How to Kill a Rose Bush


With all of the diseases that can affect roses, the flowering shrubs have a reputation as being hard to keep alive--so it's difficult to believe any rose may be hard to kill. But multiflora roses are a variety with a reputation as an invasive plant that chokes out native species. Control of multiflora depends being able to kill the shrub and remove it from the garden.

Step 1

Cut down multiflora rose bushes using long-handled branch loppers in early spring when new plants begin to emerge from seed beds and older plants begin photosynthesis.

Step 2

Treat the cut stems of multiflora roses with a post emergent herbicide such as Banvel or 2, 4-D. The remaining stems will take in the poison and pull it down to the roots, killing the rose plants.

Step 3

Grub up the roots of multiflora with a grub hoe and shovel. Large rose bushes may require heavy equipment such as a tractor to effectively break up the ground and remove the roots; you can rent such equipment from a heavy equipment store. You must get all of the roots out of the ground to prevent multiflora rose bushes from returning.

Step 4

Observe the location where you removed the multiflora bush and remove any new seedlings as they emerge from the ground. According to Ohio State University, a single multiflora rose bush may produce up to one-half million seeds per year that may remain viable for up to 20 years.

Things You'll Need

  • Branch loppers
  • Banvel
  • 2, 4-D
  • Grub hoe
  • Shovel
  • Tractor (optional)


  • Maryland Cooperative Extension: Invasive Plant Control in Maryland
  • The Ohio State University Extension: Multiflora Rose Control
  • West Virginia University Extension: Control of Multiflora Rose

Who Can Help

  • Iowa State University Extension: Multiflora Rose and Its Control
Keywords: rose bush control, controlling invasive roses, killing shrubs

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."