Roses are a hardy plant and are often happy to grow undisturbed, so it can be difficult to tell when to prune your roses. However, light pruning at the right time of year helps to promote healthy growth and flowering as well as helping to maintain a sensible size for your rose plant. To see your beautiful roses effortlessly bloom year after year, it’s best to prune them at the start of each year. But when? and how?
Keep reading this rose pruning guide to find out how and when you should be pruning your roses.
When Should You Prune Your Roses?
Your pruning window may be slightly different depending on where you live. For example, if you live in the south, you can get away with pruning in mid-February. If you live further north, you should probably wait until March when the weather is warmer. Pruning can also depend on the type of rose plant.
Rose Shrubs should be well pruned in mid-March in Southern England, or in the second week of April when you get further north.
Climbing Roses shouldn’t be pruned for two years after planting and then only sparsely, removing unnecessary growing tips. It’s best to prune this rose type in autumn.
How to Prune Roses – Best Methods
For most roses, you can prune in late winter. Take care to remove dead/diseased wood and deadhead faded blooms which can be done with your annual pruning. Cut no more than 5mm above a bud with a clean, sloping cut away from the bud so water cannot gather. Keep your secateurs sharp for a clean cut.
Pruning Tip 💡 – Use fertilizer on your roses once you’ve pruned them to encourage healthy growth throughout the year!
For most roses you can prune in late winter. Take care to remove dead/diseased wood and deadhead faded blooms which can be done with your annual pruning. Cut no more than 5mm above a bud with a clean, sloping cut away from the bud so water cannot gather there. Trace any suckers back to their roots and pull them away.
Bush Roses should be well pruned in mid-March in Southern England and as one proceeds further north this should be deferred at such a rate that in the North of Scotland it is done in the second week of April.
Floribunda Roses are a little tenderer and should be pruned one week later than the above dates.
Hybrid Tea – Newly planted Hybrid Tea Roses should always be pruned back hard in the spring, provided the roots are firmly established, leaving only three or four eyes per stem, generally leaving about 15-25cm in length. Roses are roughly pruned in the nursery to approximately 35-45cm of stem. If left un-pruned they will die back along the stem and perish or produce leggy poor specimens.
Climbing Roses – Do not prune for two years after planting and then only sparsely, removing unrequired growing tips. Weak or dead wood should be removed. Best to prune in autumn.
Standard Roses– Stake well with expandable ties, driving in the stake below the head of the tree. Plant Rose Tree to old soil mark level. Put liberal amounts of planting medium in hole. Prune back well in spring to good bud.
Miniature Roses – These are miniature versions of Hybrid Tea or Floribunda types and should be treated the same allowing for the difference of scale. Miniature Roses are ideal for borders and rockeries or as pot plants, though they should be in the dry atmosphere of the house only for limited periods. Prune hard after planting.