Pruning roses: when and how? Our advices


So that a rose bush does not become bald at its base and bloom profusely, it is imperative to prune it regularly. A training pruning is also necessary for certain roses during the year of planting. Although this does not present any particular difficulty, you must always be careful to choose the right period to intervene and to adapt the size to the variety of the rose bush. Here is what you need to know to take care of your roses and enjoy abundant flowering.

Rose pruning period

It is usually in autumn and at spring – but always outside the frost period – that we can prune the roses, knowing however that only spring pruning can be severe. In autumn, we perform what is called a pre-size, kind of maintenance cut which allows you to simply remove dead wood. As for the size carried out in March, it promotes flowering. Some varieties of roses can, at this time of year, be very shortened.

However, non-returning climbing roses must be pruned immediately after flowering, that is to say in summer, between July or early August.

We can therefore remember that in the majority of cases, the flowering pruning of a rose bush is carried out in spring, as soon as the first buds form.

Training pruning or first pruning of roses

This is the one we do in March, in the first year following the planting of the rosebush. It consists of short pruning the following varieties: stem rose and shrub rose. The branches are reduced severely, to ten centimeters. To do this, we cut above the 3th eye.

As for the first pruning of climbing roses and shrub roses, it concerns only the smallest specimens which are reduced between 30 and 40% in order to make them more vigorous.

First pruning is not done on climbing roses purchased in containers if their branches are longer than 1.50 m. They must however be trained as soon as they are planted and then undergo flowering pruning.

A specific flowering size for each type of rose

It is necessary to differentiate your different roses in order to adopt the flowering size that suits them perfectly.

Pruning miniature roses

These little roses are only pruned every three years. This consists in clearing the heart of the plant in order to ventilate it, to give it a nice shape and to eliminate all the dead branches.

On the other hand, it is important to cut the faded flowers as they go to encourage the formation of new roses.

Pruning shrub roses

From the age of 3, they need their dead branches to be removed as well as old branches lacking in vigor. The branching of varieties with erected port through a simple shortening while for specimens with drooping port, we must keep the branches arched over their entire length, which is the charm of these roses.

Pruning of non-returning climbing roses

The branches which have flowered well are only completely cut if many new shoots appear. If this is not the case, it is necessary to be satisfied to delete only the oldest branches.

We take advantage of this size session to check and consolidate the training and remove faded roses.

Climbing climbing roses pruning

These roses which bloom several times a year need to be pruned in February or March, before other varieties because they are the first to enter into vegetation after winter. They are indeed very early. You should keep the carpenter branches for several years. They are only removed when they can be replaced by new branches of good vigor so that the roses retain their strengths.

The size consists of:

  • Remove dead wood,
  • Shorten young shoots whose ends have suffered frost,
  • Reduce the long secondary branches by a third while taking care not to strip the rosebush,
  • Prune the short branches that gave flowers the previous year to 3 eyes.

Once the climbing climbing roses have been pruned, do not forget to train the branches and distribute the filling well.

Pruning shrub roses

The size consists of remove stubborn twigs, too frail, as well as all the dead wood and if necessary the excess branches or those which are not well distributed. We only keep the most beautiful branches while taking care to keep the balance of the bush.

For a shrub rose at spread out, the section is carried out so as to keep a bud facing the top of the twig. For varieties at upright habit, it is advisable to prune to ten millimeters above a bud which goes outwards.

In the regions located North of the Loire, better not to rush! We can wait until the month of March is well established to prune the shrub roses because the risk of late frost is not to be ruled out. In our southernmost regions, except exceptional weather, the resumption of the vegetation being earlier, it is possible to carry out this size during the second half of February.

Remove greedy or rejections

Gourmets that develop on the rootstock considerably weaken the roses who end up dying if we do not intervene. In order for them to stop diverting the sap, it is essential to remove them as soon as they appear. Depending on the case, their starting point is on the stems of certain roses, on the roots or even under the graft. These suckers cannot be confused with the twigs of a rose bush since they have small, very light green leaves made up of 7 to 11 leaflets.

Pruning roses: some essential steps

It is strongly recommended to sharpen well its secateurs before pruning a rosebush, condition sine qua non to obtain a clean cut and promote healing, but also to disinfect the various tools that you want to use. Disinfection is required at the end of the session, but also between each rose bush to avoid the risk of disease transmission. You can simply pass the blade of the secateurs to the flame or to alcohol.

As for the size, it should always be done bevel in order to protect the buds. The branch is cut obliquely, at least 5 or 6 millimeters above one eye, the inclination must be against the bud so that the water can flow and not stagnate because this would lead to rot .

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