When Is the Best Time for Rose Pruning In North Florida?

Rose Pruning

There are many types and varieties of roses available at Earth Works for your North Florida landscape that have unique care requirements. Drift roses, knockouts, hybrid teas, miniatures, bush and climbing roses are among the types of this popular shrub that we encounter. Once your roses are established though as a general rule we follow the University of Florida recommendation that your rose pruning is done for North Florida in the late winter months of January and February as their leaf buds begin to swell and break dormancy.

The key benefits of properly timed rose pruning include encouraging disease-free healthy growth and appearance, new growth, and better blooms. As with other plant varieties, pruning can be done any time of year to address dead, diseased, damaged, or dangerous growth.

Don’t fret or fear pruning incorrectly as it is better to have pruned your roses back than not at all as they are resilient, but unkept potentially dead, diseased, or damaged canes are a detriment to their health and others in the rose bed. Proper rose pruning includes thinning out crisscrossing rose canes that by pruning increases air circulation and sunlight penetration, which encourages photosynthesis, and reduces moisture on leaf surfaces that are an invitation for pests and disease.

As a general rule with plant shape in mind, cut rose canes back 1/3 to 1/2 making clean cuts at a 45-degree angle with sterilized pruning shears directly above the bud eye where new branching occurs. Likewise, cut out suckers that arise from rootstock and remove accumulated debris at the plant base. Then in February resume your monthly fertilization schedule for a bountiful season of beautiful rose blooms. For more specific rose variety information visit and speak with an Earth Works garden guide at our Jacksonville garden center.

Rose Pruning