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How to Prune a Cecile Brunner Climbing Rose

The Cecile Brunner climbing rose is a very fragrant, long-lived Old Garden rose. It can grow to a height of 12 feet. and a width of 12 feet. This rose adds both beauty and fragrance to your landscape design, and looks wonderful growing on a trellis, fence, post or column. It blossoms from early spring through fall, and it is hardy from zones 6 through 9. You will not need to prune a newly planted Cecile Brunner rose. It will only need to be pruned after the first two to three years, when you'll remove dead, damaged or diseased wood.

Tie down the canes to your supporting structure with plastic ties. Train the canes to grow horizontally and form a branch structure that fits within the boundaries of your supporting structure (fence area, trellis, arbor or column/post).

Remove dead, diseased or damaged branches by cutting them off from the cane. You should do this immediately. Do not deposit any diseased plant material in your compost bin.

Prune an established/mature Cecile Brunner to remove old canes, and to remove any crossover branches. In the early spring when the plant is dormant, remove old canes from the base of the plant by making your cut at ground level. When removing crossover branches, use your judgment as to where the cut should be made; keep the younger branch intact. (Younger branches will produce more flowers.)

Trim branches to maintain the form of your climbing rose by cutting back lateral (side shoots) branches. You will make your cut so that two to five buds remain on the lateral branch. Leave approximately ¼ of an inch of wood above the bud—and be careful not to damage the bud.

During the growing season, trim main shoots if they extend beyond your framework/structure, and if they end in flowers. Then cut them back to the first side shoot.


Mulch during the hot summer months to keep the roots cool, the weeds down and to retain moisture.

Your climbing rose will produce more flowers the more horizontal canes you have.

If you train your rose to grow on/around a post or a pillar, two or three canes are usually sufficient when wrapped spirally around the post or pillar.


Do not leave too much dead wood above the bud (a quarter of an inch is sufficient) when you prune, as this could lead to disease.

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