to experiment while cutting rose hedges as mistakes will teach you about the proper way to cut your bush the following season. Keep a record of your pruning techniques each year and revisit your notes each year. Proper pruning can increase the size and quantity of blooms and improve the overall health of your hedge.

Step 1

Prepare your tools prior to pruning your roses. Clean your shears with boiling water and be sure blades are sharp. Disinfect tools after every use to prevent the spread of disease.

Step 2

Remove dead and diseased stems at the base of the branch. Cleanly cut dead wood that is dull brown or gray. Healthy wood should be white on the inside.

Step 3

Cut out any branches that are thin and twig-like to increase air circulation and encourage blooms on strong wood.

Step 4

Prune stems that are growing in the wrong direction, such as towards the inside of the bush or that rub together. Always cut cleanly at the base of the branch.

Step 5

Rip out suckers that grow on the base of the plant. Use your hands to remove the suckers, as clean cuts will encourage more rapid growth.

Step 6

In the late fall, cut back your rose bush to one half its height. You can either cut each branch manually or saw off the entire bush at exactly half its height.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always use gloves when handling rose bushes to avoid cuts from thorns.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Gloves


  • Rose Magazine: Pruning Roses
  • Rose Gardening Made Easy: Pruning Rose Bushes
  • About Rose Bushes: How to Trim Rose Bushes
Keywords: prune roses, cut roses, rose hedge

About this Author

Kelsey Erin Shipman has worked as a travel writer, poet, journalist and award-winning photographer since 2004. Her work has appeared in various newspapers, magazines and journals. Shipman has also authored three collections of poetry: "Cold Days," "Bastante" and "Short Poems." She earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Southwestern University.