The Q&A Archives: Climbing Roses In Colchester

Question: I've started a rose garden in zone 4A of Vermont and would like to try climbing roses this year. So far, I've only tried shrub roses. If climbing roses could be left on the 12 foot high trellis fence and not taken down in covered in straw each fall(which is what I've been told I would have to do), then I would like to give it a try. Perhaps you know of some really hardy ones that could winter the wind and the cold? Hopeful in Vermont.

Answer: You might look into the Explorer series of roses developed in Canada for exceptional hardiness. The taller roses in this group such as William Baffin, John Cabot and Henry Kelsey are often grown more or less as climbers and trained to arches and such. Keep in mind also that the healthier and more robust the plants are during the growing season, the better they seem to tolerate cold and adverse winter conditions. So try to site them in a good location (full sun but protected from wind) and take good care of them during the growing season for best results. Your local chapter of the American Rose Society may also have some suggestions based on local experience as to climbing type roses that might do particularly well in your microclimate. Good luck!

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