When to Prune Roses

When to Prune Roses – Is it Time?


Knowing when to prune roses doesn’t have to be a mystery or an impossibility to learn. As complex as it may seem, once you have learned it, it sticks with you. Just like riding a bike. You will know just the right times and seasons to prune and be encouraged by the blooms that are produced afterwards. Then you can spend more quality time in your garden, not working it, as your reward for knowing when to prune roses. As you learn more about the times to prune your roses, the frustration of the unknown and fears of doing things right will melt away. You will discover that your rose plants are under control and not growing amiss. The size will amaze you and encourage you to “keep up the good work.” Then summer after summer, you will see repeatedly blooming bushes. Satisfaction guaranteed by you. Confidence in your rose care will increase. You can be an expert in a few short times of proper timing in your pruning.

Since there are different types of pruning, knowing which one you need to do is as important as knowing when to prune roses. The type of pruning done in the winter is done in late winter. You will be getting your rose bushes ready so that about 6-8 weeks after the last freeze, they will begin a good budding. Hopefully the last freeze will be past and there will be no further threat of cold winter damage to your bushes. When the roses are dormant in the winter they usually require protection, especially hybrid tea roses. So, pruning these before winter starts is a good idea. Otherwise, late winter is a very good time for pruning because you may have to cut back more of the bushes. This gets rid of the cold weather damaged and discolored stems and leaves.

Of course, many believe that the onset of spring is the best time to prune your rose bushes. When you see the leaves turn a reddish color and begin to grow, it is time to prune. Removing the winter leaves in warm winter areas will slow the growth of leaves in the spring, making the roses the chief absorbers of the nutrients. It is said to be a wise thing to prune roses before they even start to grow leaves in the spring. This helps avoid any over absorption by a spring freeze. Some advice from the rose experts is to not prune any of your roses before their first bloom in the springtime.


Many rose experts, also known as “rosians” disagree on the regards of how and when to prune roses, it is good to know they generally agree that it is wrong to do nothing.  Also remember that most mistakes will grow out. So, remember it is better to make a good effort at pruning at any time you remember or see a flaw in the healthy growth of your roses than to let them just grow rampant.

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