Planting Roses - Knowledgebase Question

Sna Antonio, Te
Question by zunigamg
February 14, 2010
when and which types of roses are best to plant now inthe San Antonio area? Am wanting rose bushes. I have a climbimg rose thaat I am almost afraid to trim and if I do. How do I trim and how much? Trunk is about 2 inches round and Almost 9 feet tall.

Answer from NGA
February 14, 2010


Climbing roses get a different treatment than standard roses bushes, and that treatment depends on whether they are ramblers or large flowered climbers. Ramblers usually have smaller flowers and grow rampantly, sometimes up to 20 feet in one season! If they are left unpruned, they will grow into a thorny, overgrown thicket. They only bloom once a year, and do so on OLD wood grown the previous season. The best way to prune these is to cut the canes back as soon as they are done blooming. This encourages new growth this year so they will have plenty of wood to bloom on next year. Tie the new growth to a fence or trellis with soft twine or nylon pantyhose.

Large flowered climbers are less vigorous in their growth and often require very little pruning during their first few years. Initially, you only need to prune to remove any dead or diseased wood. In their first few years, you need to train them onto a fence or trellis. Tie the new growth with soft twine or nylon pantyhose. As the rose grows, you will need to prune to shape and control its height.

Pruning needs to be done in the early spring. The first step is to look at the rose and decide on your desired shape. Then cut out old branches (canes) that bloomed the year before.

Next, you need to cut out all the dead, weak, or thin canes, leaving four or five strong new ones.

Cut back the canes you decided to leave. Cut them down to where they have four to five sets of leaflets. This will encourage lots of new growth, which is what this type of climber blooms from. After pruning each plant, clean your equipment with the rubbing alcohol in order to prevent the spread of disease between plants.

After you have cut back your selected canes, tie them to your fence or trellis with soft twine or nylon pantyhose. This will help the cane support the weight of the new growth. As the new growth emerges, be sure to continue your maintenance by securing the new growth to the fence or trellis. Be vigilant with this as the new growth can break from the weight of the blooms if it is not secured to the supporting structure.

Texas A & M has a publication listing the dozens and dozens of shrub roses that perform well in your region. Here's the website:

I'm sure you'll find lots and lots! Enjoy!

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