How to Cut Tea Roses


Tea roses and their modern counterpart hybrid tea roses grow in both shrub and climbing forms and bloom in the spring and summer. Hybrid tea roses can be harvested for cut flowers at the peak of bloom. They benefit from regular deadheading to encourage fresh flowering and should be pruned for size and shape in the early spring each year or every other year as needed.

Step 1

Harvest tea roses for use in arrangements but cutting them when the buds open and just begin to unfurl. Use clean sharp secateurs to make a single crisp cut on the bias as the desired stem length. Place the cut 1/4-inch above an outward facing leaf node or bud to encourage branching and fullness. Pull the rose from the plant and harvest additional flowers as desired.

Step 2

Cut away any damaged, broken or diseased canes as you see them throughout the growing season to prevent the spread of the problem or pests. Prune with secateurs down past the damaged portion of cane and again place the cut on a bias angle 1/4-inch above an outward facing bud or leaf axil. Remove any yellowed or brown foliage and pick up any fallen leaves or petals that have landed on the soil.

Step 3

Prune your tea roses in the spring to control the shape, size and interior cane structure of the rose. Use the rose's natural form as a shape guide to end up with a professional result. Prune away up to one-third of the roses oldest canes each year to encourage new cane and branch development without causing shock to the rose. Remove any branches that cross one another in the interior of the plant and ensure good sunlight penetration and air flow. Remove any branching that lays on or sweeps the soil. Remove dead or diseased canes down to the crown of the plant. Place all cuts on the bias and where possible just above a growth point.

Things You'll Need

  • Secateurs (pruning shears)
  • Garden gloves


  • University of Illinois
  • University of Nebraska
  • Paul Barden Old Garden Roses and Beyond
Keywords: hybrid tea rose, cut harvest, prune trim deadhead

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.