How to Prune Don Juan Climbing Roses

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Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears

  • Gardening gloves

  • Rake

Don Juan roses are an appropriate choice for climbing over fences, arbors or the sides of buildings. Their red blossoms start to appear in early summer and continue until after the first frost, when they decline as the bush goes dormant for the winter. A climbing rose is pruned differently than a common rose bush -- the main cane is allowed to stay in place and new growth is forced to grow from that cane. Enjoy the musky smell of the Don Juan roses, as it will produce hundreds of blossoms each year for decades if pruned properly.


Step 1

Clip off any canes emerging from the base of the bush, other one you select as the main cane, so you force the plant's energy into creating a main stem off which the subsequent years' growth will come. Use a clean pair of pruning shears with gloved hands to protect yourself from thorns.


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Step 2

Cut off any dead wood or twiggy growth coming from the base of the plant in the winter while the plant is dormant.

Step 3

Trim back the branches coming off the main stem so that they each contain just two or three buds, cutting them just after the last bud.


Step 4

Reposition the main stem onto a trellis or other support so the Don Juan rose has a nice horizontal line and is not sagging.

Step 5

Remove an suckers that come up from the base of the plant during the growing season and cut off dead roses back to the first five-leaflet leaf.

Step 6

Rake up all the clippings from the ground under the rose bush to keep any rose pests or diseases from getting a start.


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