Rose Pruning Tips

Roses are a popular gardening plant that come in several different varieties. Some pruning techniques, such as heavy trimming in the winter, are common to all types of roses; however, not all techniques are used on all plants. While rose gardeners often suggest that cut areas of branches be sealed to prevent disease, a properly pruned rose will survive just fine without the extra step.


As rose flowers die, pinch off the dead blooms with your fingers. This will allow the plant to replace the old flower with a new one. Many rose plants will bloom several times in the growing season as long as you remove the old blooms.

Base Growth

Use pruning snips to remove extra growth from the base of the plant. There should only be one main base shoot for the plant to keep it strong and healthy. Snip off extra growth, or sucker growth, at ground level. If you have a climbing rose, you will have several main vines running off of the main trunk. If any small vines start to grow below the lowest one of these, you will need to clip it off as well. Snip close to the trunk of the tree, but not flush against it. You don't want to accidentally cut into the main trunk.

Winter Pruning

Trim back roses in the winter. For climbing roses, trim new growth vines so that only a few blooms are left. You can train these to grow where you want, just like the older vines. For rose bushes, snip off all dead blooms as well as several inches of growth. Wait until after the first frost. When trimming, make sure that the top bloom left is one that faces out from the bush. Some cane roses take a greater cut and can be pruned back to 10 inches or so.

Dead, Diseased and Light

Trim all dead limbs off near the base of the bush or vine. Trim diseased limbs several inches below the affected area, so that you get all of the sickness. With rose bushes, select a few branches to remove so that light will get to the rest. You are opening up the bush by removing these branches. Remove dead or diseased limbs first so that you can see if any others need to be removed.

Keywords: rose pruning methods, tips pruning roses, trim rose bushes