How to Prune Roses Using Secateurs

Roses are one of the most popular and beautiful flowers in the world. They are not only aesthetically pleasing but also have a lovely fragrance. However, to maintain healthy and thriving rose bushes, it is essential to prune them regularly. Pruning not only helps to remove dead and diseased wood but also encourages the growth of new shoots and blooms. In this guide, we will take you through the steps of pruning roses using secateurs, a tool that every gardener should have.

1. When to Prune Roses

  • The best time to prune rose bushes is during late winter or early spring when the plants are dormant. This is usually between January and March, depending on your location. However, if you have repeat-flowering roses, you can also prune them lightly after each flowering cycle.

2. Tools Needed

  • A good pair of secateurs: Secateurs are essential for pruning roses. They are designed to make clean cuts without damaging the plant’s stems. Choose a pair of secateurs with sharp blades and comfortable handles.
  • Gloves: Wear gloves to protect your hands from thorns and other sharp objects on the rose bush.
  • Pruning saw: You may also need a pruning saw to remove thicker stems.
  • Disinfectant: It is essential to disinfect your tools before and after pruning to prevent the spread of diseases.

3. How to Prune Roses with Secateurs

  • Identify the dead, damaged, or diseased wood: Start by inspecting the plant for any dead, damaged, or diseased wood. Cut these stems back to healthy wood using your secateurs.
  • Remove any crossing or rubbing branches: Next, look for any stems that are crossing or rubbing against each other. These can cause damage and invite pests and diseases. Cut these stems at the base using your secateurs.
  • Cut back the remaining stems: Finally, cut back the remaining stems to a healthy bud or outward-facing leaf using your secateurs. Make sure to cut at a 45-degree angle to promote healing and prevent water from collecting on the cut.

4. Tips for Pruning Roses

  • Always use sharp, clean tools to make clean cuts and prevent the spread of diseases.
  • Start by removing any dead, damaged, or diseased wood before moving on to the healthy wood.
  • Cut back the remaining stems to a healthy bud or outward-facing leaf to promote new growth.
  • Don’t be afraid to prune hard. Roses are resilient and will often bounce back stronger after a hard prune.
  • If you are unsure about how much to prune, start with a light prune and gradually remove more wood as you get more comfortable with the process.


Q: Can I prune my roses in the summer?

A: It’s best to prune roses in late winter or early spring when they are dormant. However, you can also lightly prune repeat-flowering roses after each flowering cycle.

Q: How often should I prune my roses?

A: It’s recommended to prune roses once a year, usually in late winter or early spring.

Q: How much should I prune my roses?

A: The amount of pruning depends on the type of rose and its growth habit. As a general rule, you should aim to remove around one-third of the plant’s growth.

Q: Can I use regular scissors to prune roses?

A: No, regular scissors are not suitable for pruning roses. You should use a pair of secateurs designed for pruning.

Q: Can I prune my roses if they are in bloom?

A: It’s not recommended to prune roses while they are in bloom as this can affect the plant’s growth and the number of blooms it produces.

Final Thought

Pruning roses using secateurs is not only essential for maintaining the health and appearance of your plants, but it’s also a satisfying and enjoyable task for any gardener. By following these simple steps, you can keep your roses healthy, happy, and blooming for years to come. Remember to always use clean and sharp tools, and don’t be afraid to prune hard to encourage new growth.

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