How to Cut Rose Hedges

Rose hedges decorate a garden or lawn and bloom every year for lasting beauty. They do, however, require some maintenance to help them continue to grow healthfully in the shape you want. Part of the maintenance of rose hedges involves cutting, also called pruning, them periodically. If cut correctly, and with other proper care, rose hedges will grow to the desired height and fullness for the breed.

Cut the rose hedges in the spring, after the danger of frost has passed or mostly passed.

Use the pruning shears to cut away any rose hedge branches that will interfere with the plant's growth. You will want to wear gardening gloves to avoid scratches from thorns. Look for branches that have died or appear to be diseased, as well as any that are growing in odd directions that may harm the overall hedge. Cut the bad branches about 1 inch below the problem spots.

Cut away weak or fragile-looking branches throughout the hedge with the pruning shears. Cut away one of two branches that may rub together. Rubbing branches can create damage, so remove any branch that either rubs another or may rub another with additional growth.

Use the loppers to cut away one or two large branches. Cut one or two large old branches away per spring cutting.

Cut back the rest of the branches until the hedge is the desired height for its breed using a combination of the pruning shears, loppers and small garden saw as needed. In general, rose hedges range in height between 12 inches and 24 inches.


Cut rose hedges more precisely than other types of hedges without large hedge trimmers. Utilise precision tools, trimming each branch singly, for best results.


Skipping the spring cutting on your rose hedges for several years puts the bushes at higher risk for disease and insect infestation, as well as degrading the quality of the blooms.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Gardening gloves
  • Garden saw
  • Loppers
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About the Author

Andrea Lott Haney writes articles and training materials for food industry publications. Having studied foodservice sanitation, nutrition and menu planning at Purdue University, Lott Haney has more than 10 years of experience as a catering and event planner for luxury hotels and currently tours the Midwest as a corporate customer service trainer and consultant.