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Winter Rose Pruning

24 June 2020 - Michelle Tones

How to prune roses

Friends of the Rose Garden Chairperson Del Matthews, provides us with tips and hints on how to prune roses.

Modern hybrid tea and floribunda roses flower continually for six months of the year. To get the maximum flowering you should dead-head regularly, as the flowers finish. Cut the dead flower down the stem as if picking it to put in a vase and cut 5mm above a five-leaf junction.


The rose bush goes dormant in winter and this is the ideal time to prune. Don’t be afraid of pruning! Any pruning is better than none.

·       Use sharp, clean secateurs

·       Clear away mulch from around the rose base and remove diseased leaves from the ground. 

·       Prune by the five Ds: remove all dead, dying, diseased, damaged and diddly wood. 

·       Cut back hybrid teas and floribunda bushes by about one-third to one-half. 

·       Don’t squash the stems or leave stubs. 

·       Make a clean cut 5mm above an eye (find an outward facing eye if you can).  

·       Remove any inward growing, cross-over or rubbing branches.

·       Protect the fresh green and red stems.

·       Remove the old grey wood.


Often you are left with five or six strong young stems. This enables next season’s new growth to burst forth and in a short time the cycle of flowering starts again.     


Pruning of old fashioned and climbing roses is a different world. For more information on this, visit the Morwell Centenary Rose Garden any Tuesday morning for a demonstration.


Happy pruning!

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