Rose Pruning Basics

DEADHEADING:  Roses bloom from late May through October.  Spent flowers need to be pruned  (aka “deadheaded”) to promote continuous blooming.  When a spent bloom is pruned, a new stem breaks from a leaf joint.  Prune the stem (aka “cane”) just above a leaf joint.

SPRING PRUNING: Here in the Pacific NW, the President’s Day holiday serves as a good reminder date since we are most likely free from any more hard freezes.  So, grab your pruners and take your rose bushes down to a height of 18”-24,” cutting the canes just above the nearest healthy dormant bud.   Keep as many healthy canes as possible, but remove any smaller than a pencil diameter.  Remove any crossing canes and aim to open out the center of the bush.  Finish off the job with a top dressing of organic compost.  And then, await your reward of beautiful blooms in three months or less!