How to Prune Floribunda Roses
A rose garden curator demonstrates the best way to trim these popular roses
Pruning roses stimulates growth and flowering, and it removes dead, weak, or sickly canes that can drain energy from the roses and encourage disease. In this video, Peter Kukielski, curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, demonstrates the best way to prune floribunda roses (a rose with many flowers per stem).
Just keep cutting
To begin your spring pruning, cut out most of the top growth so you can get a better idea of the architecture of the plant. By making big cuts, you remove the complicated top growth and simplify the growth structure.
Big, strong canes will produce more big, strong canes, so don’t be afraid to make drastic cuts and remove nearly all the growth. Cutting back the complicated growth from last year will tell the main cane to produce all of that growth again this year.
If you can cut your floribunda rose down to only two to four good canes with healthy wood that will produce new growth, you’ll be in very good shape.
Cutting to size
Depending on your garden situation, you can cut your floribunda rose to however short or tall you want it to be. If you want your rose to grow taller, leave your canes a little longer. If you need your rose to stay more compact, cut it much lower to the ground.
Directing the new growth
It’s good to keep an eye on the plant as buds start forming. If you have a bud that would eventually grow directly toward another branch, you’ll want to remove it. Keep the buds that will be growing outward, helping to create the desired vaselike shape.