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Do I Cut Back Climbing Roses in the Fall?

Climbing roses feature both continuous- and single-bloom varieties. Climbing roses require carefully scheduled pruning to eliminate the old wood, while encouraging new shoot formation from the main canes. Proper pruning shapes the plant, removes diseased portions, and increases the vigor of the plant.
  1. Time Frame

    • Schedule pruning of repeat-bloom climbing roses in the spring before new growth appears. Prune single-bloom climbers after the flowering period ends. Prune shoots and canes to encourage horizontal growth on the trellis or arbor. Take a snapshot of your climbing rose at the height of the summer to aid your pruning efforts the following spring.

    Necessary Pruning

    • Prune young climbing roses as little as possible to encourage horizontal growth of the canes. Limit pruning to removal of diseased or dead canes. Perform maintenance pruning of this type at any time to limit exposure to pests and disease in the dead/dying branches of the climbing rose.


    • Avoid major pruning in late fall to reduce stimulation to the plant. Pruning encourages new growth throughout the plant. This flush of new growth is susceptible to fall frost damage. Limit fall pruning to removal of diseased or dying portions of the plant.