Roses forum: climbing roses sunny above, shady below

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Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Dec 20, 2013 9:57 PM CST
Hello, just joined today, and I've been finding lots of really juicy information and ideas, thanks all!

My question: I have a concrete ranch "porch" (a high stoop) attached to the facade of my house, with an overhang and pillars in front of it, as well as a garden bed. Planted at the back of the garden bed--directly in front of the porch and pillars--is a dense hedge. I can't move it or I would, but it has cramped in my flowers-climbing-the-pillars dreams for years, because although the front of my house including the pillars gets full sun, the hedge in front blocks the bottom three feet of pillars.

I still have my dream and I want to go for it, but I don't want to kill any flowers when I do, so finally my question: If I were to put my two climbing roses (Dublin Bay) in pots on the stoop beside the pillars (behind the hedge) and let them grow up, would they be okay with their bottom three feet of canes in perpetual shade? They already have 5- and 7-foot tall canes, so the tops would get full sun.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Dec 20, 2013 10:04 PM CST
I think they will be fine. - And welcome!
Porkpal
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Dec 21, 2013 12:55 AM CST
Welcome to ATP.

Even if the base of the rose is in the shade, your rose should do fine because roses always "reach for the sun."

Do you plan to keep them in pots ? Climbers tend to grow a large root mass. In my one and only attempt to grow a climber in a pot, the rose was root bound within one season. In a sense, the root mass of a rose will be equal to the size of the top growth, very much like a tree.

Also, you might want to make sure that you have enough room for the width of the rose. On HelpMeFind, the rose page says that 'Dublin Bay' can have a width of 5'. Just something to consider. Here's the link:

http://www.helpmefind.com/rose/l.php?l=2.1635&tab=1

Smiles,
Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Dec 21, 2013 8:41 AM CST
When I lived in England there was a climbing rose planted underneath a Deodar Tree that had to be at least 40 feet tall. I didn't even know it was there until one morning when I got up and looked out the bedroom window on the 2nd floor of the house and saw roses in the Deodar Tree! What? That's when I discovered the rose bush at the base of the tree. There were no leaves anywhere and looked rather pitiful but it had snaked its way up the tree until it found sun.
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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
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chelle
Dec 21, 2013 8:49 AM CST
Welcome! to ATP.

A lot of roses are pretty bare of leaves on their lower stems anyway, so I'd think this could be a nearly ideal situation. If you must leave your roses in pots you might consider cutting away the bottoms. Their roots will want to continue growing, and it's always better for them to grown down, rather than around.
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Dec 21, 2013 10:40 AM CST
Or you could make your own wooden or stone "pots" with no bottom. Essentially just small raised beds.

Welcome! to ATP! You have definitely found the right place to unearth "juicy information!" Hilarious!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Dec 21, 2013 11:17 AM CST
Yay! As for the container issue, the columns aren't that thick, so maybe I could keep them to three or four canes max to prevent them growing too wide. There's no space behind the hedge--it butts right up against the stoop, so the container would be on the concrete stoop near the pillar; no way to cut the bottoms out of the containers for them to grow into the ground. I was planning on some pretty large containers, though. So do you think containing the top growth would contain the root growth?
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Dec 21, 2013 1:02 PM CST
Yes, keeping the top growth smaller will stimulate the root mass to be smaller very much like bonsai, but it's truly not the best thing to do for a healthy rose that you want to climb.

Climbers typically will grow their root mass first so that it is large enough to support the top growth it will want to put up. That's why you see little top growth on a climber that is planted in the first couple of years ... even when it is planted in the ground. The rose is growing roots and preparing itself for future growth.

Roses renew themselves by putting out new basal canes because old canes become less efficient over time. This is genetically programmed into the plant. People do grow trees and roses in containers, but, in my opinion, large roses in containers never become the roses they were meant to be.

When a rose is grown in a container, keep in mind, that every few years, it is necessary to re-pot the the rose, give it a root prune and replace the soil due to the salt build up in the soil from the fertilizer you have fed it to keep the rose productive and beautiful. It doesn't matter if the rose is a climber, an old garden rose, a miniature rose, a floribunda, a polyantha or any other class of rose.

