When And How To Prune Drift Roses
Drift Roses are repeat-bloomers that are tough, disease resistant, winter and summer hardy and virtually maintenance-free. They are a cross between full-size groundcover roses and miniature roses. From the former they kept toughness, disease resistance and winter hardiness. From the miniatures, they inherited their well-managed size and repeat-blooming nature. They are winter hardy to zone 4 and thrive all the way down to zone 11!

The low, spreading and/or mounding habit of Drift Roses makes them the perfect choice for smaller spaces. I've used them in many applications: to brighten up borders, fill in empty spaces, along walkways or paths, and to spread delicately around larger established plants throughout my landscape. I've tucked them in throughout the landscape to provide season-long color.

When it comes to pruning, Drift roses do not have to be pruned, though they respond well to it. I have a brother who never prunes his Drift roses and they still perform and bloom quite well, though they grow somewhat larger than the ones in my landscape, which I prune every year.

How To Prune Drift Roses

When To Prune Drift Roses
Do hard pruning of your Drift Roses in early spring after the worst of winter is over but before new growth begins. Deadheading spent blooms can be done during the blooming season.

Hard Pruning
Hard pruning of Drift roses is easy, just make sure you wear some leather or rose-pruning gloves and use sharp hand pruners. To prune, simply cut them back to 4 to 6 inches from the ground. This is what I do and they respond very well to it. Remove and discard all cut plant parts. Once temperatures warm in early spring the plants will flush new growth and grow to the same or slightly larger size they were during the previous year. Research has shown that using a pruning sealer does no good and might even be harmful, so I never use it.

Bloom Season Pruning
Though not necessary, regular deadheading (removal of spent blooms) during the blooming season encourages re-blooming and helps maintain a tidy appearance. Simply use pruners or snips to cut away the spent bloom clusters.