The Q&A Archives: Flowering Vine

Question: I planted two white bower vines and a Cherokee climbing rose two years ago and none of them have flowered yet. I have other types of roses and clematis planted in the same conditions which are good bloomers. Does it take several seasons for bower vine and cherokee rose to bloom?

Answer: You didn't mention whether or not you've pruned your rose. Climbing roses should be left unpruned for the first 2-3 years after planting, until they establish a framework. You can remove dead, weak and twiggy wood, but allow the plant to produce as many long, flexible canes as possible. Most bloom comes from lateral branches that grow from the long canes, and most of those flowering branches develop when the long canes are spread out horizontally (as along a fence). I suspect that your climbing rose will begin blooming this year. If not, follow the above guidelines for pruning and it should bloom next year for you.

Bower vines develop flower buds on the previous year's growth, so pruning at the wrong time will affect flowering. If yours is growing in full sunshine, in rich, well-draining soil, and you've haven't pruned out too much old wood, it should bloom for you. Wish I could offer some other suggestions, but maybe patience is the only answer! Best wishes with your two non-performers. I think they'll eventually reward you with lovely flowers, and it will be worth the wait!

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