Roses forum: Need some advice on Climbing Roses

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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Feb 8, 2014 10:40 AM CST
First off let me say that I really need some advice here ... or maybe I just think I do.

I have been growing 2 different cultivars of roses in large pots up 2 different arbors.

The arbor and roses that I am most concerned about is the Climbing Cramoisi Superieur roses I have growing up a wooden arbor. It has been in the two pots for a number of years. I decided not to grow them in the ground because of the root-knot nematodes in my yard. Though I suspect the roots of both plants have found their way into the ground.

Are they supposed to look like a huge topper of stems, branches, and blooms on top? Or should I be pruning them much more to keep them looking more managed and less like a big poof of out-of-control branches like in my photo? I've never been able to figure out how to prune this fast growing climbing rose cultivar. They just dropped their most recent bloom flush so it looks colorless.

Thumb of 2014-02-08/beckygardener/0ff91c

This is a photo of Climbing Old Blush growing on another arbor. Both roses in this picture are also growing in pots for the same reason I have the others in pots. This one looks more tame. It is sporting a bloom flush right now since it is cooler. I like this look much better. It doesn't look all wild and crazy.

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[Last edited by beckygardener - Feb 8, 2014 10:45 AM (+)]
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Name: Mike
Long Beach, Ca.
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Roses Region: California Hummingbirder Farmer
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Calsurf73
Feb 8, 2014 11:49 AM CST
I'm not familiar with the first rose you mentioned, or it's growth habit and pattern, but they do look amazing for having been grown in pots ! You're also most likely correct that they've rooted into the soil below the pots by now, so I wouldn't disturb them. Just continue to water them and feed them.

Some climbers do tend to have concentrated growth at the top of the arbors and bare canes down at the base.
I don't know how often you prune yours, but a considerable thinning out of the top of the plants and then giving them some Epsom salts may very well encourage new basal growth as well as lateral growth from those older canes. I've encountered that problem in the past and the thinning/epsom salt treatment worked well.

Another thing you could consider doing (if the first suggestion doesn't work) is a remedy I tried and was successful with:
I planted a much shorter and less vigorous climber at the base of the big one which eventually "hid" the canes of the older one. You could also plant a smaller more manageable flowering (or green) vine at the base to get the same effect...i.e. clematis or some sort of climbing annual. I've used the shorter varieties of sweet peas to achieve that effect...ones that only grow to a max of about 5'.

Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Feb 8, 2014 12:20 PM CST
Mike - Thank you for your suggestions. I do have a clematis vine growing in each of the pots with the CC roses. But they are dormant right now. And they never get very big because of the lack of root space. (I should probably move them out of the rose pots and into their own pots .... but that is another story.

I think I may have been confusing in my question ... What I really want to know is .... should the CC roses have THAT much top growth? They are so huge and sprawling at the top that it looks like a teased wig or clown's wig. I was thinking they should look more reserved like the Cl. Old Blush roses on it's arbor. I've honestly never seen a climbing rose look like that at the top. It reminds me of an episode (if there was one) of Climbing Roses Gone Wild. Should I be pruning it hard and more often? It is obviously a vigorous grower (even in pots). This is a China rose culitvar. Mine has no scent that I can detect unlike what it says on this link.

http://www.westongardens.com/page%20content/plant%20library/...

I just read on that link that it grows to 15' tall. So maybe that explains why it is ridiculously tall and branching out everywhere at the top like it's on steroids. I had no idea it would grow like that. I was mainly looking for climbing roses that would actually survive here in central Florida. I didn't expect in pots that it would grow to it's full potential.

Anyway .... should I hard prune these two CC climbing roses? Or is this the nature of these beasts and should I just leave them alone and prune like I have been doing (which is when the branches get so long that they are hanging down and scratching anyone walking under them)?

Mike - You suggested I do that, but should I .... given the nature of this particular cultivar of climbing rose?

BTW - The Cl. Old Blush roses do NOT have the roots growing out of the pots yet. The pots are sitting on pavers and I can still shift the pots. The CC though I can not move either of them and any paver they are sitting on is buried under the ground like probably any roots growing through the drain holes of the pots.
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[Last edited by beckygardener - Feb 8, 2014 12:27 PM (+)]
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Feb 8, 2014 3:31 PM CST
I would prune the wild climber to suit yourself. Chinas are large vigorous roses especially in the warmer parts of the country. It will thrive inspite of your haircut.
Porkpal
Name: Mike
Long Beach, Ca.
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Roses Region: California Hummingbirder Farmer
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Calsurf73
Feb 8, 2014 4:46 PM CST
I agree with porkpal. Go ahead and give it a good pruning. The link you provided said it's good at repeat flowering, so I would go ahead and take the chance. Once it regrows, maybe try and keep it from getting out of control at the top.

