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Rose Pruning Tips

Roses Additional pruning tips for healthy, beautiful, productive roses:

  • Whether you're deadheading, removing dead wood, or performing an annual pruning, make sure your cuts are no more than ¼ inch (5 mm) above a bud, and slope the cut away from the bud, to prevent water from collecting on it.
  • Your cuts should always be clean, so keep your pruning shears sharp, and use pruning tools that are appropriately sized to whatever size stems you are cutting.
  • To encourage an open-centered form, cut to an outward-facing bud. To encourage upright growth on roses with a spreading habit, prune a few of the stems to inward-facing buds.
  • Prune any dieback to the healthy, white pith.
  • Remove dead or diseased stems, as well as any that cross or are spindly.
  • Your goal should be to have well-spaced stems that allow for a free flow of air.
  • If pruning an established plant, remove any old wood that is flowering poorly, and use a saw to get rid of old stubs that are no longer producing new shoots.
  • Other than climbing roses, you should prune newly planted roses hard, which encourages vigorous shoot production.
  • When removing suckers, trace them back to the roots from which they are growing, and simply take them off.