Pruning a Rose – Types of Pruning


different types of pruning are practiced by Rose gardeners :
consists in cutting a shoot back to three or four buds from its base;
e.g. in a bush rose to an outward growing bud and at a point which is
usually 5-6 in. from the ground.

this form of pruning, a shoot is cut back by about half its previous
year’s growth.

there is very little cutting away; usually the dead flowers or hips
are removed by cutting at the first or second eye below the flower-bearing

Pruning Hybrid Tea and
Floribunda Roses in the First Year

rose pruningThese
should be hard pruned in the first spring after they have been planted,
i.e. cut back to the third or fourth outward-growing bud from their
base, to ensure that as many new shoots as possible spring from low
down on the bush and that it grows into a well-balanced, compact shape.
If this is not done, the bush soon becomes leggy and unsightly.


Roses, which are very vigorous, do not take kindly to hard pruning. In the
main, they should be moderately pruned; otherwise they do not bloom so
plentifully in the summer.

It is the modern practice to prune hybrid tea roses moderately, i.e. to
cut their shoots back by half their previous year’s growth. However,
because of their great vigor, many soon become very tall and rather
unwieldy for today’s small gardens. There are two ways in which this
can be largely overcome.

Moderate prune all shoots except two. These are hard pruned, i.e. cut
back to two or three buds from the base of the bush. This procedure can
be repeated in successive years.

Hard prune the bush every three years. This method seems to keep its
size under control without any serious lowering of its flowering-power .

The second method is the better.

Floribunda Roses

the original floribundas stemmed from polyantha-pompom
roses, they were first lightly pruned, i.e. only the clusters of dead
flowers were removed. Because of their great vigor, this resulted in
unwieldy bushes. When they were moderately pruned like modern hybrid
teas, they lost their repeat flowering, whereas with hard pruning they
failed to grow and tended to die. The modern technique, aimed at
keeping them in flower over a long period, is a combination of light
pruning to produce early flowers and moderated pruning, which gives
flowering shoots that produce color later in the season. During the
first year they are hard pruned, but, the procedure in the second year
is slightly different from that of the third, which remains uniform for
the rest of their lives. This modern technique is defined below :

Pruning Floribunda Roses in
their Second Year

(1) All the
main shoots, which are the previous year’s growth, and grown from the
base of the tree, are lightly pruned by cutting out the clusters of
dead blooms at the first and second eye, whichever is growing outwards,
below their base.

Secondary shoots which have developed below the clusters should be cut
back to three or four eyes from the main stem.

All other shoots, which are emerging from the shoots that were hard
pruned in their first year, should be cut back to half their length
(see figure 5).

Pruning Floribunda Roses in
their Third and Subsequent Years

(1) All
one-year-old wood, that emanates low down on the bush, should be
lightly pruned by cutting out the dead flower heads.
(2) All the remaining shoots are moderately pruned, i.e. they are cut
back to about half their length.

Standard Roses

hybrid tea and floribunda roses are pruned in the same way as their
dwarf counterparts. The object should be to preserve always an open
center to the head. With hybrid tea standards, moderate pruning is
usually the best.

Pruning Weeping Standards
The most
effective of these are Group 1 Ramblers (see
under ‘Pruning Ramblers and Climbing Roses’), that have been budded at
the top of tall stems of the particular stock. All the old wood, which has flowered, is cut out
near to their base as soon as the blooms are spent in the summer. The
current year’s growth is allowed to remain and flower the following

Pruning Polyantha Roses
all dead, diseased, weak or inward-growing shoots have been removed,
cut away clusters of dead flowers in late winter or early spring.

Shrub and Species Roses

from removing the dead blooms regularly, which enhances their power to
repeat-flower, all that shrub and species roses require is to have cut
away surplus growth to keep them in shape and their size under control.
After some years, however, they tend to become bare at the base. This
can be remedied by cutting one or two of the older shoots back to an
outward-growing bud about 9 in. from the base. If this is done annually
for two or three years, the roses will be completely rejuvenated.

Pruning Miniature Roses
roses, in the main, need to have diseased or dead wood and spent blooms
only cut away, apart from any necessary thinning out and trimming to
shape and size. Pruning is best done with a pair of nail scissors.

Pruning Ramblers and Climbing

are four groups :
climbing roses pro­duce nearly all their new shoots from the base. The
group includes ‘Dorothy Perkins’, Excelsa’,
‘Francois Juranville’ and ‘Sander’s White
Rambler’. All ramblers flower on the previous season’s growth and it is
necessary to prune them soon after they finish flowering in the summer.
Pruning is done by cutting out all the old shoots at the base. At the
same time it is equally as important to tie in all the new shoots,
which will bloom in the follow­ing summer .

Pruning Group 1 ramblers. All old shoots (marked x) that have flowered during the current summer are pruned to an outward growing bud near the base of the plant. The new shoots (marked y) that
remain, are tied in at the same time.

mainly produce their new shoots at points on the old wood higher up the
tree. Examples are the old ramblers Albéric Barbier’, Albertine’, `American
Pillar’, ‘Chaplin’s Pink Climber’, Easlea’s Golden Rambler’, ‘Emily Gray’ and ‘New Dawn’.

The old wood is cut back to a point where a robust, young, green shoot
emanates. This leading shoot is left and tied in ready for next year’s
flowering. All the shorter laterals are pruned back to a bud, 2 or 3
in. from where they originate. Old wood that has no new leading shoot
should be removed to prevent overcrowding. This type of rambler tends
to become bare at the base. This can be re­medied by cutting one or two
stems down to a bud 1 ft. from the ground.

Pruning Group 2 ramblers. All old leading shoots (marked A) are cut back to the point at which a new leading shoot (B) emerges. The new shoots are all tied in. All laterals (marked D) on the main shoots remaining are cut back to the second or third bud from their point of origin

This group contains the more vigorous climbing sports of the
hybrid teas and floribundas, the stronger growing large flowering
climbers, such as ‘Casino’ and ‘Coral Dawn’, and the climber ‘Mermaid’.

The time to prune these is either late fall or
winter, and not in spring after the new growth has appeared. None of
last year’s new shoots should be pruned unless they are damaged or are
occupying too great a space. All exhausted
wood should be cut away and the laterals that flowered last year
reduced to the third eye from their points of origin.

Most of these roses, especially the climbing sports should not be
pruned in their first year, because the latter are liable to revert to
their dwarf stature.

GROUP 4 CLIMBERS Included in this category are the climbing sports of ‘Iceberg’, ‘Korona’ and ‘President Herbert Hoover’, the large
flowering climbers, which are typified by `Elegance’, ‘Golden Showers’,
‘Handel’, `Rosy Mantle’, ‘Schoolgirl’ and ‘White Cockade’, the Kordesii climbers or pillar roses,
`Ritter von Barmstede’ and ‘Dortmund’ and the
Bourbon climber Zéphirine Drouhin’.

This group needs little attention other than a general clearing out of
unwanted growth and pruning to control shape and size. During their
first year remove only any dried out ends of stems, together with any
dead wood and very twiggy shoots.

Roses recommended for your garden

to prune a rose

Soil Perparations to Plant a Rose bush

to prepare or plant your rose

to fertilize a rose

to do rose budding.

Insects, Disease and roses

Pruning a Rose – Types of Pruning

How to care for a Rose per Season


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