Although roses have been bred to create amazing blooms, the form of the shrub has often been ignored or neglected. Because of this, rose bushes need shaping in order to show the blooms off to their best effect. Annual pruning of roses will focus more of the bush's energy into producing spectacular blooms. When pruning a spring rose bush, timing is essential. Prune spring rose bushes during the time between when leaf buds begin to swell and grow at least ¼ inch long.
Pull on protective clothing before pruning your rose bushes. Rose bushes contain sharp thorns that can scratch and injure you.
Place a garbage can next to your rose bush. As you cut back your rose bushes, place the vegetation in this can to make it easy to transport.
Plan your cuts in advance before trimming back your rose bushes. This will make your pruning more effective. Make cuts at a 45-degree angle from the branch just beyond the point where a leaf, bud or branch splits of from the main cane.
Cut away all weak growth from rose canes. Weak growth is typically any rose cane thinner than a pencil.
Remove any dead canes and broken canes by cutting them down to the ground.
Pull out any suckers by digging beneath the soil line to expose the point where the sucker emerges from the root system. Pull suckers out of the root system to eliminate them.
Shape your rose bush by pruning off any branches that rub or cross the center of the plant. This will create air circulation in the center of the plant and prevent damage from rubbing.