Gardening · General · Problems

Rose Pruning?

Can anyone help me? I have a real problem and I’m not sure what to do.


I have a Rose in my front garden that grows onto the fence because I liked the idea of using it as a trellis to support the stems. It used to be much bigger with another stem to the right. That one had an issue and died in 2010 when we had the bad winter.

My problem is that it really needs a prune back to the strongest stems to get rid of dead, crossed and spindly growth and generally give it a bit of a refresh, but it’s already bursting in places. *sigh*

I also need to move the base a little closer to the wall but I think its FAR too late. The plant is long too established for that.


Can I risk pruning it now if we do actually get a few hard frosts?

Some parts are only budding so I should be ok if I prune back and keep a few of these. But can I do it now? Here in the UK we have had a ludicrously mild winter but will it continue like this into spring?

I only know the absolute basics of rose pruning and my google-fu is failing me. The only time frames I can get for Rose pruning is ‘Spring’…. >.>


22 thoughts on “Rose Pruning?

    1. I have no idea what rose it is. I inherited it when we moved in. I *THINK* it’s a hybrid tea… But I could be wrong.

      Now my issue is can I do it NOW with the possibly of hard frosts after a mild winter and the spring growth has already pushed.

  1. It looks a beautiful rose!

    If in doubt, why not wait till March to prune it? (By the way, I know nought about pruning roses, though mine needs to be pruned at some point, too.)

    1. I think I may need to. I have no clue what this insane UK winter is doing so I will just wait it out and take a hit in spring if I need to.
      I doubt any long term damage will be done, I may just miss a flowering this year. Not such an issue as its not been flowering well for a couple of years now due to black spot (Which I think I finally got ahead of!)

    1. I don’t know if I can… THAT is the issue.
      The plant is growing. If I prune now I risk having the frosts damage the plant where I have cut it.
      If I leave it too long I risk losing the spring growth without any growth starting afterward.

  2. Hi Kal, I’m informed by 2 horticulturalists (one used to work for a well known rose specialist) that it’s fine to prune now and you need to before they start budding. It’s impossible to identify the rose from the picture though unfortunately. Hope this helps.

    1. Hiya, super secret person… B-)

      I didn’t think you could identify it. It was a crap picture to start with. I’m still fairly sure its a hybrid tea though!

      If its fine to prune now then I will do it this weekend. I will be happy to get it chopped back before any real growth gets going. With the colder weather we have had over the past couple of days it seems to have slowed down a little… Which is good.

      Thank you so very much for your advice, and say thanks to your experts! B-)

  3. Sorry, didn’t mean to be anonymous, I just hadn’t logged in! Glad I could help. Will pass on your thanks.
    They also said make sure you prune above the bud node in the direction you want it to grow (with a clean cut) but I expect you know that already 🙂

    1. HAHAHA! No need to apologise… I have never had an anonymous comment before. I felt all super-sneaky-spy-like. B-)

      Yep. I know the basics… Its just that with the winter being so weird here in the UK this year I was all a bit… “WHAT DO I DO?!”… Yeah? Anyway… now we know how to move forward. B-)

  4. I cut my biggest one back in the autum, as it had the rusti mentioned earlier, and had gotten so big and heavy that some branches were digging into the soil. I’ve also heard that like raspberries, flowers will only grow on the new year’s growth, so pruning is essential for blooms. I will say mine bud, and then the next time I look they have 3ft of new stalk. It kinda scares me how fast they can grow when they want to!

    1. Oh yeah… They can grow like wildfire in the spring.

      I’m going to snip mine back tomorrow morning if the weather holds up. It got it’s standard Dead/diseased/dying snip in Autumn and now it needs a proper prune.

      I really want it to do something this year. With all the black spot of late and the late frosts last year it failed all over. B-(

      1. I have one – of course it is my favourite – that needs babying. I can’t cut it, as it was a twig when I planted it and it still is. Right next to it is the massive triffid rose. Which is also lovely, but… augh!

  5. I prune climbing roses after the first bloom cycle of the year, trimming back the canes, cutting away any deadwood and shaping as I go. Most climber only bloom on previous years growth, so this process will put you in good stead the the next year.

    1. Thanks for that. I’m not entirely sure it is a climber rather I have encouraged it to climb. This is the problem with inheriting plants from previous tenants to houses. You have no idea what they planted unless they pass on a garden map!

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