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How to Prune Sweetheart Rose Bushes

By Charles Pearson ; Updated September 21, 2017

Pruning your roses is an important part of keeping them healthy and looking good. Removing dead leaves and other dying growth will keep your plants attractive and can remove diseased parts and areas insects have damaged. Pruning shapes the plant, removes dead parts and encourages new growth and flowers.

Grab your shears. When pruning your plants, it's important to use sharp, clean pruning shears. If they are old and jagged, they might end up doing the plants more harm than good. You should keep them clean also because a dirty pair of pruning shears can contain plant diseases or harmful spores. Rust will result in dull shears with an uneven cutting edge, which will make cutting your plants difficult. You should also buy a pair of gardening gloves to protect your hands from the thorns on roses and any other plants in your garden. Longer, thicker gloves are best for pruning rose bushes.

Look for anything dead or dying on your plant. If there is a dying branch, prune it off with the pruning shears. Dying flowers and leaves should also be removed. In addition to helping the plant grow and making it look better, this also discourages insects from making their homes in your rose bush. You should prune to encourage growth, to remove dead or diseased areas and to maintain airflow through the branches of the plant.

Make your cuts at a 45-degree angle. You should keep the center of the plant open so that air and light can find their way through. This also helps to control insects. Make sure each cut is as clean as possible. You should begin pruning from the base of the plant and work your way up.

If you have a problem with boring insects in your area, you might wish to seal up the cuts with white glue. This helps to prevent diseases from infecting the plant. You can also dip your pruning shears in a solution of 70 percent alcohol. This can help to stop the spread of disease on your rose bushes.

Make sure the area around your rose bush is free from weeds and other plants that might be crowding the bush. Too many plants in the area can impair the rose bush's growth. You should also shape the rose bush as it is growing to ensure that it is growing in the right direction.


Things You Will Need

  • Shears
  • Gloves


  • Different types of rose bushes need to be pruned at different times of the year, and it depends largely on the class of plant and the zone where it is growing. The best time for pruning is in the spring. You also can prune in preparation for winter, which can help to protect them from the cold and wind. You might also want to tie the stems together in the winter, if winter damage is a large concern in your area. When the buds begin to swell, it is an indication of a good time to prune them.

About the Author


Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer since 2009. He has a B.S. in literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written the ebooks "Karate You Can Teach Your Kids," "Macadamia Growing Handout" and "The Raw Food Diet."