Roses are among the most spectacular of the flowers we grow in our gardens. There are hundreds and thousands of types, many bread over hundreds of years to give spectacular blooms, shapes, colours and fragrances.

To get the best out of your roses they require some careful tending. One of the most important tasks in rose care is pruning. In winter roses go into a dormant state after losing their leaves. As the roses begin to emerge from this dormancy they should be protected from disease and pruned to get rid of dead material, to encourage strong new growth and to shape the rose into an attractive open bush.

In New Zealand the best time to prune summer flowering bush and standard roses is usually June – August depending on whether you live in a warm or cold area of the country. You want to avoid the risk of frost damage to cut stems. Roses that bloom in spring, such as Banksia, should be pruned immediately after flowering has finished. Climbing roses should be pruned in mid-summer.

Preparation and Protection

Prepare your roses for pruning by spraying with a protecting fungicide such as NO Fungus Super Sulphur. Super Sulphur does everything Lime Sulphur will do but with no leaf burn, skin burn or unpleasant smell. This will get rid of rust and mildews that might take the opportunity to attack the rose when pruning exposes the cut stems.


Prune your roses about 1 week after treating with Super Sulphur. Pruning your roses encourages new growth, removes old woody stems that would be prone to disease and lets you shape your roses for the best display.

Hybrid Tea and Floribunda roses benefit most from pruning but all roses should be checked over and dead or diseased stems removed.

Use a clean and sharp pair of pruning shears. Secateurs can be cleaned in detergent or disinfectant and rinsed and dried prior to use.

When cutting stems try not to leave a ragged stem end which would be prone to infection.

Cut just above an outward-facing bud to encourage the plant to grow into an open shape. If the cut is too far above a shoot the stem above the bud will die back and there is an increased risk of disease.

Slope cuts away from the bud, allowing rainwater run-off away from the bud.

Any growth coming from the root stock (below the graft at the base of the plant) should be removed as this growth would be vigorous and compete with the growth of the cultivar.

Clean away all pruned stems and fallen leaves.

Different Types Of Rose And What To Prune

Hybrid Tea Roses
For Hybrid Tea roses hard pruning is needed to stimulate new growth. It is normal to remove a third to half of the rose. Remove weak and inward growing stems. Remove older woody stems down to outward facing bud.

Floribunda Roses
It is not necessary to prune floribunda roses as hard as Hybrid Teas. Removal of about a third of the rose is sufficient.

Climbing Roses
Some climbers will flower happily without pruning. They may only need pruned to adjust shape and to keep the rose under control. Young (up to 3 year) Hybrid Tea and Floribunda climbing roses should not be pruned to establish and encourage strong climbing canes.

Climbers produce flowers on lateral shoots. Remove shoots that are growing forward or backward from the plane of the climbing structure (wall, fence, trellis).

Miniature Roses
These increasing popular roses generally have many buds and shoots. It is normally only necessary to trim shoots back to improve bush shape and the keep over vigorous canes from dominating the plant.


A week after pruning, spray your roses again NO Fungus Super Sulphur and with NO Insects Super Spraying Oil. These BioGro certified products protect the roses from insects and disease as they prepare for the new season’s growth.

Article Brought To You By Kiwicare  kiwicare-logo-50x50

Kiwicare is New Zealand’s own manufacturer and distributor of pest control, garden care and home maintenance products. The Kiwicare website contains advice on the eradication and prevention of all sorts of pests that bother us in New Zealand. Learn how to get rid of rats and mice, flies, spiders, ants, cockroaches, fleas, bed bugs and other creepy crawlies. Protect your plants from aphids, grass grub, caterpillars, weeds and more. Keep biting insects at bay with the Safari range of insect repellents. See the BioGro certified organic range of products to help you stay pest free without chemicals.

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