Rose pruning and fertilizing is generally ideal in springtime, according to About.com. In warm climates, early spring pruning and fertilizing is safe, but in colder climates, wait until April to avoid rose canes being damaged by possible wintry weather conditions.
Pruning is safe when leaf buds swell on the plant and is important to the plant to encourage new growth. Cut away dead wood to allow for improvement in light and air circulation, and shape the plant as desired. Use a clean, sharp pruning tool, and wear thick gloves for protection. Every cut should be made at a 45-degree angle, just above the buds.