Pruning And Potting Your Roses

Before pruning and potting your roses, soak the roots in clear water overnight. This step may be unnecessary if the roses were sweated in the boxes. Regardless, keep the roots wet at all times.

Cane Pruning

To avoid the introduction of disease and pests, use sharp, clean blades and clean the blades frequently with an alcohol wipe. For top plant performance, prune the canes to 4-6". Miniature roses may be pruned to 3". Remove any shriveled, small or dead canes. Pruning can be done before or after potting. See the illustration below for the best place to prune each cane.

Root Pruning

Roots may be pruned to keep them from curling around the pot or up the sides and to accommodate potting. After pruning, roots should be at least 6-8" long.


When potting, remember to keep the roots wet. If plants must be left without misting or sprinkling, cover with several layers of wet burlap.

Plant to maintain the original soil line immediately below the bud union on grafted roses. Own-root roses should be planted 1" below the crown or directly below where shoots emerge. All plants must be centered in the pots to within 1/2" of true center. The soil should be 1-2" below the rim of the container so that water can collect and soak into the soil.


Tree roses and climbers require stakes. Growers should use discretion when determining the type and diameter of the stakes.