Simple rose pruning guide

All rose bushes require maintenance that, apart from the corresponding irrigation and fertilization, requires pruning to eliminate diseased or dry parts, or pruning the rose bushes to give vigor to the rose bush or simply to stylize it.

Let’s see the types of rose pruning that can be done.




There are three different ways of pruning rose bushes, depending on the result that is required in the rose bush:

Light pruning of rose bushes: in light pruning, less than a third of the rose stems are cut. The effect it produces on the plant is the production of a large number of flower stalks and large shrub plants.

Recommended for floribundas , grandifloras roses , tea hybrids , etc.

Light pruning should be discontinuous as it leaves tall shrubs with little flowering.

Moderate rose pruning: consists of cutting all the rose stems in half. The height that is achieved with this is a rose bush around 45-60 cm high. The objective of this pruning is to achieve an individual with a larger development than severe pruning and it is the most advisable for garden rose bushes.

Recommended for tea hybrids and adult floribundas .

Moderate pruning produces smaller flowers, but with higher production.

Severe rose pruning : in severe pruning the stems are cut at a height of 15 to 25 cm, leaving 3 or 4 buds from the base. With severe pruning, larger flowers and lower production are achieved.

Recommended if the rose bush is not very vigorous, in order to stimulate growth.

The 3 kinds of pruning in the rose bush


 Tall rose bushes need tutoring up to the junction with the graft to keep them in an upright position. These rose bushes are pruned in winter, eliminating crossed, woody or dry and diseased stems. In addition, stems that appear at the base, known as suckers , must be removed .

Elimination of suckers, diseased or dry shoots and trellising of the tall standing rose bush. Source: Marta Álvarez


 The type of pruning to be carried out on the rosebush depends on its age. The different prunings according to the years of cultivation are the following:

Pruning of new plants ( formation period): plants less than 2 or 3 years old, recently planted or grafted. The roots are trimmed, 3 or 4 vigorous shoots are selected, between 2 and 4 buds for tea hybrids , and between 5 and 6 buds for floribundas

 Cleaning pruning: apply to all rose bushes (recent or old). Removal of woody or dry wood debris, diseased or crossed branches.

Pruning old rose bushes: severe to moderate pruning that leaves the plant with a height of around 30-40 cm.

After pruning it is necessary to enrich the soil with amendments and fertilizers.

Hybrid rose
bush «Tea rose», before and after pruning Source: Muford

Source: Martha Álvarez. 

Above all, pruning the rose bush requires gaining experience little by little, and practicing year after year. In the gentle pruning manual a section is dedicated, among many other crops, to pruning rose bushes.

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