Puriri Lane | Rose Pruning | Sally Holmes

Rose Pruning

It's Rose Pruning time...

Rose pruning used to fill me with fear as I was always paranoid that I would do something wrong but now that we have a lot more Roses in the garden, I have had to get on with it and learn.  You basically just need to get out and give it a go as it is the only way you will learn, and you know it is actually not that hard to do at all!

A Rose in our cutting garden prior to pruning

Puriri Lane | Rose Prior To Pruning

Roses are surprisingly resilient given their delicate appearance and at the end of the day, even if you do happen to take a few mis-judged snips here and there, they will recover.

The main objective with Rose pruning is to try and minimise disease and allow more sunlight to get into the plant and to direct the new grow shoots so that you have a well shaped rose bush.

Mid to late winter whilst the Rose is dormant is the best time to prune.  The key really is to not prune too early as what happens is that you will encourage new growth which is then prone to getting frosted.  We will prune our Roses here late July or even the first week of August and what we will be waiting for is a clear day - some of the Roses will just be starting to put on some new growth which is perfectly ok. 

Your Rose Pruning Tool Kit


Something that you do not want to be without is a set of long gauntlet gloves to protect yourself from those nasty thorns and we have these available here.

Leather gauntlet gloves are a must for Rose pruning

Puriri Lane | Rose Pruning Gauntlet Gloves


We love our ARS Rose pruning secateurs which you can find here.  The reason that we love working with these is that when you make a cut the secateurs hold the branch so that you can easily remove it from the bush and then when you release them the branch it can be put where you want it. 

This cut and hold action makes pruning a breeze and they are also great for women's hands as can be open and closed in one movement as can all of our ARS secateurs.

ARS120EU-R | Rose Pruning Secateurs

Puriri Lane | ARS120 EU  Rose Pruning Secateur

Blade Sharpener

You need to make sure your secateurs are sharp and a sharpening tool is also a key component of your kit.  The great thing with the sharpener is that it will sharpen your kitchen knives as well so is something that you can get a lot of use out of.  

 Tungsten Blade Sharpener

Puriri Lane | Tugsten Blade Sharpener


Pruning Saw or Loppers

If you have Roses with larger canes, you may need to bring in a bigger tool such as a Pruning Saw or Loppers.

Secateur Hygiene

Hygiene we believe is important and we ensure that we wipe our secateurs after each Rose that we prune with just a wipe of meths.

How much should I remove?

The goal with pruning your Roses is to basically reduce them in size by about half but you may wish to take less off than that in which case around about a 1/3rd is also perfectly ok.

The first task is to remove any branches that are less than the size of a pencil, dead or spindly looking.  You can cut these ones right back to the base of the plant.

Next comes dealing with the thicker and stronger branches - these are the main branches and what you are looking for is outwardly facing buds.  Sometimes there is no bud that you will see a small bump or a leaf scar line. The rationale behind choosing an outward facing bud is that you want the new growth to be in an outward direction. If you don't do this, you will find that you will encourage the branches to crossover within the plant again.

When you have located your outward facing bud, simply make a cut at 45 degrees on an angle - the reason for doing it on this angle is that it will prevent water pooling on the stem which can lead to increased disease.  It is also important the it is a clean cut and you will achieve this with sharp secateurs - any tears or rough edges may encourage dieback of the stems.

Once you have moved around the bush and completed this task - step back ad take a look to ensure you have a nicely shaped bush and make any extra cuts that you might wish to do. By pruning in this way you will have a beautifully shaped plant with lots of flowers.

We ensure that we also clear away and leaves that have fallen from the plant and prunings and we burn these to ensure that any diseased material is destroyed.

With older roses you can gently use a wire brush to remove any moss or scaly growth (this helps stimulate new cell growth). Clean up any dead leaves and left over prunings, then you're done!

A rose after being pruned

 Puriri Lane | A rose after pruning

Growing Roses | The Basics

Puriri Lane | Growing Roses | The Kew Gardeners Guide


We are planning a new cutting garden area as we speak and this one will of course have to have a few new Roses.  Take a peek below and some of the ones I have chosen. The new garden also will feature bearded Iris, Foxgloves and some other lovelies in shades of Plum, Peach and Mauve.

A Moment In Time | Florabunda

A beautiful floribunda rose by Bob Mathews Available from Matthews Roses that has elegant blush champagne blooms that are fragranced.

Puriri Lane | A MOment In Time | Matthews Roses

Cappuccino | Hybrid Tea

Vintage antique pink buds open to coffee coloured blooms which age with a hint of blush pink exclusive to Matthews Roses

Puriri Lane | Cappuccino Rose | Hybrid Tea | Matthews Roses

Cup Fever

Another stunning rose with tones of soft silvery beige - wonderful for picking with long stems available from Matthews Roses

  Puriri Lane Cup Fever Rose Matthews Roses

You can also read our Garden Journal post about companion planting for roses here.

Thanks for stopping by... until next time, stay warm - this beautiful but cold weather is just perfect for a spot of gardening.

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