How to Prune Dog Roses

Updated February 21, 2017

The dog rose is also known as the wild rose or Rosa canina L., and it is native to Europe, Southwest Asia and North Africa, although it grows wild over much of the U.S. now. The dog rose grows best in full sun and well-drained soil. Small pink flowers cover the dog rose in the summer followed by bright-red rose hips in the fall. Yearly pruning of the dog rose is necessary to keep this shrub in check.

Cut out all of the dead, diseased and damaged branches from the dog rose. Cut back the branches to the ground as they occur throughout the year.

Cut out one-third to one-half of the old growth on the dog rose when it finishes blooming in the late summer or early fall. Remove all the canes that are not flowering from the dog rose with the pruners.

Cut back any growth that is outgrowing the confines of your garden. Cut back the canes to a bud with the pruners at the length you want to shrub to grow.

Prune the dog rose to the ground in early spring once it starts to sprout if the shrub has taken over your yard. New growth will soon pop up and fill out in no time.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruners
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About the Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.