How to Cut Off Dead Roses
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How To Cut Off Dead Roses

This easy guide shows how to cut off dead roses which will give you many more flowers during the growing season and keep your rose bushes looking healthy and loved.

Roses are a must for any garden. The flowers are wonderful for flower arrangements, giving your home a natural rose fragrance or you can even make potpourri from the petals for a lasting aroma throughout the year.

No matter what variety you have, all will need to have the dead flowers removed once the petals start to die back. This will encourage another flush of flowers sooner and help your bush to keep its form.

Tools Needed

  • Pruners – Ratchet pruners are a great choice for arthritis sufferers. Try these from Amazon. (Paid link)
  • Leather Gloves – These gloves cover the forearm making them perfect for pruning roses. Find them at Amazon. (Paid link)
  • Bucket or Wheelbarrow (Depending on how many roses you have)


It is best to wear long sleeves and leather gloves when pruning to protect your skin from the thorns.

How to Cut Off Dead Roses

  1. Find the Place to Cut

    Take the dead rose with one hand then look down the stem until you see the first five-leaf shoot. New growth will form from here.

  2. Cut the Stem

    Then cut above the shoot on a diagonal so any water will run off preventing disease.

    Deadheading roses with pruners.

  3. Multiple Flowers

    Some rose bushes have several flowers on one stem and will flower at different times. All you have to do is cut off the dead rose near where it joins the stem, but be careful not to cut off the new flowers.

    Removing dead roses from multiple flower heads.

  4. Assess Your Bush

    Cut the stem back further if it will improve the shape of your bush. It’s best to stand back every so often to see how the pruning is affecting the shape.

  5. Remove Suckers

    It is also a good idea to cut off any sucker growth at the base of the plant. It will look different to the rest of the rose and will produce different flowers.

    Remove any suckers growing from the base of the rose.

  6. Dispose of Cuttings

    Put the spent flowers in the bucket then place in your compost heap or green waste.


If you are saving the flowers for potpourri, remember red roses dry with a maroon colour while the lighter coloured roses such as whites and yellows may dry brown.

The petals can be easily removed and placed on drying racks or on trays with paper towels to soak up any extra moisture. Toss every day or two to ensure even drying.

Is it time to feed your roses? Try this top rated rose food from Amazon. (Paid link)

To save or print this guide on how to cut off dead roses, here is the PDF Version.

Have you ever wondered how to transplant a rose in your garden?  Try this guide on Transplanting Roses or Moving a Climbing Rose.

Are you looking for a natural alternative to get rid of aphids? Try this spray you can make at home.

Are you interested in growing and preserving your own food? This free Homesteading guide will give you a good start.

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