Pruning rose bushes is an important step in the care of roses. Many gardeners do not understand fully the process of pruning rose bushes. Improper pruning can result in a weak plant, or one that will not bloom fully, if at all. Pruning roses is, despite popular belief, a very easy process, and can be done by any gardener. Pruning rose bushes should take place in the springtime, just as the buds break. Stems should be cut back to within one-quarter inch of an outside bud. This will help to encourage the rose bush to grow outwards, instead of inwards. Pruning rose bushes should always be done with a sharp pair of pruning shears, as the wood can be tough, and cuts that are not clean will damage the plants.
Pruning rose bushes also entails the removal of dead wood and weak stems. This will help encourage the plant to have much more new growth, and often larger blooms. Severe pruning, such as removal of half the previous seasons growth, will also result in larger, but often fewer, flowers. Trimming rose bushes in the summer involves only the removal of spent blooms, as well as possibly cleaning up the overall shape of the rose bush in order to make it more pleasing to the eye as a whole. Removing any limbs that are too aggressive may be necessary or desired as well.