How to Prune Roses

Pruning tips for roses by Peter Worsp

Pruning Tips - Roses

We prune to thin the centre of a rose out and make it more open. This encourages good air flow and light, roses are less susceptible to disease.

Take out anything that is dead, diseased, weak or crossing over inside.

Remove the occasional 'old' wood canes to encourage new growth. New canes are lovely and green, old canes are silvery grey with big thorns.

To maintain height, as a general rule - cut about half the roses off.

Cut back to just above an outward facing bud, at a 45 degree angle. Outward buds face out toward the garden, inward face in to the centre of the rose.

Remove old wood and weak canes (anything smaller than a pencil).

Summary of Pruning Tips

  1. Prune/remove any dead wood and thin, weak growth (anything smaller than a pencil) and any canes that are crossing over.
  2. Prune the remaining canes back, working from the inside to out, we want to encourage maximum air circulation in the middle of the bush.
  3. When pruning, aim to cut just above an outward facing bud:
    A bud appears as a little reddish bump on the cane (where a leaf or shoot would grow out). Outward facing buds face out towards you/the garden. Inward facing buds face in, towards the centre of the bush. INward facing buds produce new canes that grow toward the centre. This creates a real tangle of canes and makes the middle of the bush much too dense, which can cause disease issues - not what we want. Pruning back to an outward facing bud is what ensures new canes shoot outward, encouragining a healthy 'V' shaped bush and good air circulation.
  4. Prune about 10mm above the bud on a 45 degree angle facing away from the bud. An angled cut ensures that rain water runs off the cut and runs away from the bud.
  5. To maintain a good size, cut the whole rose back by about half.

Recommended Pruning Accessories

Pruning Saw

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