How to Prune a Potted Rose Bush


Container-grown roses require similar pruning care to roses grown in the ground. In fact, because potted roses have less available soil and root area, pruning your potted roses is a very important part of maintaining its health. When pruning your potted roses, try to create an open shape that moves upward.

Step 1

Put on a thick pair of gardening gloves to protect your hands from thorns.

Step 2

Remove any dead wood from your potted rose with a pair of sharp pruning shears. Maintaining dead wood utilizes your plant's growth resources.

Step 3

Clip leaders that cross or are beginning to grow downward. Leaders are another term for stem. Leaders, or stems, that cross can rub against each other, causing damage to bark and creating a way for disease to enter your rose. Downward growing leaders can create an unbalanced look to the rose and could rub against the pot, creating similar problems to crossed leaders.

Step 4

Prune away as much as two-thirds of the previous year's growth. Most roses bloom only on the current year's growth, making woody growth from previous years superfluous.

Step 5

Thin your potted rose to allow sun to reach inside leaves and growth. Prune your rose from the bottom up and from the inside out, much as you would prune a tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Potted rose
  • Garden gloves
  • Sharp pruning shears


  • Learn to Grow: The Perfectly Potted Rose
  • Roses Are Mine: How to Plant Potted Roses
  • Rose Gardening 101: More on Planting Potted Roses
Keywords: container gardening, rose care, rose pruning

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.