Pruning Roses

Date Posted: 10 March 2023

Pruning roses.
Tips to use when out in the garden pruning roses. These will help you improve the lifespan and general health of your garden roses.

When to prune roses:
Ideally you want to start pruning roses in late winter (February or March) However, always check each individual rose type for more specific timing information etc.

 General tips on how to prune roses:

  • Incisions shouldn’t be any bigger in size than 5mm (1/4 of an inch) above the rose bud. Cuts should slope down away from the bud, so it doesn’t gather up any water. This information applies to all cutting, even if this is when removing dead wood, deadheading or annual pruning.
  • Cuts should be made to an outward-facing bud which will then encourage a good open shape. Roses have a habit pf spreading themselves. Prune some of its stems towards inward-facing buds which will encourage the rose to grow in the correct upright direction.
  • Make sure to cut the rose to an appropriate height!
  • Use good quality secateurs or snips when pruning.
  • Clean cuts are essential for a good healthy growth. Remember to keep your secateurs clean. If you are cutting larger roses, use some loppers or a pruning saw.
  • Prune back deteriorated stems to a healthy white like pith.
  • Cut out dead and diseased stems.
  • Cut away spindly and stems that are crossing one another.
  • Try to allow stems free space so they can have as much air flow as possible.
  • Roses that have already established, cut away poorly grown flowers and saw away old wood / stubs that haven’t provided any new shoots or buds.
  • Excluding climbing roses and shrub type roses, prune all freshly planted roses to encourage robust shoots.

Not sure what rose you have?

If you’ve lost the label or have been given a rose which you may not know what type of rose you have. Follow the basic tips we have in order to get you started. Starting with pruning in late winter which is February or March.


Feed pruned roses with an all-purpose general or rose fertiliser in the spring. Use mulch with garden compost of manure.