Tips for Pruning Roses


During our most recent meeting, members of the Asheville Blue Ridge Rose Society were treated to an instructive lesson on pruning roses by John Smith, one of our resident Consulting Rosarians, before heading outside to give the roses in our test garden a rejuvenating prune.

John brought in examples of rose canes that demonstrated some of the “problems” we would be looking for and pruning out in order to maintain a healthy rose. Problems included: gall, cane borer, diseased canes, dead canes, damaged canes and more.

Tips for Pruning


● Make sure pruning tools are sharp
● Sterilize tools with rubbing alcohol before use
● Clean tools with alcohol whenever used on diseased roses before moving to next one


● Dead canes
● Diseased canes
● Dying canes
● Canes with rubbing damage
● Canes with borers


● Take out crossing/rubbing canes
● Remove older/non productive canes
● For hybrid teas, floribundas, grandifloras: maintain a bowl shape
● Prune at outward facing bud


● Seal cuts with plain white glue (never wood glue) or cheese wax to prevent borers
● Clean bud union to promote basal breaks
● If you use fungicides, apply lime sulfur or equivalent to drench surrounding soil and spray bush to prevent blackspot and other diseases

Our next meeting is April 8, 2pm. We will be learning about best practices for fertilizing roses to encourage lots of healthy growth and blooms. You do not need to be a member of ABRRS to attend a meeting. Learn more HERE.


2 thoughts on “Tips for Pruning Roses

  1. What a lot of fun it was cleaning up the roses yesterday! It looks like a different garden after pruning. And we are all ready for spring!

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