How to Prune Father Hugo Shrub Rose


The Father Hugo rose shrub is also known as Rosa hugonis. This lovely rose bush is native to China, and it is one of the first roses to bloom in early spring. The 2-inch blossoms are pale yellow in color and lightly fragrant. A mature plant will reach a height of 6 to 8 feet and a width of 5 to 6 feet. In landscape design it is used as a specimen plant or as a hedge. The Father Hugo shrub rose is hardy in Zones 5 to 8. Pruning is an important part of the care of roses as it invigorates the plant to produce more blossoms. It also controls the size and shape of the shrub. Pruning can be done in late winter (February or March) or in early spring.

Step 1

Use pruning shears to cut off any dead, diseased or damaged branches. Make your 45-degree angle cut in front of the closest healthy bud. If the cane is extremely high or large in diameter, then you may need to use a pole pruner or lopping shears.

Step 2

Prune back old wood stems to encourage new growth. Cut them back to the shrub's crown. This opens the plant up and increases sunlight and air circulation within the interior of the shrub.

Step 3

Step back and view the shrub. Look for wayward canes and canes that are outside of the desired shape.

Step 4

Trim and shape the shrub. Remove any wayward canes. If you are pruning a hedge, make sure the height and width of the shrub roses are uniform.

Tips and Warnings

  • When pruning your Father Hugo rose shrub, never cut off more than 1/3 of the old wood. Do not place any diseased plant material in your compost bin. Diseased material should be disposed of.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Hand pruning shears
  • Lopping shears
  • Pole pruner
  • Tree saw


  • University of Illinois Extension: Selecting Shrubs for Your Home
  • University of Nebraska--Lincoln: Pruning Shrub Roses
  • French Gardening: Give Your Shrub Roses a Winter Maintenance Pruning
Keywords: Father Hugo Shrub Rose, prune cane old wood stems, breakage crown hedge

About this Author

Paula M. Ezop’s inspirational columns "Following the Spiritual Soul" appeared in Oconee Today, a Scripps Howard publication. She has published her first book, "SPIRITUALITY for Mommies." "From Death to Living in the Light" and "Spiritual Intelligence" will be released by Ezop has a BA degree from Northeastern Illinois University and has been writing for 10 years.