Prune a Knock Out rosebush by wearing protective gloves, doing it at the right time, hard pruning the plant, removing dead and damaged growth, and shaping the plant. You need gloves and bypass pruning shears or hedge trimmers.
- Wear protective gloves
Before pruning, put on gloves to protect your hands from the thorns.
- Prune at the right time
Do most of the pruning in the early spring or late winter when the buds are beginning to swell. Avoid pruning until the bush's second season of growth. Some minor pruning can be done during the growing season.
- Hard prune the plant
Do a hard prune in early spring by cutting the bush down to one-third of its size. Knock Out rosebushes grow vigorously each year, so a hard prune does not hurt them.
- Remove dead and damaged wood
During the growing season, remove any dead, diseased and damaged wood as it occurs. After removing diseased wood, disinfect the shears to prevent the spread of disease.
- Shape the rosebush
Cut back any especially long or leggy shoots to the size of the rest of the bush. Shape the bush as needed. When cutting the branches, do so at an angle and just above the nearest leaf bud.
- Thin the limbs
Thin the inner limbs of the bush by removing any crossing or rubbing branches.