Quick Tips: How To Prune an Overgrown Climbing Rose

It’s not that difficult to prune overgrown climbing roses. You just have to prepare the gloves with thick material to avoid you getting scratches from thorns, then pruning shears, or electric hedge trimmers are needed for pruning activity.

Rose is a timeless flower that has been adored by most women across the world. Planting roses in the yard with various mediums becomes the favorite for most people, especially plant lovers. But, the time when the climbing roses you planted are already overgrown, you have to prune it safely, right? If you are currently facing this issue, you have to keep reading since we will share how to prune an overgrown climbing rose only for you.

Actually, pruning overgrown climbing roses not only gives a better look for the plants, but also its structures will encourage the flowers to a new bloom for the next season ahead. So, if you want your climbing roses to still stay in shape, and blooming actively in the spring season, pruning regularly is the answer.

how to prune an overgrown climbing rose
Climbing Roses in The Garden

Problem with Overgrown Climbing Roses

Overgrown climbing roses might suffer from several problems. Sometimes you think that all of them look fresh and healthy, but since they are overgrown, the common rose problems cannot be denied. For instance, the lack of flowering. The overgrown one, when you don’t prune them regularly, will not produce the flowers anymore. So, the rest of the shrubs are only a tangled mess and empty trunks with no flowers.

Moreover, you have to check the black spot of rose, or rose die-back that usually appears. Rose die-back can be saved with regular and careful pruning. Also, you have to make sure that more than half of climbing roses remain healthy, so it can help the suffering part grow back.

Problem with Overgrown
Overgrown Climbing Pink Roses

The pest can appear and attack the climbing roses as well. For instance, rose aphids and rose leaf rolling sawfly on the leaves. If you see these two comings (usually in spring), you can carefully spray the insecticide that contains a horticultural summer oil. Do it every two weeks during summer to early fall.

The disease above actually comes from the damage of overgrown climbing roses since the plant will prevent the lights from coming for other plants below. So, other plants don’t receive enough lighting for them to grow. Also, the air circulation for the roses itself will be less since it is too bushy and the old and weak canes are still there, mixing with the healthy ones. 

When To Prune Climbing Roses?

You can prune overgrown climbing roses in late autumn or early winter. It is easier to prune in the cold season since the plants will go dormant, so, the flowers have faded and even when there is flower, there is no leaf on it, especially during late winter.

While in autumn, you can avoid the strong wind while pruning it. So that, the roses can grow again in spring beautifully and stay in shape since you already trim them.

how to prune an overgrown climbing rose
Beautiful Blooming Rose Bush Climbing on House Wall

For you who want to prune in summer, it will be harder since the flowers are still there and you will face the difficulties to identify the less healthy stems and the healthy want because the flowers still cover the stems including the leaves. So, you better not forget to prune your climbing roses to keep them stay healthy and look pretty.

Easy Step to Prune An Overgrown Climbing Roses

It is not that difficult to prune overgrown climbing roses. Why? Because the tools that you need are easy to find.

For instance, you just have to prepare the gloves with thick material to avoid you getting scratches from thorns, then pruning shears, or electric hedge trimmers are needed for pruning activity. Also, don’t forget to provide antibacterial spray in case you get hurt by the thorns or the trunk flakes. 

Easy Step to Prune An Overgrown Climbing Roses
Easy Step to Prune An Overgrown Climbing Roses

1. Easy Step to Pruning Climbing Roses by Hand

Some people like to prune the climbing roses by hand. It is easier and more effective because the tools are pretty easy to find and not that heavy to bring. For instance, you just have to wear gloves (the thick one) and you can choose the pruners, such as pruning shears.

Pruning shears is the excellent one since it can cut the thick stems around ¾ inch thick or less. So you don’t have to worry when pruning. Check out the steps to do it.

  • Protect yourself by wearing heavy duty clothing. You can choose denim to avoid the tears or scratches from thorns. So, the pain from the thorns that may carry dangerous bacteria can be minimized.
  • Always have an antibacterial spray in case you cut yourself while pruning. The wound may carry any bacteria since the plants can be visited by many small animals.
  • Prepare for the sharp pruners. It will be easier for you to cut the small stems or branches.
  • Be careful in using a hand saw to cut the old branches or the thick ones. Wearing goggles is recommended so the flakes will not get in your eyes.
  • Always clean up the tools after you use them.

2. Easy Step to Pruning Climbing Roses by Machine

Pruning using a machine will help you to finish the work more efficiently. That’s why most people love to prune climbing roses by machine. The easiest and most efficient machine for pruning is using electric hedge trimmers.

The size and shape of this pruning machine is easy to hold by your hand although you have to go by stairs in order to reach the branches. Also, the machine is easy to find in any market and easy to use as well by adjusting the length of the blade.

  • Prune in late winter while the flowers are faded and the tree is leafless. So, you can see the branches and canes clearly since they are located above.
  • Using electric hedge trimmers is the greatest option to prune climbing roses. Make sure the blade length is already adjusted.
  • Wear complete heavy-duty clothing to protect your body and face.
  • For the small branch, you can use the loppers or hand pruners, depending on the size of the branch. If you just directly cut the branch using hedge trimmers, your climbing roses will get damaged because this machine can make a long cut in one time.
  • Make sure the branch will not die off when you start to cut using the machine. So, you really have to identify the tangled branch or stems first.
  • For the shrub roses, you can trim off around a third of the growth.
  • Ask for help if it is the first time you use a machine for pruning climbing roses.


Pruning roses might be easy for the experienced people, but for the beginners, it seems hard. Yet, the overgrown climbing roses should be pruned no matter what unless you want your rose tree to be a tangled mess and no flower will grow anymore. So, by following our tips, we hope you can prune by yourself as easily and safely as possible.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Do you cut back Climbing roses in the winter?

Yes, you can cut back the climbing roses in winter. Since it is the best time to prune the plants because in winter, you can see the flowers are faded and the trees become leafless. So, it is easier for you to cut back the climbing roses in this season. Then, in spring, you can see them bloom vigorously and beautifully again. It also maintains the health of the plant itself.

Can I cut back a climbing rose hard?

No, you can’t. For instance you can cut around 1/4length of the stems. To be remembered, never try to prune down the climbing rose for around two feet unless it is the main canes and old ones. It will damage the whole plant if you cut them hard.

How do you manage climbing roses?

For the rose lovers, to be honest, it is easier to manage climbing roses rather than planting them directly on the ground. You can follow these steps to manage your climbing roses if you already had them for more than a year.

  • Don’t forget to prune the roses. You can remove the weak stems, old leaves, and identify the leaves or stems that seem unhealthy.
  • You can bend the strongest canes using the plastic tape for gardeners. Don’t forget to wear thick gloves while handling the canes. You can select the strongest canes you see and bend them together.
  • Don’t forget to water and fertilize them regularly.
  • Make sure the air circulation is enough for the plants, such as for stems, canes, and the flowers by regularly inspect their health.
  • Insecticide is needed while you see there is a disease especially on the leaves.

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