rose pruning

Quick and Easy Rose Pruning – 5 Easy Steps

Rose pruning is a task that can instil fear in a gardener. However, as Ludwig Taschner says, “You can’t do it wrong.” It’s likely that your rose bushes will survive even if you go the slasher route. Roses can survive very well without pruning, but try this simplified version of pruning hybrid tea, floribunda or bush types of English and Nostalgia roses if you want neat bushes. For most regions of the country you should prune at the end of July, but in very cold areas wait until the end of August.

Rose Pruning Steps

  1. Remove dead and damaged stems using a clean, sharp pair of secateurs.
  2. Remove any stems that are growing towards the centre of the shrub to create a more open shape.
  3. Cut back the remaining stems by about 2/3, if roses are growing close together. (Roses that did not grow well or are spaced further apart can be lightly pruned, removing 1/3 of the growth.)
  4. Remove all leaves from the remaining stems and dispose of them in the compost heap.
  5. Dig in a generous amount of compost around each rose, and water well.


  • Trim groundcover roses with a hedge clipper or remove spindly growth and shorten the stronger spread out stems.
  • Cut back Spire roses to chest height (1.2m) and remove the scraggly centre growth.
  • Neaten Panarosa and climbing roses by removing old unproductive stems and retaining the arching stems. Shorten the remaining stems or tie horizontally on a fence, around a support pole or trained over arches.
The Gardener