How to Trim an Old Fashioned Rose Bush


Old-fashioned rosebushes include tea, moss and damask types. These roses were grown before and during the 19th century and are a bit different from modern hybrid roses. All old-fashioned roses are shrub or climbing roses. Their blooms are less complex than modern roses, and they come in a large variety of colors. Trimming old-fashioned rosebushes is simpler than trimming modern roses, but you need to know whether you have everblooming or once-blooming varietiesso you will know when to prune.

Step 1

Everblooming old-fashioned rosebushes bloom on new wood and so should be trimmed in early spring. Once-blooming varieties bloom on old wood and need to be trimmed in the summer after they have finished blooming.

Step 2

Trim off all dead, damaged or diseased wood at the base of the cane.

Step 3

Remove any suckers at the base of the crown. Trim thin canes too weak to support flowers at the base of the cane. Trim back any crossing canes at their base.

Step 4

Trim one-third of the rosebush's growth. Remove the oldest growth. Make all cuts at a 45-degree angle about ¼ inch above a healthy bud.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not heavily trim old-fashioned rosebushes or they will end up looking scraggly.

Things You'll Need

  • Bypass, or scissor-type, pruning shears
  • Gloves


  • Rose Pruning Methods
  • A Basic Guide to Pruning Rose Bushes
  • "Pruning Roses," by Dr. Tommy Cairns

Who Can Help

  • How To Prune All Kinds Of Roses
Keywords: trimming old-fashioned rose bushes, pruning rose bushes, old-fashioned roses

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance for over a year and her focus' are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Hollan taught English in Japan. She has a B.A. in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.