How to Prune Roses


Rose stems tend to grow and produce blooms for only a few years before they become weakened and exhausted. Pruning encourages the development of new vigorous shoots to replace the old stems and to ensure a continued display of flowers.

The majority of new roses (excluding climbing roses) should be pruned back hard to 8 cm (3 in) from the ground as soon as they are planted so that they produce healthy new shoots and roots. Subsequent pruning should take place between leaf-fall in the autumn and bud production in spring (i.e whilst the rose is dormant). This should remove any dead, diseased or damaged wood and congested or spindly growth. The main shoots should then be reduced to within 20-25 cm (8-10 in) of ground level to form a well-balanced framework.

In this section, we take a closer look at pruning techniques for a variety of rose types, including standards, climbers, bush roses (hybrid tea, floribunda and miniature) and ramblers. There's also a look at how to deal with suckers that that grow from the original rootstock, often spoiling the look and shape of the plant.

Hybrid Tea Rose Bushes
A look at pruning large-flowered hybrid tea bush roses.
Floribunda Rose Bushes
Tips and advice for cluster-flowered bush roses.
Miniature Rose Bushes
This type of rose can either be pruned minimally or it can follow a more severe pruning regime.
Standard Roses
Discover how you can prune rose standards to maintain their evenly balanced shape.
Climbing Roses
Everything you need to know about pruning and training this variety of rose to ensure an abundant flowering display.
Rambling Roses
Find out how to prune and train the long, flexible stems of ramblers.
Removing Suckers
Some handy hints on dealing with rose suckers.