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How to Peg a Rose Bush

By Melody Lee ; Updated September 21, 2017

There are two methods of pegging roses. Long canes of a rose bush can be trained in a circle, similar to a wagon wheel, in the traditional method of rose pegging. Self-pegging involves looping long canes of a rose bush back to the base of the plant. Both methods increase the number of blooms by forcing new stems and flowers at nearly every leaf node. You should peg roses just before new growth begins in the spring. Use landscape staples, pegs or stakes to hold canes that are 5 to 7 feet long for traditional pegging. Use canes that are 8 to 10 feet long for self-pegging and tie with gardener’s tape or intertwine canes around each other.

Traditional Pegging

Wear leather gloves and gauntlets to prevent injuries from rose thorns. Use hand pruners for limbs up to ½ inch and lopping shears for larger limbs. Cut limbs at a 30 degree angle at a bud or joint.

Choose flexible canes that are 5 to 7 feet long. Canes that are more than 7 feet long tend to become unmanageable over time.

Arrange the canes in a circle around the rose bush and peg down with landscape staples, or tie to stakes or pegs with gardener’s tape. The canes can be fastened horizontally or in a slight arch.

Use hand pruners or lopping shears to remove any canes that are too long for pegging and to remove any limbs that spoil the shape of the main rose bush.

Each year, remove the oldest canes with hand pruners or lopping shears to make room for new canes.


See Step 1 of the first section for information on protective gear and pruning tools.

Use hand pruners or lopping shears to remove weak or wiry canes at ground level.

Choose four to six vigorous canes that are 8 to 10 feet long and loop them back to the base of the rose bush. Use gardener’s tape to fasten the canes to the lower limbs of the rose bush or to a stake at the base of the bush. You can also weave the bent canes into the remaining canes on the rose bush.

Shorten the remaining canes to random lengths with your hand pruners or lopping shears. Tuck the tips of these canes into the cage formed by the looped canes so they will flower inside the cage.


Things You Will Need

  • Leather gloves
  • Leather gauntlets
  • Hand pruners
  • Lopping shears
  • Landscape staples, pegs or stakes
  • Gardener's tape


About the Author


Melody Lee holds a degree in landscape design, is a Florida Master Gardener, and has more than 30 years of gardening experience. She currently works as a writer and copy editor. Her previous jobs include reporter, photographer and editor for a weekly newspaper.