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Closeup of a rose plant, with one blooming head and several withered ones

Overview

Pruning your roses is essential, because it encourages new growth and more flowers. And while it may seem like a chore, we'll show you just how quick and easy it is.

Steps

1Shape and structure

Shape and structure are important when it comes to pruning roses. You want to prune it so the plant will grow well and look great in bloom. Some people are too afraid to heavily prune their roses, but you can safely cut roses back by two thirds of their pre-pruned size. Before you start pruning, stand back from the rose bush and look for dead heads, branches that are crossing over one another, branches that congest the centre of the plant and dead wood. All of these things need taking care of during the pruning process.
A gardener singling out a particularly dead looking rose branch for pruning

2Use the pruning saw

Use the pruning saw to remove any dead branches, very old brown or grey wood or thick stems. Remember to cut on an angle.
A pruning saw being used to cut a larger rose branch

3Use the secateurs

The secateurs are used to remove any lingering flowers and leaves. Remove any suckers and growth from the root system below the graft. Select three or five green, healthy, vigorous branches as the framework for the next season's growth. Remove any other unwanted stems, cutting them back just above an outward facing bud. An outward facing bud is selected to encourage growth away from the centre of the plant. Also, cut on an angle so that water runs off.
Secateurs being used to cut a rose branch

4Mulch around the rose

Apply pea straw mulch around the rose to help the plant retain moisture as the weather warms up. Don't put the mulch too close to the trunk of the plant because you might get rot or mould.
Mulch being laid around the pruned rosebush to encourage new growth

5Water the rose

After you've applied the mulch, water the rose. You can also apply fertiliser to an advanced rose but if it's a new one, wait until it gets established.

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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.