Give your climbing rose a little care and attention and it will produce a delightful display of blooms and healthy growth. The climbing rose is not a true climber, it does not develop tendrils or suction roots, it cannot climb on its own. Therefore your climber will need a little training, as it grows, bend the canes of the rose in arcs and tie them in place so they grow horizontally or downward. Canes that are left to grow straight up will only produce flowers at their tips. Bending a cane will encourage side-shoots. The more side-shoots produced, the more blooms will develop.
When to prune
Mid –winter when the rose plant is dormant is the ideal time to do the yearly prune. Prune again in summer, cutting away any dead wood and snip off any spent flowers and apply an application of fertilizer. This will promote more blooms and a healthier plant.
Spring flowering roses such as Cecil Brunner, Dorothy Perkins and Banksia roses are best pruned immediately after flowering.
How to train your climbing rose
· Provide a strong sturdy arbour, trellis or fence.
· Plant rose approximately 30cm to the front of support.
· As the rose grows, bend and firmly tie the canes to the trellis, leaving the tie loose enough to allow for new growth.
· In the first season, remove flowers (trimming with short stems) before they fade.
· Train in this manner for the first two to three years, then add pruning to the training procedure.
Basic pruning tips
1. Firstly remove any thin stems shooting from the base.
2. Remove dead or unproductive branches entirely along with any diseased growth.
3. Shorten branches you want to retain to your desired shape and cut side shoots back to 8-10 buds.
4. Tie remaining branches to supports – not too tight as the stems will thicken with the new seasons growth.
5. Remove any shoots that have appeared from below the graft (suckers) by digging down to where they shooting from. Remove by pulling down and out.
6. Spray with lime sulphur immediately after pruning and follow with Copper Oxychloride 3-4 weeks later.
7. Apply an application of rose fertilizer to promote healthy growth and blooms.
General care of Roses
* Resist the temptation to thread shoots through the trellis/support
* Don’t tie stems with wire, use rubber ties or thick jute string.
* Don’t add old clippings to the compost heap. Gather them up and burn or take them to the refuse tip.
* Prune repeat flowers after they have finished flowering to encourage new growth and blooms.
* Apply Richgro’s rose fertilizer after pruning (Aug/Sept) and again in summer (Nov/Dec) and autumn (Feb/March). Give them an added boost in mid spring (Oct/Nov) by applying a light dressing of Richgros Granulated Sulphate of Potash and Manutec Sulphate of Iron at the rate of 10g per square metre. Alternately apply Richgros Black Marvel monthly.
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