A rose that does not have want it needs ... not enough light, not enough water, not enough nutrients, etc., often grows into a weak plant that is more disease prone.

'Dublin Bay' is a solid rose, but like any rose, if you cannot give it what it needs to be a successful plant, you will never see the rose at its best. I guess what I am trying to say as diplomatically as possible is that DB may not be the best rose for this kind of siting.

However, I do not think you need to give up your dream. I think you need to go about it a bit differently. There are climbing flowering vines that do grow well in containers that don't mind having their roots in a shady area and will also reach for the sun and will thrive is the situation you are describing. You could plant those in the pots at the base of your pillars and then put a smaller weeping rose in a container and hang it from the top of your porch. Yes, these plants will need re-potting, too, in time, but it's a lot easier to deal with a smaller plant when you are trying to re-pot a plant.

Others on ATP gardening in your zone may be able to give you more specific ideas on how to realize your dream. Dreaming about what we can create is very much a part of gardening. Smiling

Smiles,
Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Dec 21, 2013 1:35 PM CST
Clematis instead, perhaps?
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Dec 21, 2013 5:31 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Here's the entry for that rose in our own database: Rose (Rosa 'Dublin Bay')
Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Dec 21, 2013 9:38 PM CST
Thanks for the link, Dave, and the suggestion of clematis, Woofie--good idea. It was nearly 70 degrees here today and I was all ready to dig up one of my DBs when I came back to see your answer, RoseBlush. You gave me quite a bit to think about, and I put down my shovel to do it.

Some background: One of the roses is currently in the ground, in somewhat amended soil, in more shade than sun. This will be its third year, and although its canes have grown, I think it's in search of sunlight, and it hardly ever blooms. The other one (the same age) is also in the ground, in a sunnier position, but not full sun, and it has grown taller and bloomed much better and more consistently for its first two years compared to the first rose. Surprise, surprise. But both are healthy roses, and the jap beetles didn't seem particularly taken with them--at least not yet.

Of course, the third year is the "leap" year for climbers I've heard. So after reading your last thoughts and ideas, Roseblush, I'm thinking now that maybe I should just wait and see what happens to the shadier one this third year. I will do my best to give it more attention since the lack of sunlight has delayed its development, and see if it improves--even if not as floriferous as the other one, I just would like to see it looking less like a survivor.

I no longer think it's a good idea to move the other one at all; it's doing fine where it is. So... clematis! It wouldn't be the instant gratification I'm looking for, since clematis also starts off slow, too. But eventually, I just might get to live my dream.

My initial plan for this year was to grow down from a container at the top of the pillar--and look, you suggested it! I think I'll go for that. Any weeping rose cultivars you'd suggest?
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Dec 22, 2013 12:15 AM CST
lovesblooms .........

Thank you for providing the background of your roses.

I agree that your climbers have not been in the ground long enough to grow the root mass they would want before they would put on significant top growth and bloom more prolifically and giving them another year is probably very wise, especially since you say they are healthy plants where they are currently located. That third year really does make a difference. I have found that to be true for most of the roses I have grown even when they are not climbers.

In my current garden, I don't think any of my roses reach maturity until their 3rd or 4th year in the ground and then they seem to be healthier and bloom more prolifically. Of course, as usual, it depends on the rose.

The rose growing in the shadier location may have additional problems other than light deprivation which is causing it to look like it is just surviving. Is the additional shade due to the growth of near by trees ? If this is true, the rose may be impacted by root competition from the trees and you may decide to relocate that plant where it does not have that issue. If the shade is caused by a structure blocking the light, that's a different issue. You can use this third year to observe whether or not the plant is going to take off, but do give it the third year. As @Xeramtheum posted above, some roses can grow well in spite of the root competition from trees. Ralph Moore, a world famous, and world class, rose breeder used to say, "If there is a way, the rose will find it." Xeramtheum's post certainly confirms this statement.

As for suggesting specific cultivars for a weeping rose, I am more comfortable describing the plant habit you want to look for because our climates are so very different, but will suggest three that I know have the plant characteristics that make for a good weeping rose.

