There is so much to learn about taking care of roses.
Too much for me to mention here, but I will tell you some of the basics for pruning roses in the spring. Here in the Boston area, the best time to prune roses is after the final frost which is usually in middle to late April. (Or, prune when the forsythia blooms) NOTE: Old once-blooming roses produce flowers on old wood, so do not prune them until after they have flowered.
To remove dead, damaged, or diseased wood; increase air circulation; keep the shrub from becoming a snarled mess; shape the shrub; and encourage good flowering.
1. Always prune roses with a clean, sterilized, sharp bladed hand pruner. If there are
any thick limbs/branches use a pruning lopper. To clean these tools, use rubbing
alcohol, bleach, vinegar, or soap and hot water.
2. Prune from the ground up, not from the top of the branches down. And make the
pruning cut at a 45-degree angle, which will allow natural sap to rise and seal the cut.
3. Cut the dead canes (will look dry and brown) back to green wood or close to the bud
union (a swelling at the bottom of the plant where the canes join the roots). Also prune
out damaged or diseased branches. This will help you see the shape of the shrub
4. Thin out some of the interior and crossing branches in the center of the shrub to
allow for improved air circulation, and to promote new growth.
5. To sustain this year’s growth, leave 6 to 8 of the strongest, healthy green canes.
Floribundas and shrub roses have more branches than other types of roses,
so don’t cut as much of these back.
6. Then, reduce the overall height of the shrub by pruning to 18 to 24 inches.
7. When you have finished pruning your rose bush, clean up the debris left underneath.
Throw out any foliage from the cut canes, and don’t put it in with your compost.