How to Kill Rose Bush and Have Beautiful Garden

As a gardener, roses are considered an attractive feature in a sunny garden. However, they can be attacked by diseases and pests. They may end up not thriving, which means that you may want to kill and remove them for good. 

When trying to remove them, rose bushes have tenacious roots that repeatedly regrow after removing the bush. Being thorny and invasive, rose bushes can be challenging to control mechanically. 

Related Article: How to Kill Virginia Buttonweed and Have a Healthy Lawn

We share here how you can kill a rose bush so you can get your garden in order again. 

  • Keep them out immediately

Rose bushes can overgrow in your garden when there is little competition from other plants. That means leaving your yard unattended for a long time will encourage their growth. 

These bushes also grow in places where there is overgrown grass. The best approach is to cut these young bushes immediately once you notice their appearance. 

  • Dig it up

– Another method to eliminate rose bushes is by digging them up. Before you do this, you will need to water the area a day before so that the soil is soft and easy to dig. The process is also easier when the root mass is intact for extraction. 

– Prune the roses, ensuring they are a few inches on top of the ground. 

– For the larger branches, use a saw or lopping shears to cut them.

– Remove the root ball from the soil carefully. It is located about 15.2 cm from the stem of the bush, from the soil carefully. 

– Use a spade to dig this area to avoid leaving any parts of the root. Otherwise, they may end up regrowing again. To be sure of this, remove the surrounding soil with the spade.

– Remove the rose bush and their roots from the garden. The best manner to dispose of them is to burn them. During the process make sure the bush has no contact with the soil, otherwise, you run the risk of roots regrowing. 

– Put them in a compost pit is not advised, as they can regrow when you use that manure. 

– Remove the soil you dug from the garden so that it doesn’t contaminate the fresh soil. After completing these steps, carefully monitor the area to prevent any new growth.

  • Extreme methods

Digging out the roots may not be enough. You may still experience regrowth and might need an extreme approach to kill the rose bush completely. 

If that is the case, then we are going to discuss the chemical weed killer approach. We highly discourage the use of some common household like salt, bleach, and vinegar to be used as weed killers. 

The drawback of these chemicals is that they can contaminate the soil and make it hard to cultivate beneficial and desireable plants after the process. It is recommended to only use commercially branded and certified chemical weed killers that are sold specifically for garden use.

How to Use Chemical Weed Killers to Eliminate Rose Bushes

 How to Kill Rose Bush and Have Beautiful Garden

– Choose a weed killer that contains glysophate. Remember that glysophate kills any plant, the ones you wish to kill and the ones you don’t.

–  It should be a weed killer that is suitable to be used on woody plants. 

– Take all precautions to protect all desired plants before applying this weed killer in your garden.

– The best time to eliminate rose bushes is during the fall or late summer. 

– Choose to spray the weed killer on a dry day with no anticipated rainfall with a minimum of 48 hours of no rain predicted.

– Always read the guidelines provided by the manufacturer of the weed killer, regardless of the brand. 

The following guidelines are important to follow in general when using any chemical weed killer.

  • Keep children away from the designated area that needs to be treated.
  • Wear protective gear like eyewear, gloves and a long-sleeved shirt to protect your body from coming in contact with the chemical.
  • Before spraying the weed killer, cover other plants so that they may not be affected.
  • When spraying the weed killer, make sure that you spray more on the stem and the base of the bush. This ensures the weed dies completely. 

It might take a few weeks before you start seeing results. Be patient and reapply if you notice anything sprouting up.

Removing the Rose Bush During winter

 How to Kill Rose Bush and Have Beautiful Garden

Sometimes you may be forced to deal with rose bushes during the winter. In this case, a stump killer will be useful. 

They tend to work best during cold months. So you will need to buy chemical weed killers that are indicated to be stump killers. 


– Prune off the rose branches, then saw the main stem a few inches down and apply the stump killer on the freshly cut bush.

– Drill holes in the stem so that the chemicals can easily penetrate.

– You will get the desired results only if you spray the weed killer on living wood. Otherwise, if it is dried or dead, it might not kill the other rose bushes connected with it.

– After spraying the chemical weed killer, wait for several weeks to give the chemical time to penetrate other roots. A chemical weed killer is strong enough that it can kill roots left in the soil after digging the weed. 

– Once the chemical weed killer has killed the rose bush, remove the dead plants so that the desired plants can comfortably grow. 

– You can use a mattock to eliminate the dead plant’s roots from the soil after a few weeks of this process. 

In getting rid of rose bushes, they can be stubborn like weeds in that it might be hard to control. The best thing is to create an unfavorable environment that will discourage growth. 

Using herbicides with glysophate can also help you to get rid of rose bushes permanently. With a chemical weed killer, it’s unlikely for a rose plant to regrow after this exercise. 

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