Prune Roses To Get Full Blooming Plants In The Spring

One secret to a full, nice blooming rose bush is to prune it back hard in the late winter, early spring. A lot of gardeners are leery of doing this, afraid that they will do un-reversible harm to the plant. Rest assured, it is very difficult to prune to death a rose bush.

Reasons To Prune Rose Bushes

There are a several very good reasons to perform dormant season pruning to rose bushes. The ultimate goal, of course, is to have more flower blooms. Other reasons include:

  • Encourage new growth
  • Remove diseased, infested or dead wood
  • Improve air circulation
  • Shape the plant
  • Reduce the size of the plant

Tools You Will Need

Nothing fancy here:

  • Thick gloves (roses, if you didn’t know, have thorns)
  • Clean, sharp hand pruners
  • Clean, sharp lopping shears (for thicker branches)

Let’s Get To It

1. Step back and take a good look at it’s structure and form.

2. Remove any dead, dying or diseased branches. Make sure to remove them all the way to the base of the plant.

3. Select the 5-9 healthiest branches to keep. Remove all the others, again, all the way to the base of the plant.

3. On the branches that are being kept, find buds that are located approximately 18”-24” up from the base and that are facing outwards from the center of the plant.

4. Make an angular cut approximately 1/4”-1/2” above the bud. An angular cut makes sure water does not soak into the branch and cause rot or disease.

5. Make sure to properly dispose of all cut material. Material left around the plant will attract insects and diseases.

6. Patiently wait until spring to enjoy the blooms of your labor!

Click here to learn how to deadhead roses. 


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