How to Prune Climbing Rose: An Essential to Retain Vigorous Growth

With too many plants that you can have in the garden, a climbing rose is one of the best. It grows attractive flowers, making it an excellent way to improve the aesthetics of your landscape. While it has beautiful blooms, it can also be unsightly, especially when it has overgrown. With this, it is important that you learn how to prune climbing rose the right way.

Pruning is important for the compact growth of the plant and to encourage better flowers. More so, it also improves its overall health, preventing the spread of diseases. For these benefits to be apparent, make sure that you follow the right pruning steps.

How to Prune Climbing Rose

Prune climbing rose the right way

When To Prune Climbing Roses

One of the things that can affect the outcome of pruning is the proper timing. You cannot just do it anytime you feel like you have the energy to prune. By choosing the right time, there is a higher likelihood that the regrowth will be healthier.

Take note that pruning a climbing rose is not recommended until the plant reaches two to three years. It is through this time that they have strong arching canes, which can support the entire plant. This is also the training period to grow the plant in trellis, walls, or other supporting structures.

In terms of the season, the best time to prune climbing rose is between December to February. During autumn, on the other hand, you need to remove long shoots so that strong winds will not damage the plant.

How to Prune a Climbing Rose

When you are ready to prune, here are the simple steps that you have to follow:

  • Wear protective gloves and get your shears ready for cutting. See to it that your cutting tool is clean. If not, it can transfer pathogens to the plant and can cause diseases to spread, affecting the health of the plant.
  • Start by pruning the old and undesirable branches of the climbing rose. Take out old canes as they are no longer as productive and they can only drain energy from the plant. Also, remove crossing branches so that the plant won’t end up tangling. Cut any part that looks weak or dead.
  • Now, proceed to the side shoots of the climbing rose. Cut them to at least about 2/3 of their length.
  • When cutting a bud, cut from the part that is pointing to the direction where you want the plant to grow.
  • You also have to prune the climbing rose based on the frame or structure that you want. First, envision how you would like the rose to look like to make it easier for you to decide the direction of the pruning.
  • Provide support to the climbing rose. Tie the stems horizontally, which is a great way to encourage flowering from the side shoots.

As you prune the climbing rose, make sure that it perfectly matches the structure. For instance, if it is wrapped in a pillar or post, two to three cranes spiraling will be best. On the other hand, for narrow trellises, a zigzag pattern is recommended. Lastly, for wide surfaces, retain several old branches when pruning.


Knowing how to prune climbing rose is essential for novice gardeners. This will allow you to maintain vigorous growth of the plant and will make sure that it won’t be unsightly in the garden. If you do not prune as needed, the rose can be invasive and it can be unhealthy.

As discussed above, pruning requires the removal of the dead and woody stems. When pruning, it is also important to tie the rose and cut from the bud pointing to the direction where you want it to grow. More so, consider the structure supporting the climbing rose and how you want it to look to determine the best way to prune.

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