How to Trim a Climbing Rose Bush


Pruning climbing roses each winter is necessary in order to shape, manage and encourage new growth buds for the following spring season. To prune climbing roses, you have to trim back any dead canes when they are dormant (in mid winter). It is necessary to understand how to prune the roses in order not to harm the plants, and to keep in mind that climbing roses should cover a wall or fence, but not overpower it.

Step 1

Make sure to wear gardening gloves in order to protect your hands from thorns. Use very sharp pruning scissors to trim off all of the climbing rose bush leaves.

Step 2

Trim off any dead, infected or broken branches that are growing off the main canes (or trunks). Cut them back to the base of the cane. Also remove branches that are criss-crossing one another or are tangled.

Step 3

Make sure to identify the four to six strongest canes (these are basically the main trunks of the climbing rose bush), and all the branches that are healthy growing from them. These should be kept.

Step 4

Retie the rose bush so that these main canes are secured to the fence, wall or trellis using loose plant ties.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Pruning scissors
  • Plant ties


  • Caring for Climbing Roses
  • Pruning Roses
Keywords: caring for roses, pruning climbing roses, trimming climbing rose vines

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.