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How to Prune an Established Climbing Rose

Pruning is arguably the most important job you can do for your roses. It gives your rose shape, structure and encourages new blooms for the season ahead. In this video our Head Gardener, Steve, will show you how to prune an established climbing rose. When we use the term ‘established’ we mean a rose that has flowered for two or more years.

  • To begin, identify the side stems of your rose that you will need to prune. These will be growing off the long, thick stems at the base of the rose which provide the structure. Prune the side stems back to the main stem, leaving around 5 – 7.5 cm.
  • Continue to work across the climber, removing any weak stems completely, as these won’t hold a bloom in the summer. If you notice any dead stems, which will be thick and brown, cut these off at the base of the rose. Also, make sure to remove any foliage as you prune.
  • As you prune your way across the climber you will notice new, strong stems that require tying-in. Tying the stems of your rose to its supporting structure helps it to climb, keeping it secure and preventing the stems from breaking. Steve recommends wrapping the flexi-tie around the supporting structure first and then tying in the stem to ensure stability. These strong stems will add further structure to your climber and will carry blooms when the season arrives.


We recommend pruning in late winter/early spring, when the first growth is beginning. This is generally between January and March. It is OK to prune earlier, but it can be more difficult to identify the less healthy stems that you will want to prune out. If you still haven’t pruned by April it is still better to do so.