January and February are ideal months to prune roses. Old dormant growth needs to be trimmed back to stimulate robust new growth. Make pruning cuts just above a bud.

Rose pruning is not difficult. The tall growing hybrid teas and grandifloras should be pruned back to about 2 to 3 feet high. Thin branches less than pencil diameter should be removed. Older black or brown branches which have died should be removed clear to the ground. If you are not sure whether a branch is alive or not, scratch the bark. If it is green underneath, the branch is still alive.

Smaller floribunda and shrub roses usually need less pruning. I usually cut mine back to about half. Any dead branches and some of the weakest branches should be removed.

Climbing roses need the least pruning. One or more of the oldest and largest canes should be removed to their source each year to stimulate renewal growth. Thin growth can also be removed.

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