Prune a rugosa?

Credit: Courtesy Brad Jalbert

Q: Do rugosa roses need pruning? 

While rugosa roses generally do not require a lot of pruning, very old plants benefit from renovative pruning in early spring: simply cut out several old canes right to ground level. Tip-prune the remaining stems to maintain compactness and encourage flowering mainly from the side shoots. Remove any dead, diseased or damaged stems. Top-dress plants with compost and granular plant food as directed on the package.