The rose has been cultivated for centuries, and remains one of the world's most popular flowers. For most roses to thrive, they must be groomed frequently. Selective trimming keeps plants healthy, attractive, and stimulates new flowers.
A major pruning should be done once a year, in January or February, though in South Florida pruning may be needed twice a year.
Remove any dead, dying, or crossing branches, and shorten the mature canes by one-third to one-half. You can also prune any stray branches to help improve the plant's shape.
To avoid dieback and encourage rapid healing, make pruning cuts just above a dormant bud. When you remove an entire branch, make a smooth cut at the point of juncture. Expect your first flowers in eight to nine weeks.
Also on Gardening in a Minute
- Antique Roses
- Climbing Roses
- Fertilizing Roses
- Planting Roses
- Tips for Cutting Roses
- Winter Pruning Chores
- Articles on Pruning Roses--American Rose Society
- Growing Roses--Alabama Cooperative Extension Service
- Pruning Roses--All-America Rose Selections
- Pruning Roses--Clemson (SC) Cooperative Extension
- Pruning Roses--Rose Magazine
- Pruning Roses--University of California Cooperative Extension (PDF)
- Rose Maintenance Guide--University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service (PDF)
- Roses: Pruning Methods--Texas AgriLife Extension