Pruning a Rose

Dormant Season Rose Pruning & Care


January is the perfect month to get back out in the garden and prepare your roses for a flush of spring growth and bloom. Your roses may still be leafy and even blooming, but it is time to encourage them to rest. To do this you’ll need to prune them to push them into dormancy. Below are general guidelines to follow for pruning as well as dormant season spraying. Please stop by the garden center for more specific information, we are always happy to help.

You will need to equip yourself with a good pair of leather gloves, long sleeves, sharp clean pruners and disinfectant to clean pruners between plants.  


Hybrid Tea & Grandiflora Roses

Hybrid Tea and Grandiflora roses flower on new wood thus pruning will help encourage new growth and flowering. Start by pruning off dead, diseased and spindly growth. Then remove any canes (branches) that rub (saving the healthiest canes). Next, take a look at the overall shape of the plant. The end goal is to have 4-8 evenly spaced canes around the outside of the plant with an open center for light and air flow. Now on to reducing the height of the remaining canes. For home gardens, prune canes down to 24”-36”. Prune high for more flowers earlier or prune low for fewer, larger flowers later. Make the pruning cut ¼” above an outward facing bud at a 45° angle.

Hybrid Tea & Grandiflora

Floribunda Roses 

Floribunda roses should be pruned to remove dead, diseased and spindly growth. Prune about half of the height away and remove branches that rub and open the center of the plant up for light and air flow.


Climbing Roses

Climbing roses bloom on 2nd year wood so these are mostly pruned for structure and to remove unhealthy canes. Start by pruning dead, diseased and weak shoots. Remove any canes that have outgrown their support or failed to bloom last year. From here, step back and look at the framework that remains. Pruning depends on the type of support (trellis, arbor, fence etc.) being used. You want to have enough healthy canes pruned at different heights to cover the support from bottom to top. Prune lateral branches down to 2-5 buds. 

Climbing Rose

Old-Fashioned/Antique & Shrub Roses

Old-Fashioned/Antique and Shrub roses should be pruned lightly to remove dead, diseased canes and reduce the height by no more than 1/3.

Old Fashioned & Shrub

Once you have finished pruning, strip/remove any remaining foliage from the plant. Clean up all your plant debris from fall and pruning. Now it is time to apply dormant season sprays to help prevent disease and insect outbreaks in spring. Spray roses with Liqui-Cop fungicide and All Seasons Horticultural and Dormant Season Spray Oil in their dormant season concentrations. Lastly, apply a layer of mulch around each rose. We suggest EB Stone Rose Grow.


If you are looking to add roses to your garden, this is the perfect time to do so. We have a wide selection of Weeks Roses Tops in Pots ready to plant dormant roses.

Planting dormant roses saves time, money and reduces transplant shock.  


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