Having moved into a new house over the Summer (UK), I am keen to preserve the very good state in which the previous residents left the garden.

In particular, there is a lovely rose bush growing along a little fence in the garden. I happened to get chatting to a nearby neighbour shortly after moving in, who was out gardening at the time - when I asked about how to prune the rose bush, he said to cut the dead flowers away at the base of the stem from which they were growing.

I have been doing this consistently since moving in, and it appears to have been good advice - I have seen more and more buds appear and flower as I have been doing this.

What I am wondering is whether I should continue doing this over the winter months, with the expectation that the flowers will stop appearing at some point, and then re-appear in Spring?

It probably sounds a bit late in the season to be asking this question - so I guess that shows that I live in a relatively warm part of the UK, and there are a couple of buds which have appeared on the bush recently- I guess as it's been a relatively mild start to the winter months.

How can I best preserve the rose bush so that it survives the winter, and starts to flower again in the spring? Should I keep pruning as I have been doing, until no more flowers appear, or is there a point at which I should stop pruning?

  • Isn't Aberdeen sometime known as the" city of roses" , sounds like roses do pretty well . I was so impressed by fuchsia I did not pay attention to roses. Jan 5, 2021 at 22:22

1 Answer 1


I know of one rose (a climber not a bush) which is not growing in a particularly warm part of the UK, is more than 100 years old, and almost always has one or two flowers open at Christmas. So winter flowering is not unheard of!

Cutting off dead flowers keeps the rose looking tidy, but it doesn't really count as "pruning." You should give the bush a proper prune in early spring (February or March) to keep it in the size and shape you want.

How to prune a rose depends on the type of rose you have. See here for general advice, and links to pages about each type of rose.

Don't worry about how to "preserve" the rose. Roses are tough and hardy plants and it's hard to kill them. Where I live, I often drive past a large rose supplier's nursery with thousands of roses, and it's amusing to see them "pruning" the roses in winter with a farm tractor and a hedge-cutter, not doing each one carefully by hand!

  • Thanks for your answer. I'm clearly that much of a newbie at gardening that it didn't even occur to me that not all rose plants would be bushes - this one is a climber (couldn't think what the word for it would be when writing my post, and stating it was growing along a fence). Jan 6, 2021 at 9:22
  • So given it's a climber not a bush, as you say roses are tough and hardy plants, do I just continue cutting away the dead flowers over the winter as I have been doing? When you say to give it a proper prune in early spring - does this still apply to a climber? What exactly is a proper prune? Jan 6, 2021 at 9:24

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