How to Prune 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!
When do I feed?
- Tools needed
- Gauntlet gloves – leather gloves with leather arm protectors
- Sharp, clean pruner
- For large rose stems (and large bushes), long-handled pruners
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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!