Can you prune roses in the summer? The answer is yes. While you would only do a light trimming, it is necessary to do to keep your rose bushes in tip top shape and to encourage late season blooms.  The best time to trim back your bushes is after a flush of blooms. The process should include deadheading (removing old or spent blooms), removing dead wood (stems that are no longer producing), and general shaping of the bush as a whole.

For a summer pruning:

  • Use clean pruners, and be sure to clean them as you move from plant to plant.
  • Cut stems ¼” above a leaflet with 5 leaves.
  • Be sure to cut at a 45 degree angle, sloping down towards the center of the bush.
  • Cut back to a stem able to support a new rose. Stem should be at least pencil thick.
  • Remove any dead or dying branches that are touching each other to encourage good air circulation.
  • Do not remove more than 1/3 of the bush at a time.
  • Pull off any yellowing leaves.
  • Be sure to clean up any trimmings or debris under bush to stop the growth of fungal diseases.

Heavy pruning is best done when rose bushes are dormant, but a little TLC throughout the year will help encourage beautiful lush blooms.