01932 829 593   |   07767 242 974   |   karen@holleydesigns.com
01932 829 593   |   07767 242 974   |   karen@holleydesigns.com

Pruning Roses

The idea of pruning roses is to help improve flowering, maintain an attractive shape and to keep it healthy. Many people find it complicated when it comes to pruning roses, this is because there are many types which need pruning at different times of the year.

Before you start to make an attempt at pruning any rose make sure you have the right equipment;

  • Have a sharp pair of secateurs
  • Gloves

pruning a rose

Another thing to make sure before you prune a rose is to make sure you know how to make the cut properly. Make a sloping cut just above the outward facing bud and make sure the cut is facing away so water does not run into the bud and cause it to rot.

Renovation to a rose should be done during the winter months when it is easier to see what you are doing when the rose is not in leaf. Doing it during the winter should allow a good response from the rose which means there will be vigorous growth during the spring.

  • Remove all dead, diseased, dying and weak shoots
  • Cut some of the old woody branches to the ground, retaining a maximum of six young, vigorous stems that can be secured to supports
  • Saw away any dead stumps at the base of the plant, where rain can collect and encourage rot
  • Shorten side shoots on the remaining branches and prune back the tips by one third to one half, to encourage branching
  • Give pruned plants a boost in the following spring by spreading a granular rose fertiliser over the soil and mulch them with a 5cm (2in) layer of garden compost or well rotted manure


Before starting to make any cuts on new growth make sure that you make the rose free of any dead, diseased or damaged wood, make sure no branches are crossing or rubbing and there is no spindly growth. This can be done throughout most of the year, but is best when the flowering period has just finished.

Climbing Roses

  • Prune in late autumn or winter after the flowers start to fade.
  • Tie in new shoots.
  • Remove any old branches if the rose is starting to become congested.
  • Prune side branches that are straying away from the framework. Make sure you leave to or three buds.
  • Make sure renovating is also done at the same time to help your rose looking healthy.

    Shrub Roses
  • These need to be pruned spring to summer.
  • Avoid an excessive build-up of unproductive and older wood which may be causing the centre to become crowded. Remove the older branches where necessary.
  • If the rose becomes leggy and bare at the base, the best thing to do is to cut one or two of the stems closer to ground level, this should encourage new growth.
  • Make sure renovation is done during the winter months when there is more visibilty due to less leaves.
Bush Roses


  • Prune during late winter
  • Prune most by about half their size cutting to within 8cm of the previous year’s growth.
  • If you want a larger floribunda prune less severely.
  • Occasionally you can cut back some older stems back to a few inches from the soil level, this will encourage strong growth from the base.
Rambling Roses


  • Prune in the late summer.
  • Cut back any side branches that have flowered remembering to leave two or three buds.
  • Saw away any dead stumps at the base of the rose where water can collect and cause rot.
Ground Cover Roses


  • Prune and renovate in late winter.
  • Reduce congestion by taking out larger older branches; this will help stimulate new growth.
  • Hard prune any upward shoots.
  • Shorten side shoots down to two or three buds.


Pruning on a regular basis will help improve the overall shape and growth of the rose and will allow it to flower for longer periods. If you need any help with pruning your roses feel free to ask.

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