Pruning Hybrid Tea Roses

Pruning hybrid tea roses can sound like a very daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be. With some careful reading and understanding of these beautiful plants you can create years of very healthy, strong hybrid tea roses to grace your gardens.

Hybrid tea roses are actually a bred cross between hybrid perpetuals and old fashioned tea roses. These majestic flowers are the most popular rose in the world with their beauty and incredible delicate perfume.
In order to support hybrid tea roses in their blooming and new growth then it is critical that pruning for the plant be done in a precise and consistent manner year after year. Follow these steps to help I keeping your hybrid tea roses in perfect health:

First make sure that you have the proper tools to prune hybrid tea roses. You will need thick gardening gloves, preferably leather, that the rose thorns cannot penetrate. You will also need a sharp pair of bypass pruners and a lopper. You may also need a pruning saw for more established hybrid tea roses.

Look for any dead canes on your hybrid tea roses. These must b removed first. Any stubs near the graft union, at the base of the rose, must also be removed. If you notice any black spots on any of the canes then remove that unhealthy cane also from your hybrid tea rose. Remove any dead or unhealthy canes completely to the base of the plant.

Next look for the youngest and healthiest four to six canes on your hybrid tea rose that are at least as wide as a pencil, as a rule of thumb. These are the canes that you want to keep on your hybrid tea rose. Prune all other canes by cutting from the base of the plant, as close to the graft union as you can get, as cleanly as possible. Be very careful not to damage any of the canes that you want to retain on the hybrid tea rose.

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Be sure to remove any suspicious looking canes that may be growing up from the roots of the hybrid tea rose. These are rootstock suckers and must be removed by digging down into the dirt surrounding the rose roots until the origin of the sucker is found on the parent root . Then you must twist and pull the sucker shoot off of the parent root. If you just cut this sucker off at ground level you will twice as many in the next growing season in the same spot around your hybrid tea roses.

Once you have removed all the unwanted canes, then you will prune the remaining ones down to about 24 inches in height.

A general rule that many gardener’s and books go by is to wait until after George Washington’s birthday to prune the roses. If you prune too soon, then the hybrid rose will be encouraged to grow too early in the season. If you wait too long then you will be pruning new growth. But don’t worry too much about hurting your hybrid tea roses, they are hardy plants.