Giving the right care, by pruning before growth gets underway in spring, will greatly improve the flowering performance of garden roses.


 4) Standard (incl. weeping standard) roses

prune roses

Standard rose


These roses add height to a bed or border. Prune normal standards the same way as if they were bush roses (ignoring the fact that the flowering stems are sitting atop a tall, single stem).

Weeping standards are usually ramblers that have been budded on to a standard rootstock, or ‘cane’. Crucially, keep all the new growth when pruning, only removing dead, diseased or damaged wood.

If the plant is old, or congested in its ‘head’, cut out one or two of the older stems to keep an open structure.




5) Ground cover roses

These roses, chosen to cover large beds or sloping banks, need only light pruning (however, once an established plant has filled its space, you may need to prune it a little harder to keep it within bounds). Cut out dead, diseased or damaged wood as well as any weak and upright shoots. Reduce strong sideshoots by a third. If plants are getting congested, thin out by removing around a third of the stems.

You may even find it easier to tackle a bed of these roses with a hedgetrimmer – of any garden roses, these are the most appropriate for pruning this way.

Prune roses

Groundcover roses

6) Hedging roses

Many types of shrubs rose (such as Rosa rugosa and its forms) make great hedges – their thorns provide a good barrier to unwanted visits! To prune, cut out dead, diseased or damaged wood and reduce the tops and sides, to keep plants to a desired size. At the same time, generate new growth by removing about a quarter of the oldest stems.

prune roses

Hedging rose


Don’t forget to check out our post about growing roses in potatoes….. click here to read all about it.. 

Taking Rose Cuttings

Taking Rose Cuttings – growing roses in potatoes

7) Climbing and rambling roses

Climbing roses have large flowers (but smaller trusses) and stiffer stems than ramblers. And they tend to need just a light pruning. Keep the main part of the framework, cutting out only dead, diseased or damaged wood. Retain new growth, and prune back flowering spurs to two buds.

Prune roses

Climbing rose

Rambler roses are more vigorous than climbing roses, so need cutting back harder. They flower best on new wood, so remove all flowered wood, and keep any new growths. Flowered wood will have hips, and can be cut back to the base of the plant, where a new growth emerges. Prune sideshoots back now to one or two buds, to encourage flowering next year.

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