Roses cut

When roses bloom profusely, it’s no magic. Good care and the right cut are usually to blame. Many rose lovers do not dare to prune their roses abundantly or do not know when the best date for a cut is. There are so many conflicting opinions.

Actually, the rose cut is not complicated. You only have to follow a few cutting rules, but they are sorted according to rose class. Not all roses are cut equally. The editing date is the same for everyone.

When are roses cut?

The right time to cut a rose is early spring. When the forsythias bloom, roses that bloom more often are cut. There are then usually no more severe frosts, and the rose shoots will soon sprout again. If a rose is to be thinned very heavily or a number of old, thick shoots have to be removed, it makes sense to prune as early as February / March.

Roses Cutting

Roses that bloom once are usually cut after they have bloomed. In the remainder of the summer, you create the flower approaches for the next year. If you cut these roses in spring, there will be no blossoms.

How are roses cut?
Pruning the roses is the most important maintenance measure of the year. The procedure is different depending on the rose class, from the smallest ground cover rose to the tall climbing rose. Some things apply to all roses, others only to the special varieties. One distinguishes.

  • Bed and hybrid tea roses
  • Dwarf roses
  • Shrub roses blooming once.
  • More often blooming staruch roses
  • Climbing roses blooming once
  • More often blooming climbing roses
  • Ramblerrosen
  • Stammrosen

The same for all roses:
regular thinning prevents too dense growth and the associated diseases.

  • In all rose classes, dead and diseased shoots are generally cut back into the healthy, white wood first.
  • Thin and weak shoots are strongly withdrawn.
  • Shoots that cross and rub against each other are removed!
  • Weak shoots without eyes are always cut off directly at the base. It is important not to leave a stub of a branch behind!
  • When shortening shoots, always place the scissors at least 5 mm above one eye and cut slightly diagonally outwards!
  • It is beneficial to cut over an outward-facing eye.
  • Cut at an angle so that no water can collect on the cut.
  • Withdrawn is removed from the first or second fully developed leaf as soon as possible after the blossom. In this way, the rose can put its strength into the new blossom formation instead of into the fruit set.
  • Use only clean and sufficiently sharp scissors!


If the roses suddenly show a shoot that is clearly different from the others in shape, leaf size and color, it is probably a game shoot that is sprouting from the rootstock. It does not come from the refined variety. That is not wanted. The game instinct has to go. It is not cut off, but rather torn out if possible. Tear off as deep as possible at the point of attachment, otherwise it can overgrow the noble variety.

Which scissors are the best for cutting roses?

You can choose between bypass and anvil rose shears. With bypass scissors, two blades slide past each other like normal household scissors. This is ideal for soft shoots as it prevents bruising. This is very important with roses. With the anvil scissors, a sharp blade meets a straight surface, which makes it easier to cut thick shoots, but can lead to bruises. The greater effort required for bypass scissors is therefore worthwhile.

Cutting rules for bed and hybrid tea roses

hybrid tea roses

The bed roses include, for example, the polyantha roses with their flower clusters and double single flowers or the floribunda roses with single flowers. The noble roses include the Rigo-Rosen®, i.e. varieties with rigorous health, painter roses, Farbfestival® roses and Showtime® roses. For bed and hybrid tea roses, a quarter of the total shoots should not be more than two years old. This is why these roses need to be pruned vigorously to rejuvenate them. Slow-
growing varieties are cut more heavily than fast-growing ones.

  • Cut away some old shoots completely right on the ground!
  • Shorten older and stronger shoots to four to six eyes!
  • Cut weaker shoots back to three to four eyes!
  • Solitary flowers on hybrid tea roses or bed roses are shortened above the second eye below the flower.

Cutting rules for dwarf roses and small shrub roses

Dwarf and small starch roses come under the category of surface and ground covering roses. They are characterized by good leaf health, willingness to flower and diverse growth forms. They can be used anywhere in the garden. However, they do not or hardly smell. Miniature roses are cut in a similar way to bed and hybrid tea roses. Here, however, the focus is on the form. They are cut hemispherical.

  • Cut back to 10 to 15 cm semicircular!
  • Small shrub roses are simply cut in half.

Cutting rules for shrub roses that bloom once.

The shrub roses that bloom once include several old roses and the species Rosa centifolia, Rosa rubiginosa, Rosa rugosa and Rosa spinosissima hybrids. They bloom very profusely, but only a few weeks a year. They have to be cut back immediately after flowering so that they can still produce wood for the next year. The flowers develop on the biennial wood. In order not to reduce the number of flowers, these roses are only cut in the summer when they are leafy.

  • Only get rid of sick and dead shoots in spring!
  • In the case of fully grown plants, it is also advisable to occasionally remove one or two old shoots completely.
  • In summer it is usually sufficient to shorten excessively long, annoying shoots.

Cutting rules for shrub roses that bloom more often.

