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When is best to prune roses? Now or Feb?

Hi all,

I read somewhere recently that now is the right time to prune roses, but according to my RHS book late winter (ie around Febraury) is the correct time to prune roses.

What do you think?  Which time is best?



  • OmoriOmori Posts: 1,660
    Yes late winter is the best. Too early and you risk regrowth being hit by frosts. 
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,837
    For now, just cut back by half any long whippy stems that can be caught by the wind and cause root rock which loosens the roots form the soil and weakens the plant.

    As @Omori says, it's best to do the main pruning in late winter/early spring so that new wounds and shoots are not exposed to heavy frosts.  When you do prune, remember the three Ds and take out dead, damaged and diseased wood before yo do the final shaping.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    edited December 2020
    I take a 3rd of mine off in September as I live in a very windy area and this protects against windrock. Then in February I do the proper prune and mulch. 
  • It partly depends on your situation.  The advice above is correct but if you have a lot to do then you might not want to have to do it twice.  I know some professional gardeners working in public gardens that say they don't have the time,  they prune through the winter months as & when they can & they only do it once. 
    AB Still learning

  • Yes I thought as much, thanks for confirming.  My roses are relatively well sheltered so wind rock isn't usually too much of a problem, but I'll have a second look for any whippy looking stems that may need a trim.  Then I'll do the proper prune come February.

    Thanks all!

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