Rose Pruning


Many gardeners are intimidated by rose pruning – when in fact, there is nothing to be nervous about.

The purpose of pruning is to remove dead wood and selectively ‘choose’ strong buds to thrive in the new season. Pruning promotes healthy plant growth and development. It encourages flowering, promotes healthy foliage and rejuvenates the entire plant.

Selecting the bud which you feel is the strongest and best allows the fresh, new growth to be its best and to grow, exactly as YOU would like it to grow

There are a few simple guidelines to follow, but other than that, there is no right and wrong…, so relax and do your best, whilst enjoying the time in your garden.


Pruning is done during dormancy, when plants are inactive, prior to ‘budding’ and ‘shooting’. The best time to prune varies in different parts of the country and our Plantland staff at each branch will advise on the best time for your specific region.

Tackle your rose garden with enthusiasm and the understanding that you are giving each individual plant a ‘fresh start’.

Traditional pruning of roses

Pruning roses in winter ensures that they flower magnificently in


Roses are pruned to encourage better blooms. Pruning is done during their dormant, leafless season. The time varies with each climatic zone. In warm, subtropical areas, prune from the middle of June. In temperate areas, prune in the middle of July.

In cold areas with late frosts, wait until August. In winter rainfall areas, prune from the end of July into August as the rainy season comes to an end.

Prune floribunda roses before hybrid teas as they take longer to come into bloom. Delay pruning heritage roses that only flower once until after they have bloomed in spring.

How to prune

  • Remove all dead, diseased and damaged wood.
  • Remove all growth that is thinner than a pencil.
  • Thin out all crowded or badly placed branches. Branches that rub against each other or cross close to each other must be removed.
  • Always give preference to younger, more vigorous shoots.
  • Remove old wood which looks grey and rough, taking this out right down to ground level.
  • Where a strong shoot from the base has branched at the top into a candelabra formation, remove the central shoot, leaving two or three side-shoots. Never cut these strong basal shoots right back.
  • Shorten the remaining canes by a third. Shorten to a prominent outwards facing bud.

After pruning Care

Immediately after pruning, seal cuts with STERISEAL, a sealant that contains a fungicide. Shake well and apply.

  • Spray the plants and the surrounding soil with LIME SULPHUR diluted to winter strength (1 part LIME SULPHUR to 10 parts water). If you have had severe black spot, rust or scale infestation, use a stronger solution of 1 to 8. Repeat the application after 10-14 days. Always use fresh LIME SULPHUR.
  • Then fertilize with WONDER VITALISER ROSE & FLOWER 8:1:5 (17) + C (8) SR*. Apply 25g for smaller plants and 50g for big plants, water in well, and repeat every four weeks. Alternatively, you may prefer WONDER ORGANIC FERTILISER ROSE & FLOWER + C (8), enriched composted chicken manure with a high organic content. 25g for smaller plants and 50g for big plants, water in well, and repeat every four weeks. Always apply fertilizer to damp soil and scatter it over the entire root area.
  • Mulch with a 5cm layer of compost.
  • Water regularly.


3. Growing Roses the water-wise way

Roses are a popular and favourite garden plant! Herewith a few GREAT reasons why you should include roses in your garden:

  • Roses look soft and delicate but are actually hardy, tough plants
  • Roses add colour to the garden almost all year round!
  • Roses are long lasting and easy to grow
  • Roses picked from your own garden are simply the best – whether for friends, loved ones or the home, roses are a talking point and pride for every grower!
  • There is a rose for every purpose and every garden:
  • Floribunda’s are free flowering, ideal for hedges & garden shrubs
  • Hybrid Tea’s produce blooms on taller stems, ideal for cut flowers
  • Bloomin Easy/Paulson rose – low maintenance & low water needs
  • Climber roses are fast growing and cover areas with mass colour
  • Groundcover roses offer a hardy, spreading & colourful solution
  • New rose varieties are largely disease resistant
  • Many varieties are highly perfumed – ask our Plantland team for advice
  • Roses are excellent in cottage, romantic & contemporary gardens
  • They can be planted with herbs – they make excellent companion plants
  • Roses make excellent container plants and a personal, special gift!
  • Water-wise growing advice for roses
  • Water deeply, slowly & infrequently to develop stronger root systems
  • Mulch between and around roses to reduce evaporation
  • Opt for early morning watering: water droplets on the leaves/blooms overnight make the plant more susceptible to diseases
  • Healthy plants are water-wise plants! Control diseases and feed regularly
  • RoseCare 3 offers ‘3 in 1’ protection, the quick and easy way
  • ‘Some people grumble that roses have thorns, I am grateful that thorns have roses’ Alfonso Karr

Happy Rose Gardening!