Answer: Pruning roses can be confusing because different varieties require different treatments. It sounds like you have hybrid teas or grandifloras. You do need to prune these heavily to encourage bigger flowers. Here are the basics: In the spring, remove the dead and damaged canes as far back as necessary. Then, remove any suckers that arise from below the graft union, if there is one (the swelling near the base of the plant). Next, select the healthiest canes (thicker and bright green) and cut off the rest. If your roses are just a couple of years old, save about 3 to 5 canes. Save more on older plants. Lastly, cut the flowering canes back by one-third to one-half. Make your cuts about 1/4-inch above an outward-facing bud. When cutting roses to take indoors, or if you're simply deadheading spent roses, try to leave at least two 5-leaflet leaves on the remaining stem. The ideal place to cut is just above an outward growing bud and/or the uppermost 5-leaflet leaf.
Enjoy your roses!
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