When flower-bearing shoots in cut rose (Rosa ·hybrida) are harvested, a varying number of repressed axillary buds on the shoot remainder start to grow into new shoots (budbreak). Earlier experiments indicated that light reaching the bud affected the number of budbreaks. In all these studies, whole plants were illuminated with different light intensities or light spectra. The aim of this article is to disentangle the effects of light intensity and light spectrum, in this case red:far-red ratio, at the level of the buds on budbreak in a rose crop. Three experiments were conducted in which light intensity and red:far-red ratio at the level of the buds were independently varied, whereas intensity and red:far-red ratio of incident light on the crop were not changed. Light intensity and red:far-red ratio at the position of the buds were quantified and related to budbreak on the shoot remainders. Removal of vertical shoots increased light intensity and red:far-red ratio as well as budbreak (1.9 budbreaks per shoot remainder compared with 0.4 budbreaks when five vertical shoots were present). No vertical shoots and red light-absorbing shading paper over the plant base mimicked the effect of vertical shoots with respect to light intensity and red:far-red ratio, but budbreak (1.0 budbreaks) was intermediate compared with treatments with and without shoots. This suggested that the presence of shoots exerts an inhibiting effect on budbreak through both effects on light at the bud and correlative inhibition. When plants had no vertical shoots and light intensity and red:far-red ratio at bud level were changed by neutral and red light-absorbing shading paper, there was a positive effect of light intensity on budbreak (0.3 more budbreaks per shoot remainder) and no effect of red:far-red ratio. Combinations of high and low light intensity with high and low red:far-red ratio on axillary buds showed that there was a positive effect of light intensity on budbreak (0.5 more budbreaks per shoot remainder) and no effect of red:far-red ratio. Our study reveals that when light intensity and red:far-red ratio received by the plant are similar but differ at bud level, budbreak was affected by light intensity and not by red:far-red ratio.