Tips

Climbing roses

Lamarque

Roses are in full bloom in late spring, and while bush (also called shrub) roses are the most popular, climbing roses are ideal for growing against fences and over archways and pergolas.

Most climbing roses have long, arching canes that reach up to the sky. They produce a massed show of large flowers in spring and continue blooming throughout the warmer months.

Favourite climbers:

Another group of climbing roses are called ramblers. These have pliable stems and smaller blooms. Most rambling roses flower just once a year, but what a glorious flowering it is. The stems and leaves become almost invisible beneath the froth of blossom. One of the best known ramblers is Dorothy Perkins, which is so vigorous it can even become a ground cover. Stems take root where they touch the ground and long shoots scramble over trees and garden beds. No wonder these are called ramblers.

And then there are the heritage and wild climbing roses such as creamy-white Lamarque, which dates back to 1830, yellow or white banksia (Rosa banksiae) and white Rosa laevigata which is also known as the Cherokee Rose.

Caring for climbing roses

Pruning climbing roses can be challenging. One major factor is whether the rose repeat flowers through the warmer weather or blooms only in spring. Spring-only bloomers, like banksias or Dorothy Perkins, should be cut back hard after flowering.

Long-flowering climbers should be cut only lightly to start with. Give the plant time to establish and don’t be too impatient for flowers. It’s not uncommon for a new rose to spend the first couple of years growing and establishing its framework before it settles down to reliable blooming. Long shoots can be shortened in winter and old unproductive canes removed entirely from the base.

Feed roses regularly throughout the growing season with Acticote or Dynamic Lifter Plus Flower Food. A Yates Rose Gun or Super Shield will protect from pests and diseases.


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