Latest Post

How To Use LinkedIn Analytics | Online Sales Guide Tips How to Send the Pope a Letter – And Why You Might Get a Response! The Concept of a Woman “Yoko Ono”-Ing a Group Is Inherently Sexist, but How Do I Do It?

Did you know that for many rose bushes, the absolute best time to prune them back and get your roses in shape is in late winter, right before spring arrives? Roses are among one of the most popular of all perennials that gardeners love to plant and grow in their home landscape. But they also happen to be one of the most misunderstood when it comes to caring for them. Especially when it comes to the subject of when and how to prune! Regular pruning for roses is vital to keep them both healthy and blooming strong. Beyond just merely helping a bush to keep its shape, pruning helps to increase air movement throughout the bush. And that can be critical in helping to stave off disease and even pests. But perhaps most of all, regular pruning allows a rose bush to conserve energy for better blooming. After all, if a rose is allowed to grow at will, all of those extra limbs and branches steal valuable energy from its roots. And without energy, the plant can struggle to produce buds and blooms. Pruning Roses At The Right Time – Why Late Winter Pruning Is Best With all of that said – perhaps the most critical aspect of pruning is to perform the chore at the right time. And for the majority of roses, including the ever popular hybrid tea, floribunda and grandiflora roses, that happens to be in late winter, right before the bush comes out in early spring. There are actually a whole slew of reasons why late winter pruning is ideal for roses. First and foremost, it’s the safest time for working with rose bushes because they are completely dormant at this point. And with that, there is no worry of injuring the plant. That isn’t always the case at other times of the year. Unfortunately, trying to prune rose bushes back in the fall can put roses in danger. Pruning forces a growing bush to promote new growth. And if a rose bush produces new growth right before winter, it will likely be damaged from winter conditions. Even worse, it can put the health of the whole rose bush in jeopardy. And what if you wait until spring or summer to prune? Pruning at these times can also zap precious energy from the plant. Not only do you risk pruning off future blooms, but the bush then has to use energy to recover from the pruning – which can take away from its blooming potential as well. Last but not least, pruning roses in late winter before they come out also allows you to easily see the branch structure, making cuts far easier than if the bush was completely full of leaves, blooms and flowers. How To Prune Rose Bushes Before Spring Equipment Needed So now that we have covered why late winter pruning is best – let’s take a look at how to best perform the chore! You don’t need a lot of equipment for pruning roses, but the pruners you use do need to have two important qualities – they need to be sharp, and they need to be clean. Dull blades will tear tender limbs, branches and stems. That in turn leaves them vulnerable to damage and stress. It’s also important to wipe down your blades between each rose bush you trim. This prevents any chance of cross-contamination between roses. Roses are known to carry disease and fungal issues, but by wiping down the blades with a disinfectant wipe in between each bush you trim, you all but eliminate any risk. As for the pruners themselves, having a good hand pair of ratcheting hand help pruners and a pair of bypass loppers will have you ready to go! The loppers will take care of large limbs quite easily. Meanwhile, the hand pruners will make all of the small cuts quick and simple. Affiliate Pruner Links: Extendable Anvil Loppers Heavy Duty with Compound Action Premium Ratcheting Hand Held Pruners Last but not least, always put on a thick, protective pair of gloves. Thorns from rose bushes can cause quite the hurt if they poke through gloves, and without proper protection, they can puncture quite easily when picking up all of the trimmings. How To Prune Rose Bushes In Late Winter Now it’s time to prune! How much you will prune off your roses will depend on what type or types you grow. There are certainly a wide array of rose bush varieties, but for the sake of simplifying the pruning process, we will break them down into 3 main categories, and how to prune each Tea Roses, Grandiflora & Floribunda Shrub Roses Climbing Roses Tea Roses, Grandiflora & Floribunda These rose varieties are by far the most popular and common in backyard gardens. Tea roses, grandiflora and floribunda all bloom on new wood. For this reason, pruning before spring arrives is ideal. You can cut back and shape the shrub, and then the new wood will grow from it and carry this year’s blooms. With these roses, start by cutting back any diseased, damaged or dead wood. Next, it’s time to cut the bush back to about 14 to 18 inches off the ground. It may seem severe, but this will allow the new blooms to bloom at a height of about 24 to 36 inches in height – making them perfect for viewing. For these types of hybrid bushes, you want to remove about 1/3rd of the total of the old wood. It’s important when pruning to clear out the middle the most, creating an almost “V” shape in the process. This will allow for plenty of new growth to fill in when spring arrives. By doing this every year, you can keep your roses not just in shape, but strong for blooming as well. Shrub Roses – How To Prune Rose Bushes Before Spring How To Prune Rose Bushes Before Spring

Shrub roses actually bloom on old wood. Because of this, you do not want to prune heavily in late winter. Instead, simply prune out old wood and any damaged limbs. For shrub roses, the only time to prune them back is immediately after they finish blooming in the summer. This will allow new wood to grow the remainder of the season. Wood, that will become next year’s old wood that will hold a new set of blooms! Climbing Roses – How To Prune Rose Bushes Before Spring How To Prune Rose Bushes Before Spring

Last but not least, there is the climbing rose category. Climbing roses also bloom on mature wood, so late winter is not the best time to do major pruning. It is however the perfect time to prune off wild shoots or to gain back control of an overgrown climber. Yes, it will reduce the amount of overall blooms in the coming year, but by shaping it when it is dormant, you can help it to build power back in it’s roots. This will make the blooms it does produce far better. Much like shrub roses, you will want to do any additional pruning right after the climbing rose blooms in the summer. One final note, for newly planted shrub or climbing roses, you will not want to do any pruning for at least two to three full seasons after first planting. This will allow the rose to establish and grow a fair amount of old wood. It will set the stage for quite the flowering show as it matures! Here is to pruning your rose bushes late this winter before spring arrives, and to having more blooms than ever this year! Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary Old World Garden Farms Jim and Mary Competti have been writing gardening, DIY and recipe articles and books for over 15 years from their 46 acre Ohio farm. The two are frequent speakers on all things gardening and love to travel in their spare time. As always, feel free to email us at with comments, questions, or to simply say hello! You can sign up for our free email list in the subscribe now box in the middle of this article. Follow us on Facebook here : OWG Facebook . This article may contain affiliate links.