Roses – A Favorite Flower, but how should they be pruned?
If properly maintained roses can be a beautiful addition to your landscape. If not maintained, they can grow out of control or they can die out all together. We recommend this approach: Trim to thigh-high in November/December. And again to knee-high in February.
Roses should only have an odd number of canes left on the plant; no more than 9 canes total. Try to cut out the oldest canes, leaving the newer canes to continue to grow. Be sure to always cut the dead canes to the ground.
Prune to the nearest bud facing outward (this helps illuminate crossing branches). For the spring: If your just trimming back the hips, be sure to cut to the nearest 5 leaf leaflet facing outward. If your rose has more than 5 leaves on a leaflet then it is reverting back to a wild rose.