You are looking for a rose that is low growing and spreading with limber canes, so that the weight of the blooms cause the canes to hang down. Many people plant almost any miniature rose in a hanging basket thinking it will hang down, but most of these roses really do have an upright habit and never weep. Often, the type of rose you will be looking for is described as a ground cover rose, or is used to make a standard (tree) rose. You can Google "weeping rose" in images and find several good candidates. (There are some incredible photos there.)

I am also hoping others on ATP may give you some specific suggestions.

Of the three I am going to suggest, I am only growing one right now and that is 'Green Ice'. I am growing the rose in a container, but it has the perfect habit for a weeping rose as you can see in the photo below. The other two that I have seen growing in hanging baskets that kind of blew me away were 'Sweet Chariot' and 'Red Cascade'.

These roses can become larger plants than you may want, but don't mind being pruned back to a smaller size.

Good luck with your project and it would be wonderful if you share photos as the project comes together.

Smiles,
Lyn







I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Dec 22, 2013 8:09 AM CST
I grow Red Cascade and she would need a very large basket in my climate. I have seen roses of the Drift series that might do well as weepers. I also have a couple of small climbers that are doing well growing in large (100 g.) containers and have been for years. So perhaps you could still use roses on your pillars if you have room for such.
Porkpal
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Dec 22, 2013 9:26 AM CST
I was going to suggest a Drift rose as well. My DH bought me a Coral Drift, it's quite pretty and looks like it would do very nicely as a weeper. Sprawls all over the ground.

Clematis don't take all that long to provide gratification. Smiling This was the third year for my Crystal Fountain and Hagley Hybrid and they both grew to the top of my garden arch. They did pretty well last year, too. And they're so pretty!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Dec 22, 2013 9:12 PM CST
Thanks for all these rose suggestions. I've been on helpmefind.com pretty much every time I've touched my computer today. They don't have "weeping" as a search criteria, but they do have "ground cover" and "hanging basket" under the "Growth" search refiner.

I will be glad to post pictures of the results of my decision (pretty pillars, I hope!) this season. Glad to meet you all, and thanks again.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Dec 22, 2013 9:39 PM CST
Trailing maybe?
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

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Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Dec 22, 2013 9:54 PM CST
No "trailing," either, Xeramtheum, which was irritating.

Oh, and Roseblush, it's not near a tree--it's the house that shades it on one side and the oaks throughout the backyard that shade it on other three sides. It gets sun, though, I promise. For a minute or two at noon (probably).

Woofie, I barely had the patience for the roses' third year--as you can see I was ready to pull em and move em. I have yearned for years for clematis, though I'm afraid I'll become addicted to them and have thus stayed away. You're enabling me. I waited for the big, juicy red climbing roses, right? What's a few years for one (or two) of those big, juicy-flowered vines I've always been jealous of on other people's mailboxes and trellises? Why not, indeed?
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Dec 23, 2013 12:05 AM CST
lovesblooms .........

I do understand how you feel about trying to find the right plant. It's downright tricky ... Hilarious!

I don't know what your pillar is made of, but if it is wood, maybe you could use a bracket to hold a container above the hedge, and half way up towards the roof, then you could plant a more upright rose that would grow up towards the roof instead of having a rose that would weep down.

Just something to think about.

ATP has a CONTAINER forum and a VINES AND CLIMBERS forum. Maybe you could ask for suggestions on either of those forums and they may suggest using plants that neither one of us would have thought of using.

Smiles,
Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Dec 23, 2013 12:34 AM CST
lovesblooms .........

I forgot to address the root competition/shade issue ... sorry.

I used the Ask.com search engine and asked how many gallons of water a mature oak tree would use in a day and was really surprised by the answer .... 50 gallons !

Here's a link:

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_gallons_of_water_a_day_do...

So whether or not the rose has root competition really is determined by how close it is planted to the oaks. If it is only shaded by the trees blocking sunlight but is far enough away from the tree's drip line, the root competition would be less of a problem than light deprivation.

I hope that makes sense ...

Smiles,
Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
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Xeramtheum
Dec 23, 2013 6:43 AM CST
Could you perhaps post a picture of the front of the house with the hedges and posts?
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