Skip to content

Pruning roses in autumn: which pruning measures are useful now and which should be done in spring?

What pruning should be done in the spring, and which are useful in the fall? We take a closer look at the question and explain in which cases pruning is necessary in October. Pruning roses, made easy!

Is radical pruning in the fall necessary or unnecessary?

Pruning roses in the spring in the fall only cut back

Basically, roses need more time than other plants to recover from severe pruning. Moreover, if you prune your plants in the fall, you risk re-sprouting. However, young shoots are very sensitive to frost and will die after the first frost. They make the whole plant more susceptible to frost damage and disease. Therefore, radical pruning in the fall is not recommended.

Even if the plant survives the radical pruning and comes through the winter well: many varieties of roses bear fruit in October and November . The rose hips, even if inedible to humans, provide food for birds and small garden animals during the cold season.

However, if pruning is necessary (for example, as a last measure in the fight against pests), then wait until the first night frost. Night temperatures should fall below -3 ° Celsius. Thus, you will ensure that the rose plants will not sprout again after pruning.

When to cut roses in autumn and how deep

To protect the freshly cut roses from frost, you should then mound a layer of soil about 15 to 20 cm thick on the roots and lay a layer of mulch 10 cm thick. It is best to cover the grafting site as well. It will protect the shoots from wind and snow.

Prune faded roses: Autumn is the right time

Pruning roses in autumn Remove wilted in October

While severe pruning in the fall is rather unnecessary, other maintenance pruning measures are useful. These include, among other things, cutting off what has faded. This is not only recommended for purely aesthetic reasons, but is actually an important care and protection measure. Withered flowers are an entry point for bacteria and fungi, making the rose more susceptible to disease. In addition, cutting off wilted blooms can extend the blooming period and encourage flowering. Some rose species can continue to bloom in October with proper care.

Prune Roses: Now is the time to thin out shrub roses

Thinning out rose bushes in the fall can prove especially useful. For example, if the root zone is difficult to access or if there are ailing leaves and shoots, then the nurturing pruning is necessary. For rose species with an upright habit, shortening the shoots and removing one-third of the leaves can prevent damage from winter snow loads and strong winds.

Remove leaves cut shrub roses


Here’s how to prune shrub roses in the fall: remove only those shoots that are in the way and make it difficult to access the root zone. Also cut off any shoots growing inward close to the ground. Whether you remove old or young shoots does not matter. Shrub roses will sprout again the next year. They form flowers on this year’s wood, so they can easily tolerate heavy pruning in the spring and light maintenance pruning in the fall.

Pruning and wintering the high stem roses in autumn

How deep cut back roses in autumn tips

High trunk roses need frost protection and are wrapped with special translucent fleece. To do this without any problems, you can first shorten them and bring the shoots into the desired shape. To do this, proceed as follows: Shorten all shoots by a maximum of 30%. Pruning is best done on a cloudy autumn day. However, it should not rain on the day, because the high stems can not tolerate moisture well.

Prune climbing roses so that they do not break in strong winds.

Climbing roses can also benefit from pruning in the fall. This involves cutting back only individual shoots that are too long. These could break in strong winds and therefore need to be shortened by a third. Climbing roses need a little more time to recover from pruning. This should therefore take place on a sunny day.

Pruning roses: Remove ailing shoots from potted plants

The potted plants also tolerate a caring pruning. This mainly involves cutting off diseased parts of the plant before the flowering shrubs are allowed into their winter quarters. Like all potted plants, the small-growing rose varieties are very sensitive to frost. Therefore, unlike other rose plants , you should cut them back as early as possible in the fall. Early October, immediately after the end of the flowering period, is the appropriate time.

Wintering roses in the bed: first remove all the leaves.

Remove rose petals in autumn and then overwinter them


Even if you do not want to cut your roses in the fall, you should remove the leaves before wintering. In addition, it is important to collect and dispose of all cut plant parts before wintering. Otherwise, fungal diseases can spread in the bed. To protect the roses in the bed from frost, you can tie fir branches around the bush and on the shoots. Only then wrap the plants with fleece, tie the fleece loosely at the bottom over the grafting site (in the best case, it should be covered with mulch).