The best time to prune roses is right before their active growing season begins, which occurs when the leaf buds begin to swell and turn reddish. Waiting to prune until after the second or third growing season ensures that the bush is mature when pruned.
Different types of rose bushes require different amounts and types of pruning. For example, roses that bloom once on new growth should be pruned more often. Frequent pruning of these roses leads to a bush that blooms more frequently. Roses that bloom repeatedly on mature woody stems should have dead wood pruned but mature woody stems left intact. Roses that bloom only once on old woody stems should have dead wood removed in the spring and can be pruned right after they bloom.