Basics of Pruning Roses

Pruning your roses does not need to be a dreaded task. Follow these tips and make rose pruning an easy gardening job.

  • Prune from the ground up. Most people start at the top and this can harm the rose and it uses your valuable time.

    Pruning your roses does not need to be a dreaded task. Follow these tips and make rose pruning an easy gardening job.

  • Prune from the ground up. Most people start at the top and this can harm the rose and it uses your valuable time.

  • If it is old, gray and scraggly looking, cut it off.

  • If there are canes that are growing directly over the center, use your pruning saw or loppers and cut flush with the cane. Also remove any canes that are really crowding each other. Now you are ready to continue pruning.

  • When it comes to height remember this: mentally divide the cane into three equal parts and get ready to remove the top one-third. First, however check on the outward facing bud. It should be located at the intersection of the cane and a leaflet of five. There should be several and if possible find one that faces out.

  • If you have doubts, cut it off. If it is smaller than a pencil it will only produce even smaller stems. For the larger canes be sure to seal with a drop of plain white glue like Elmer's. This will prevent the borers from eating your plants.

  • Get rid of all remaining leaves. This will allow for new leaf growth and prevent fungus infections from the old ones.

  • The next step in pruning your roses is to take a wire brush and scrub off the woody material on the bud union. Be careful to avoid brushing off any new bud eyes. This is also supposed to stimulate and provide room for new canes from the bud union.

  • Finally, finish your rose pruning by cleaning up all the dead stuff you've cut away. Get rid of all the old petals and pull the weeds from around the rose bush. This will help to eliminate fungus and insect problems. Finish up by placing new mulch around the rose bushes.
  • There you have it! Pruning your roses in 8 easy steps!

  • If it is old, gray and scraggly looking, cut it off.

  • If there are canes that are growing directly over the center, use your pruning saw or loppers and cut flush with the cane. Also remove any canes that are really crowding each other. Now you are ready to continue pruning.

  • When it comes to height remember this: mentally divide the cane into three equal parts and get ready to remove the top one-third. First, however check on the outward facing bud. It should be located at the intersection of the cane and a leaflet of five. There should be several and if possible find one that faces out.

  • If you have doubts, cut it off. If it is smaller than a pencil it will only produce even smaller stems. For the larger canes be sure to seal with a drop of plain white glue like Elmer's. This will prevent the borers from eating your plants.

  • Get rid of all remaining leaves. This will allow for new leaf growth and prevent fungus infections from the old ones.

  • The next step in pruning your roses is to take a wire brush and scrub off the woody material on the bud union. Be careful to avoid brushing off any new bud eyes. This is also supposed to stimulate and provide room for new canes from the bud union.

  • Finally, finish your rose pruning by cleaning up all the dead stuff you've cut away. Get rid of all the old petals and pull the weeds from around the rose bush. This will help to eliminate fungus and insect problems. Finish up by placing new mulch around the rose bushes.
  • There you have it! Pruning your roses in 8 easy steps!

    Ken Austin
    Roses and Rose Gardening
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