when to prune roses
What month is best to prune my rose bushes?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Here in Colorado I usually wait until the leaf buds start to come out and open a bit. That way I can tell for sure how much of the canes are truly dead. Some years the cold has been real severe and thus so is the die back, in those cases I prune most of them down to within a couple inches of the ground. The shrub roses and climbers do not usually get that harsh of a pruning and I just wait for them to tell me how much is living cane and how much is dead. Some folks will tell you it is safe to prune with the forsythia blooms. That is not always true. I have had my forsythia bloom and then got several cold dips that would have cause severe damage to the roses had they been pruned and started growing hard.
Here are some links for you to articles I wrote on pruning rosebushes: