Rose Pruning Tips

Our Grounds staff are highly experienced in providing horticultural services and they share some of this knowledge with you in our blog. Here, Adam Smith from our Sydney office shares his rose pruning tips. 

by Adam Smith

Rose pruning tips

Roses require regular minor pruning throughout the year and hard pruning during the cooler months of winter. During the majority of the year you will need to carry out minor pruning in the form of removing dead wood, dead heading (removing spent flowers) and monitoring pests and diseases that roses are susceptible to. Roses should be hard pruned in late winter, late July to early August after the last frost. Hard pruning roses this time of year will encourage healthy vigorous growth for the new season.

There are 3 main steps to winter rose pruning:

Step 1 – Shorten the stems by 1/2 to 1/3. When you make this cut it is important to cut on a 45 degree angle just above an outward facing bud.

Step 2 – Entirely remove dead or diseased wood right back to the base.

Step 3 – Try to create a vase shape by pruning and removing inward facing and stray stems leaving 3-6 stems. This will provide a good framework and open up the plant allowing air to flow through plus help to minimise fungal disease.

Handy Rose Pruning Tips:

  • Always use sharp secateurs and saws. This will eliminate tearing which may attract pests and disease.
  • For dead wood and stems larger than 10mm use a saw. This will make it a cleaner and easier cut.
  • To eliminate the transfer of disease from plant to plant, sterilise your tools in methylated spirits between pruning each plant.
  • Apply fertilisers in late winter / early spring and again in early summer.
  • It is important not to prune your roses too much during summer and autumn as this is the period roses are storing food for the next growing season.


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