Texas AgriLife Extension Service,
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

January-February 2009


Solving the Mystery of Pruning Roses


Dr. Doug Welsh, Landscape Horticulturist,
Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M University

Rose 'Jacqueline du Pre'
Jacqueline du Pre
February is the month when most modern roses need to be pruned. Even if your roses have already begun growth, the time has come to prune. Annual heavy pruning is essential to insure the prolific bloom and long-life of a rose bush.

Explaining the concept of rose pruning without a live bush to demonstrate on is difficult, so let your mind loose to help visualize the following steps in rose pruning:

The final product of your pruning should be a rose bush about 18 to 24 inches tall with 4 to 8 canes. Add some fertilizer, water and tender-loving-care, and that pitiful looking rose bush will soon give you a shower of flowers.

Q. What about pruning miniature roses? When and how?

A. Miniatures should be pruned now, too. As for how to prune, use the same guidelines given for the larger type roses except do it in miniature. The end product will be a rose bush about 4 to 6 inches tall with 4 to 6 canes.

If you don't have any miniature roses, plant some this spring. You will be surprised at the wealth of blooms such a small plant can produce.

Use the miniatures in groups of threes, fives, or sevens to make a real splash. The miniatures also work well as a border plant along the front of a shrub bed. And finally, try some miniatures in clay pots and decorative containers to add color to decks, patios and apartment balconies.


EarthKind uses research-proven techniques to provide maximum gardening and landscape performance while preserving and protecting the environment. For more information on EarthKind Landscape Management Practices see our website: http://earthkind.tamu.edu