Spring, after young plants come out of the dormant state, is the safest time to prune rose bushes, notes Better Homes and Gardens. Older rose bushes should be pruned after blooming stops for the season.
Cut rose bush stems at a 45-degree angle when pruning, and put a drop of white craft glue on the cut edges to help the plant heal and to keep pests out of the pruned stems. Also, make 45-degree cuts when cutting blooms off for flower arrangements. Remove all dead and flimsy branches when pruning, and dispose of branches where the thorns do not injure people or pets.