The Q&A Archives: pruning rose bushes

Question: When is the best time to prune rose bushes? I would like them to branch out and get bushier rather than having a few tall stems. Any special instructions?

Answer: You can prune your roses when the leaf buds begin to swell in the spring. To promote a bushy shrub, simply choose the strongest 3-5 canes and prune out all the rest. Then reduce the height of the remaining canes to about knee-high, pruning to an outside facing bud (in the direction you want the growth). As your shrubs grow and produce flowers, cut the spent flowers off the shrub, cutting down to a 5-leaflet leaf. This is where new flowering stems will develop. By mid-summer you should have thick, dense and heavy flowering rose bushes.

Enjoy your roses!

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