Pruning a Hybrid Tea or Shrub Rose


Hybrid tea and most shrub roses need a good pruning to make sure they will grow to be attractive and healthy.

Prune roses in late winter or very early spring, when they have just started to send out new growth in the form of tiny buds. These buds are usually red, making them easy to see.

It is important to make cuts properly. Always cut at a 45-degree angle sloping outward from the center. The cut needs to be made just above what is called an “outward-facing bud.” Outward-facing buds are on the "outside side" of the cane (stem). Making the cut at an outward-facing bud encourages new stems to sprout away from the center of the bush, keeping the center open. This creates a fuller rose bush and allows air circulation throughout the plant.

Be sure to wear sturdy gloves (preferably made from leather or snag-free materials) and a long sleeved shirt to protect yourself fro the thorns on the rose bushes.  




Step 1:

Always prune dead wood back to live plant

Always prune dead wood (which is usually black, dark gray, or brown) back to live plant using an anvil pruner or lopper. You will recognize the living plant tissue by its green bark and white-pith core.


Step 2:

After you make each cut, cover it with a drop of white glue or prune paint seal to ensure quick recovery After you make each cut, cover it with a drop of white glue or prune paint seal to ensure quick recovery, as well as provide protection against cane borers.

Step 3:

Prune to ensure that the center of the bush is open for maximum air circulation Use a bypass pruner to prune the center of the bush open for maximum air circulation. You will need to cut out some of theliving stems that fill up the center. Walk around the plant to ensure that your cuts are balanced and that the bush has a symmetrical shape.  

Step 4:

Remove all spindly growth Remove all spindly growth with a bypass pruner; the spindly growth includes most canes thinner than a pencil

Step 5:

If suckers stems from the roots that sprout from below the bud union -- are present, remove them as close to the main root cane as possible with the bypass pruners.

Step 6:

Remove woody old canes using a pruning saw. Saw the old canes off as close to the bud union as possible. Cover the cane end with a drop of white glue or prune paint seal.

Step 7:

After you have completed pruning your rose bush, use bypass pruners to remove any remaining foliage from the canes and clean up debris from around the bush. Discard all foliage. (Do NOT use the material in the compost heap.)