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When is the proper time to prune roses?

And how much should I prune?

I live in LA and we do ours right after the rosebolw game on Jan 1 every year

Best time is in the fall. Prune off all old branches. (Sometimes you have to go back to a short stub.)

I cut off the spent flowers down to the first 5-leaf branch.

In the fall, I prune down to about 2 feet tall, and mulch heavily (to protect from the winter). In spring, when the days are no longer freezing, and around when the Forsythia blooms, I prune back to about 14 inches.

My climbers I prune in the spring (again, just as new buds are beginning to show), usually down to about 3 feet tall - and any parts that had winter die-back.

as soon as they finish flowering

spring. and spring only. in spring u will see what brunches survived and what look healthy. those which re thin u cut all, which re thick healthy looking u cut above 3 bud

hybrid tea roses that grow into tall shrubs can be pruned down in late fall after a frost has killed the leaves, but only take off the extra tall stuff..... leave a good two ft on the plant.... then mulch.... you'll still need to prune deadwood in spring and shape the plant at that time.... forsythia is a good indicator.. when it blooms, prune roses!....

bush roses can be left till the spring pruning....

what you don't want to do is to prune too soon... that opens canes to insect invasion and also stimulates NEW growth that will be killed in the first freeze.... that will have taken a lot of energy out of the plant that it will then not be able to regain cuz it will be going dormant... weakening the plant.....

climbers have their own method of pruning.... plenty of info on how, here..


depends on the rose. Some roses bloom on the current years growth and those can be pruned back completely in late winter, and some bloom on last years growth which if you cut them down, they will grow, but not bloom, so they need selective pruning.

Basic: Use clean pruners. Cut off parts that are dead, not producing leaves. Shape the plant to allow the middle of the plant to have some light. (or you can also let the plant grow as it wants to, and you will see that it grows toward the light, or towards shade, if the sun is too harsh, as it needs to.) Know when to prune your particular type of rose. (If it grows flowers best after pruning, prune before the flowers. If it grows best on old parts, prune after the flowers come out.) For detailed steps, see sources below:

Major pruning is done in the early spring.
The exceptions are some climbers & roses that produce blooms on the previous year's wood. They should be pruned right after they bloom.
You can prune off dead or diseased wood or criss-crossing branches anytime.

This video from Heirloom Roses states that the pruning of their type of roses starts in February:

This gardener from the Utah State U. Extension likes to wait until he sees some nice growth in the spring so he can tell which stems to cut & which ones he wants to keep:

Dead-heading when flowers fade & cutting long-stemed flowers is actually a mild form of summer or day-to-day pruning. Video on how to deadhead roses:

When doing your major pruning, get rid of the dead wood first. Then get rid of the thinner wood, which is the stems that are thinner than a pencil. Cut all of the branches that cross or overlap one another because these are often diseased or will become so.
Keep the remaining five healthy branches. These are often dark green. You will want to make your roses fluted or vases shaped, with an open center, and keep them from touching or overlapping each other. Cut so that the bud is facing outside of the bush and at a 45 degree angle that slopes inward so that you can keep promoting the outward growth.

Pruning in warmer climate zones:

Pruning climbing roses:

Good luck!!! Hope this is helpful.