Ok to prune a rose bush that started to leaf out?

Asked March 6, 2020, 5:33 PM EST

Hello! I have a old rose bush in my new backyard that has not been pruned in a very long time. It is very tall and leggy and only blooms on the tops of the long canes (6 ft in the air!). I planned to prune it back this spring but the early warm weather has caused it to start to leaf out already. Is it still ok to prune back significantly or do I need to wait till next Feb/early March? Thank you for your help!

Baltimore County Maryland

3 Responses

Hello -- Yes, you can go ahead and prune your roses now. It is a good time to do it. It only becomes a problem if you have a couple of inches of new growth already leafed out. Prune down to just above a new bud. Here is our guide to pruning roses. https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/hgic/HGIC_Pubs/ornamentals/HG108_Quick_guide_pruning_roses.pdf

Christa

Thank you so much. The guide was very helpful-I feel like I did a good job and the plant will be happier this summer.