Pruning Roses

Where To Start – THE 3 D’s OF PRUNING

Many people, when pruning deciduous trees and shrubs, will just shear back the top of the plant to reduce the overall height of the plant, but this is only a part of proper pruning techniques. So what else is involved in pruning? What steps should be taken when starting to prune?

Step 1. When pruning any shrub or tree, you always start out with the 3 D’s of pruning. This means that you prune out any DEAD, DISEASED or DAMAGED branches first.

Step 2. Remove any branches that closely cross with other branches or that cross through the middles of the plant. You want to have branches that come from the center of the plant and heads outward.

Step 3. The next step is to consider your pruning goal. (See Blog: PRUNING DECIDUOUS SHRUBS & Trees – More Than Just A Little Off The Top!)

Pruning Roses

  • Do not prune roses at this time unless canes are so tall that they will be damaged in the winter.
  • If pruning is done in autumn new growth can be stimulated before the winter sets in and will not have time to harden off before it turns cold.
  • Let the last flowers remain on the plant, letting it go to seed. This helps the plant to go dormant for the winter
  • The best time to prune your hybrid teas, grandiflora and floribunda roses is early spring when the buds begin to swell (when the forsythias are in bloom). Climbing and shrub roses should be pruned after the first flush of flowers.

    When is the proper pruning time?

*Once the rose buds have started to swell, (usually when the forsythias are blooming) *Cut off any weak, dead or broken branches and remove any stems that are crossed or rubbing.

*You can prune fairly hard, cutting to just above a healthy, outward facing bud. By pruning to an outward facing bud, it controls the direction of growth to go out from the plant, instead of it growing back through the centre of the plant. This helps improve air circulation which helps to cut down on diseases.

*Climbing roses do not need to be cut back as hard.

*For hybrid tea roses, clip back to at least 3 – 5 buds from the base of the plant.


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