How To Prune Roses

Supplies and tools needed.

Sharp bypass hand pruners.
Long handled loppers.
Pair of heavy leather gloves.
Long sleeved shirt to protect your arms.
Wheelbarrow or a garbage can.
Rubbing alcohol.

Prune your rose bush in late winter or early spring. Make cuts at a 45° angle, 1/4″ above outward facing buds. This will direct any new growth away from the center of the plant for better air circulation. Use your hand pruners for canes smaller than 1/2″ in diameter. Cut all larger canes and deadwood with long handled loppers. Always wear leather gloves to protect your hands from rose thorns.

Start by pruning out deadwood or diseased wood. Next remove crisscrossing canes. Leave three to five main canes angling outward from the center of the bush. Remove old, thin, and spindly canes, smaller than a pencil. Cut the canes you’re going to keep to one to three feet tall. Use rubbing alcohol to disinfect your pruners after pruning each plant to prevent the spread of disease.

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