How To Prune Roses For Winter In Southern California: A Step-By-Step Guide

Roses are a popular and beautiful addition to any garden. While they are relatively easy to care for, it is important to know how to prune them properly in order to promote healthy growth and protect them from the colder temperatures during winter months. In this blog post, we will be discussing how to prune roses for winter in Southern California.

Why Prune Roses?

Pruning is an essential part of maintaining the health of your roses. Not only does it encourage new growth and flowering, but it also helps prevent diseases by removing dead or diseased wood. Additionally, pruning removes old blooms which can help increase the chances of another bloom cycle.

When To Prune Roses

In Southern California, pruning usually takes place between December and early February when the rose plants are dormant. A good rule of thumb is to start pruning when most leaves have fallen off, but before new buds have started forming.

How To Prune Roses

1) Gather Your Tools: It’s important that you use sharp tools such as bypass pruners or loppers; dull tools may cause damage to your plant’s stems. Also make sure you have gloves on hand as thorns can be quite sharp.

2) Remove Dead Wood: Start by removing any dead or damaged wood that could potentially harm healthy growth come springtime.

3) Cut Back Branches: Look at each stem individually and cut it back by 1/3 – ½ its length just above a bud eye facing outward (this allows for new growth in the right direction).

4) Thin Out Canes: If there are too many canes crowding each other out or overlapping then remove some so there is enough space between them all; otherwise they will compete against one another come springtime putting unnecessary stress on your plant overall!

5) Seal The Wounds: Sealing cuts with a commercial product like wound sealer prevents pests from entering open wounds while also protecting against disease-causing factors.

6) Clean Up: Last but not least, make sure you clean up all the debris around your rose plant. Rake away leaves and twigs, which could harbor pests or diseases during winter months.

Things To Keep In Mind

– Always use sharp tools to avoid damages to the stems.
– Make cuts at a 45-degree angle above a bud eye that faces outward so new growth will occur in the right direction.
– Seal cuts with wound sealer to prevent disease-causing factors from entering open wounds.
– Clean up any debris around your plants such as fallen leaves or twigs that may harbor pests or diseases.


Pruning roses for winter is essential in maintaining their overall health and ensuring they bloom beautifully come springtime. By following these steps outlined above, you’ll be able to keep your roses healthy throughout Southern California’s colder months ahead. Happy pruning!