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9 Steps to Pruning Roses the Right Way

9 Steps to Pruning Roses the Right Way

9 Steps to Pruning Roses the Right Way
9 Steps to Pruning Roses the Right Way

Pruning roses seem like a scary task for a new gardener, stopping many people from planting roses in their garden. Learning how to prune roses the right way is easier than you might expect. It takes time some time and practice, but it is hard to kill your rose bush from improperly pruning. You’ll try and do better the next pruning. Mistakes grow out, and it is better to try and make a mistake rather than not pruning at all.

Why Should You Prune Roses?

Pruning your roses shouldn’t be optional. If you want a trimmed and proper looking rose bush, pruning is an essential task.

  • Shapes the plant
  • Improves air circulation
  • Encourages new growth and blooms
  • Removes dead wood
  • Reduces diseases
Pruning Roses
By OlgaPonomarenko / shutterstock

When Should You Prune Roses?

You should determine when to prune your rose bushes based on the type and your hardiness zone. Most of the time, your pruning should be done in the spring. If you notice forsythia blooming, it is time to get pruning! Another sign that it is pruning time is when the leaf buds start to swell on your plant. The bumps on the canes begin to grow and turn reddish.

Pruning needs to be done before the buds start to open. Buds start to open once the threat of frost ends, so check your zone to find the last frost date for your area. For cold climates, that can be between January and May.

The type of roses matters as well.

Repeat Bloomers: Hybrid Tea, Grandiflora, Floribunda, and Polyantha are repeat bloomers, and they should be pruned in the later winter or early spring.

Single Bloomers: Antique roses and shrub roses fall into this category. Prune these bushes after they are done blooming in the late spring or summer.

Tools You Will Need

  • Thick Gloves
  • By-Pass Pruners
  • Long-Handled Loppers
  • Alcohol, Bleach or Hydrogen Peroxide for cleaning tools
  • Wood Glue

How to Prune Roses the Right Way

Prepare Your Tools

pruning tools
pruning tools

Before you start to prune your roses, prepare your tools. Sharpen your pruners and loppers, so the cuts are easy and smooth. Make sure to clean and sanitize your tools to avoid transferring diseases from plant to plant.

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