Advice and Rose Care

Pruning roses - 1 x 1 for lasting rose beauty


Probably one of the most important and optimal care measures: The regular pruning of roses! Especially for more frequently flowering varieties, pruning is very important, because it strengthens the plant health, provides a more compact growth habit and enhances the beauty of your property long term. It puts roses in the mood for blooming.

But how exactly does the pruning of shoots work? What do you need to pay attention to, and are there any differences between various rose types? In our guide, you can read everything you need to know about perfect pruning!

Do you prune your roses regularly every spring? Excellent, so you do the plants a lot of good. Shortening the shoots makes sense for several reasons.
Roses that are not trimmed become senile. Over time, they become less and less vital and willing to bloom, the shoots become long and leafless - regular pruning prevents this and helps supports a vigerous growth, strong shoots and beautiful flowers.
Pruning roses also makes other maintenance tasks easier: because the crown is thinned out, weeding, fertilizing and watering are easier. In addition, the leaves dry more easily, which makes fungal attack less likely.


The best time for pruning roses

Occasionally, in addition to pruning in spring, it is also recommended to do it in fall. This is done to avoid possible frost damage and also to prevent the rose from losing vitality due to the cold weather. However, this damage is not considered problematic today, so pruning in fall is not necessary. Nevertheless, some plants grow so luxuriantly that it is difficult to apply winter protection. In this case, you can trim these shoots a little - but this shaping pruning should be as gentle as possible: shorten the shoots only slightly.

In case of roses that bloom more often, summer pruning can also be useful to further increase the plant's growth. To do this, thoroughly inspect the plant in the warm season for already faded flowers. You can cut these back to the next mature five-leaf, see below for more...


Basic rules and the right tools

Are you worried that you might do something wrong when pruning your roses as an amateur gardener, or in the worst case even injure the plant? The worry is unjustified, because in general roses are quite robust in this respect. Through the depth of cut you can control the growth strength of the new shoots - do not be timid!

However, you should still follow some important basic rules:

  • The right time for pruning is spring, when the forsythia have fully bloomed in your region.
  • As a rule of thumb, light pruning will result in weak shoots, and intensive pruning will result in strong shoots.
  • Basically, remove very weak shoots at the base and cut back any frostbitten, diseased shoots down to the healthy wood. Always cut the shoots about 0.5 centimeters slightly diagonally above one bud.
  • Remove wild shoots so that the branch ring is also removed.
  • A sharp and clean pair of rose scissors is recommended as a cutting tool. Especially rather blunt tools can bruise the shoots and thus injure them.

In addition to these general tips, the following ones also apply and of course each group of roses has its own preferences and needs. To help amateur gardeners find their way around, you can use these specific tips as a guide:


Miniature roses:

Prune strong shoots to 15 cm (4 - 6 buds).
Prune weak shoots to 10 cm (3 - 4 buds).

Bedding and hybrid tea roses:

Prune strong shoots to 15 - 25 cm (4 - 6 buds).
Prune weak shoots to 10 - 15 cm (3 - 4 buds).


Small shrub and ground cover roses:

Thin out and rejuvenate approximately every 3 - 4 years or prune to about 15 cm annually. Hedge clippers can also be used for this purpose.

Shrub roses:

Trim strong main shoots by 1/3 of their length.
Trim weak shoots by 2/3 of their length.
For rejuvenation, prune one of the main shoots to about 15 cm every 3 years.


Park roses und wild roses:

These roses do not need regular pruning! Trim the shoots when the rose expands too much. For rejuvenation, prune some of the shoots to about 15 cm every 3 - 5 years.


Frequent blooming climbing roses:

Prune the short side shoots to about 20 cm starting in the 2nd year after planting. For rejuvenation, radically prune one of the main shoots to about 15 cm every 3 years.


One time blooming climbing roses (most of the ramblers):

These roses do not need regular pruning. For rejuvenation, shorten some of the shoots to about 15 cm every 3 - 5 years.  


Stem roses:

Prune according to the growth type of the rose grafted on the stem. To apply winter protection, a form pruning (a slight shortening of the shoots) in fall can be useful.













Summer pruning for more frequently blooming roses:

You can encourage your more frequently flowering roses to bloom by cutting back the faded flowers to the next mature five-leaf. After 6 - 8 weeks, new buds will have formed.

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