1. Home
  2. Advice
  3. How-To Videos
  4. How-To Video: Pruning a Rose Bush
  • How-To Video: Pruning a Rose Bush

    Pruning roses is easy—they’re such tough plants that you can’t really hurt them. It’s pretty hard to “over prune” a rose. So be brave—and wear some rose gloves!


    1. Tools needed
      • Gauntlet gloves – leather gloves with leather arm protectors
      • Sharp, clean pruner
      • For large rose stems (and large bushes), long-handled pruners
    2. Simple principles
      • Roses bloom on new (current season’s) growth, so you want to encourage lots of new growth by pruning
      • Remove dead, damaged, or diseased branches
      • Remove branches that cross each other or rub against each other
      • Open up the center of the bush (roses like heat and sun in the center of the plant)
      • Shape the plant
      • Reduce the size of the plant
      • Promote new, flowering branches
      • Make cuts 1/8 to ¼ inch away from a branch or ABOVE leaf nodes, not more not less
      • Cut at a 45-degree angle
    3. Getting Started
      • Remove dead/damages branches
      • Open up center, removing crossing branches
      • Reduce size by at least 1/3 or more
      • Reducing entire bush to 12- to 18-inches tall will plants compact and tidy—but not necessary
      • Remember to cut about 1/8 inch above a leave node
      • Step back and assess: is the plant well-balanced? If not, prune to balance
    4. Climbing Roses
      • Same principles as above, except:
      • Leave main, sturdy, arching canes
      • Prune branches growing off main canes leaving only five to seven leaf nodes.
      • Prune 1/8 inch above leaf nodes
      • Support main canes coming from ground level by tying with sturdy plastic plant tie.
    5. When do I feed?
      • Once new growth is about two inches long, feed with EBS Rose and Flower Food.
      • Then, after each blooms cycle. (Approximately every eight weeks.)
      • Remember, blooms take a lot of energy to produce, so roses need a lot of food!


    Get tips on planting dormant roses >


    Check out our Rose Care Guide for tips throughout the year >

    See more articles about: Roses