Shrub roses that bloom more often are kept in shape by pruning. This is especially important when there is limited space. These roses also bloom on the new wood. Pruning in spring promotes strong budding and abundant flowering. The shrub roses that bloom more often include all modern varieties, including many English roses, which show their bloom all summer, and historical roses.

  • As with specimens that bloom once, one or two old shoots are removed annually to rejuvenate the rose.
  • Shorten strong shoots by about a third!
  • Shorten shoots that have grown rotten by two thirds!
  • Shorten the side shoots in the outer area to about 5 buds so that many flower approaches are formed!
  • If you like, you can reduce the total height by a third.

Climbing roses

Cutting rules for climbing roses

Climbing roses should be grown without pruning for the first three years. This is due to the fact that in the first year they only sprout long unbranched shoots without flower roots. These only follow in the second year, in which the rose also branches out further. The flowering peak is reached in the third year. Therefore, these roses are not trimmed evenly. In order to stimulate flower formation, always tie a few shoots horizontally. In later years, scaffold shoots that have already bloomed strongly at the top are cut back to a younger side shoot. If climbing roses have bloomed once, cut them after they have bloomed, if varieties bloom more often before they shoot.

Cutting rules for climbing roses that bloom once.

Climbing roses that bloom once include almost all old climbing roses and most of the ramblers. The one-time bloomers among the climbers convince with a very rich bloom, usually a great fragrance and beautiful rose hips, which can develop, since the withered does not have to be cut off as with more frequent blooms. Once the climbing roses have bloomed, the branches that have grown old are removed in the spring. Short side shoots are shortened to three to five eyes. Thin out only a few of the longer side shoots. The main pruning is done in summer, after flowering.

It is only thinned out.

  • Only four-year-old or older shoots, on which the abundance of flowers gradually diminishes, are removed near the ground.
  • Leave young shoots
  • Take out main shoots that have already flowered or shorten them to a strong side shoot.

Cutting rules for climbing roses that bloom more often.

In the climbing roses that bloom more often, two thirds of the older wood should be retained. Every year you cut out only one or a maximum of two oldest shoots completely to rejuvenate the rose. You just look to see whether a new long shoot has developed in the last year, and if so, an old one comes out. Otherwise, one should try to keep long main shoots!

  • Remove all shoots that cannot be guided, that grow in the wrong direction!
  • The side shoots on the remaining leading branches are shortened to 2 to 3 eyes.

Cutting rules for rambler roses

Ranbler roses are a new generation of climbing roses. They convince with their fast growth, their long, flexible shoots and that they can grow into bushes, hedges and trees without climbing assistance. Ramblers that flower more often have shorter shoots than the once-flowering ones. However, they can also manage 2 to 3 meters. Ramblers need little or no pruning.
Regardless of whether the rambler blooms once or more often, only individual shoots are removed. If you let a rambler rose grow up on an arch or a pillar, something should be pruned every summer. The first time to cut is after flowering at the end of June. Mighty, withered strong shoots can be cut or built into the arch. Young shoots in the upper area that protrude from the shape can be removed up to a few centimeters above the shoot. Lateral young shoots
are left and built in. If there are very many of them, a few can be cut out.

Vigorous ramblers that grow in trees and on walls do not need pruning. You can cut out disturbing shoots in summer. If the rose has to be shortened, then always in summer, after flowering. If cut in spring, these shoots will fail to flower.

Cutting rules for tree roses

In order to be able to make a suitable pruning, you have to know which rose class has been grafted on the trunk. With noble, bed and shrub roses, beautiful compact crowns form, with mostly upright flower stems. The round crown shape should be retained by the cut. The entire shoots are shortened to 20 to 30 cm. small shrub rose varieties that grow upright like a shrub can also be pruned in this way.

Overhanging stem roses, called cascade or mourning stems, are treated differently. Here mostly rambler or climbing roses or arching small starch roses were refined. Only shorten the shoots that have become too long here. In order to keep the rose healthy and blooming, it is important to remove aged shoots in favor of younger ones every now and then!

wild roses

Cutting rules for wild roses

As a rule, wild roses only bloom once. They are just thinned out a little. Wild roses only produce flowers on old wood from the previous year. So older shoots are needed here. Unnecessary cutting is inconvenient. Every five to seven years you can prune a wild rose a little harder so that it does not become too lush and bald from below. The oldest and too large shoots are cut out at the base. This creates space for new shoots. It is only cut after flowering.

Summer cut

  • Clean up blooming roses more often!
  • Solitary flowers on hybrid tea roses or bed roses are shortened above the second eye below the flower.
  • In the case of bed and shrub roses that bloom in clusters, remove the entire inflorescence as soon as a good two-thirds of it has faded, above the second eye, below the branches of the umbel.

Cutting roses is not difficult. You just have to know which class the individual rose belongs to and cut accordingly. Roses that bloom once are cut in summer after they have bloomed, all others in spring, as soon as the forsythia blooms. It’s not difficult to remember. If you’ve done it once or twice, you don’t have to look it up anymore, then you have the editing rules in your head. It’s actually quite simple.

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