Your situation brings to mind exactly what I went through with a Cl. Lemon Meringue rose. I didn't do my homework when I planted it and it completely overpowered the VERY NARROW (12" wide) steel arbor I had it growing on. It was way too massive for such a small arbor and always looked top heavy. When it DID sprout laterally from the canes, the whips got to be enormous, regardless of if I piched them out or not. I've since removed it, so it's history.



Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Feb 8, 2014 5:09 PM CST
Thanks to both of you!

I will give it a good pruning the next chance I get. Probably in a week. I do love the fact that it does indeed cover the large wooden arbor, but I don't like ducking when I walk under it to avoid being scratched by the lateral branches. It does bloom off and on throughout the entire year. Though it seems to prefer the cooler temps of Winter for happier blooms. It is just too top heavy that it looks out of proportion to me. But maybe my thinking is all wrong. Maybe that is exactly how it is supposed to look. I did want a climbing rose to cover the arbor. It does that and then some ....

I've tried growing a number of rose cultivars over the years, but none survive past the second year. Bad soil and root-knot nematodes. My soil is horrible even with amending. So all but one of my roses grow in pots. My Don Juan has survived in the ground for about 5 years. It never gets real big, but it does bloom and the blooms are gorgeous and have a wonderful scent. It is not as vigorous as CC. I sure wished it was. But at least it has survived the ground soil and has not died.

I envy all of you who have such beautiful rose gardens! That must be Heaven! I wished I knew of a really lovely and fragrant rose that would grow well in a pot (not a climber) in FL zone 9b. I have the Knock Out Roses (a pink and a red one). No scent, very bushy. I have both in pots. I do like them because they have done well for me over the past 4 years, but I yearn for a "real" rose bush. (sigh) A big, glorious strong scented rose. In my dreams ....

Thanks for the help!

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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Feb 8, 2014 5:46 PM CST

Moderator

Becky, you could grow big roses in the ground if you bought roses grafted onto Fortuniana rootstock. It's perfect for Florida because it doesn't appeal to root-knot nematodes. Local Florida nurseries are likely to carry Fortuniana-grafted roses. The local wholesaler is Nelsons Florida Roses.

https://sites.google.com/site/nelsonsfloridaroses/

If you can't find them locally, you can get them by mail from K&M Roses.

http://www.kandmroses.com/

I've ordered many roses from K&M and they are superb! Fortuniana works well in California, where it has the added plus of not appealing to gophers, and in all of the southern states. It isn't hardy, so it doesn't work well in the lower zones. The roses have to be planted with the graft high above ground level, so it's not a good choice of rootstock in any location where the graft has to be underground.

Years ago, I also bought some roses from MerryGro in Florida, which grew Jackson & Perkins roses on Fortuniana rootstock. Those roses put the other J&P roses in my garden to shame! They're taller, wider, and healthier. Unfortunately, MerryGro was going out of business when I bought my roses, so I never had a chance to buy more.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Feb 9, 2014 8:57 PM CST
Zuzu - Thank you for that information. I am trying desperately to locate Kordes "Beverly" locally. K and M has a minimum order of 4 roses. I only want one rose bush to try with the Fortuniana rootstock. Beverly sounds perfect. I even have a place in a new raised bed for it! Now to find one locally. There is one place in the next county over that might have it. If not, I will look into other Fortuniana rootstock roses. I am very interested in the Kordes roses. They sound like a good bet in my humid region.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Feb 10, 2014 9:03 PM CST
Cool Roses in Florida also sells roses grafted to fortuniana, but their website is down for a few weeks. I just checked. I've heard they have a good reputation, but I have not purchased any roses from them.

Smiles,
Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Feb 11, 2014 11:01 PM CST
Thanks, Lyn!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Feb 12, 2014 12:44 AM CST
Thumbs up
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.

cathyfaiso
Jul 12, 2015 6:36 AM CST
My first roses and they are out of control. I thought I bought a climbing rose but it looks more like a bush. I read a little and understand the cane and lateral approach but when I looked at my plant closely the canes are huge and it's just the first year so I'm scared to cut worried I may kill it. Any tips appreciated. I'm very new at roses. Thanks.
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Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jul 12, 2015 9:40 AM CST
Welcome! to ATP

@Zuzu wrote a couple of good articles on ATP on training climbing roses and another on pruning roses. Here are a couple of links:

http://garden.org/ideas/view/zuzu/1297/Training-Climbing-Ros...

http://garden.org/ideas/view/zuzu/1196/Stress-Free-Rose-Prun...

Maybe she will chime in here and give you even more tips. She has the most amazing garden with lots of climbers and has experience with far more roses than most people have ever thought of growing.

However, I think these articles can get you started.

Smiles,
Lyn

I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
[Last edited by RoseBlush1 - Jul 12, 2015 2:59 PM (+)]
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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jul 12, 2015 1:07 PM CST
Some very good links Lyn posted!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden

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