Submitted by: Pat Sheriden

Trimming your roses may seem like a difficult task, but with a little patience and the right techniques, rose trimming can be a beneficial and enjoyable process.

Different roses will require pruning at different times. Most roses should be pruned in the early spring, after the first frost. Climbing roses, however, should be pruned in the summer, once flowering has finished.

The Right Tools for the Job

Before you start hacking away at your favorite floral addition to your garden, you need to ensure that you have the right tools for the job.

First things first, get a good pair of gloves, and long thick jumper. These will protect you from scratches caused by the thorns on the bush.

A good pair of hand pruners is essential to your trimming.


Stems that are thicker than half an inch will require a more robust tool than normal hand pruners. Instead, look for longer shears, the will give you more leverage, and will create a cleaner cut.

You might want to consider getting some pruning sealant and some plant feed, as well as having a means of disposing of the cuttings safely.

If you trim more than one bush, you should consider sterilizing your tools between the cutting of each plant. This will reduce the risk of spreading any disease throughout your garden.

When to Start Trimming

With most plants, you should wait until the last frost in spring. Check your plant regularly, and look for new signs of life. Red or pink swollen buds will appear on the stems and branches. These are the signs of new growth, and this is your plant s way of letting you know that the time for trimming has arrived. The advice below applies to most bushes.

Remove the burlap you placed around your bush during winter months.

Look for blackened branches, and remove those immediately.

Look for any weak branches, or branches that give you concern, and remove these.

Remove any branches that cross over one another, as these could create problems in the future.

Once your maintenance has been completed, your rose trimming needs to include a little shaping, to ensure that the plant grows exactly in the way you want it to. Trim the branches down to form a vase like shape.

All cuts should be made at a 45 degree angle. When you cut the branch, and you are happy with the length and cut, seal the end of the branch with the pruning sealant.

Check that cuts expose fleshy white material inside. If they do not, cut further down the stem, until you find the cut exposes this material.

Make the cuts about a quarter of an inch above a new red bud. Try to cut the stem in a way that encourages the new bud to have access to light.

A growth problem could be down to a number of things, and although many hybrid and modern varieties are self sufficient plants, they do require some basic maintenance. It all depends on what you put into the plant. If you re happy having average blooms, then leave them be. If you want blooms that prize winning gardeners (or at the very least, the neighbors), will be jealous of, then you need to make particular efforts at pleasing this plant.

About the Author: Pat Sheriden is a Rose Gardening enthusiast, and has been for a long time. For more great information on

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