Roses forum→training a ground cover rose

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storms66
Apr 1, 2019 7:57 AM CST
Has anyone had success training a ground cover rose that grows 4'-6' into a climber vertically or horizontally? I am going to try this on Sunrise - Sunset an Easy Elegance rose that spreads nicely on the ground. Any information would be appreciated on this.



Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, New York (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner 2020 Garden Photography Roses Bulbs Peonies
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Mike
Apr 1, 2019 8:32 AM CST
I don't know the habits of Sunrise-Sunset in particular, but I suspect you might need to do a fair amount of pegging - not just of the main canes, but all the shoots that branch off the main canes, too (unless they tend to arch and eventually fall over on their own). The only time I tried to peg a climber was very early on in my rose-growing experience, a couple of decades ago, when I tried pegging the climbing version of Queen Elizabeth. I could not have picked a worse choice if I tried, because the cultivars I had were growing as straight and rigid as bamboo, and all my canes snapped when I tried to peg them. It was a novice's mistake. Today I would choose a rose with far more pliable canes if I were to reattempt that.
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
Apr 1, 2019 8:32 AM CST
Yes !
Years ago I bought 2 un-named "ground cover roses" at a farmers market which had no names on them. They were growing laterally with very long canes which were still very pliable and just beginning to leaf out. The seller told me they get very wide and were perfect for planting on a slope and grew very fast. I don't have a slope in my garden, but figured for 10 bucks apiece I'd try them and see how they'd spread to fill in bare spots.
It became apparent very quickly that these un-named roses would soon engulf the area, so I trained them like climbers on supports.
It worked perfectly and they bloomed like crazy. I still don't know the names of them but no longer have them as they got destroyed when we had to replace an underground gas line.
Go ahead and try it. The rose doesn't know any differently.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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porkpal
Apr 1, 2019 11:22 AM CST
I think, as the Mikes pointed out, the key is to work with a rose that produces flexible canes.
Porkpal
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, New York (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner 2020 Garden Photography Roses Bulbs Peonies
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dog Lover Cat Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York
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Mike
Apr 1, 2019 12:13 PM CST
When I tried pegging Queen Elizabeth, the canes that didn't break kept popping back up from the ground, whiplashing like catapults, whacking me in the head. It was a bit like wrestling with the Whomping Willow in the Harry Potter film.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Thumb of 2019-04-01/Mike/2e0ec3

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
Daylilies Cat Lover Bulbs Butterflies Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
Calsurf73
Apr 1, 2019 1:23 PM CST
Porkpal is correct. I should have emphasized that you have to work with the canes while they're still flexible enough.
Those ground cover canes will "harden" as they age just like any other rose thus making them harder to manipulate.
Name: Shyam
San Francisco, CA (Zone 10b)
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Rose_Guy1127
Apr 1, 2019 3:07 PM CST
Chiming in along what Porkpal and both Mikes said, it is best to train the canes while they are pliable, and yes, the can pliability varies for different ground roses. For instance, I am training my Pretty in Pink ground cover to attain the sort of overflowing-out-of-the-barrel effect. In the beginning, the canes started to grow more vertically and less horizontally that I pegged most of the canes with garden staples to encourage growing horizontally. Perhaps in the nearby future, I may arch the canes downward by placing a wooden clothespin near the tip. Most clothespin comes with a slot that works to hold the cane tip down without crushing it.

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SW Ohio River Valley (Zone 6b)
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vaporvac
Apr 2, 2019 12:20 AM CST
I think this is done commonly with the rose red Cascade. I originally bought it as a climber but I'm now reconsidering it as a ground cover so completely opposite of what you're thinking! That was after I read it grows best that way. However on HMF all the pictures are of it climbing and it looks fantastic. So go for it! What have you got to lose? :-)
Long Island, New York, USA (Zone 7a)
Region: New York Roses
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Ray_Gun
Apr 3, 2019 7:56 AM CST
I'm just here for the Harry Potter references Thumbs up Hilarious!
Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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nippstress
Apr 5, 2019 1:12 PM CST
Storms66, that is exactly what I did with my Sunrise Sunset, and I'd rank it as my second biggest climber (second only to the truly thorny monster Quadra). Even the Canadian roses John Cabot and Alexander Mackenzie are no bigger than Sunrise Sunset, I just have them trained differently. Many "official" climbers in my zone 5 region don't get much above waist high after pruning off winter damage, but my SS doesn't die off much over the winter. After about 6 years I still find the canes pretty flexible so it's a good fit for what you mention.
My strategy is to tie the canes of this rose to a support in the same way I would any other climber. Roses can't read, so it doesn't know that it's not "supposed" to be on a trellis. Be forewarned that 4-6' is WAYYY too small for the size and breadth of SS. The canes are at least 10-12' at the beginning of the summer and can stretch across a 4' divide to my arch and cover the 8' arch by the end of summer. Just keep the main canes as horizontal as you can, and keep reattaching the wayward canes to your support as they grow. Mine is pretty well branched out with a lot of basal canes from the base, so there are a lot of canes to attach to a support. I would hesitate to trust one of those lattice supports that attach to the wall, since mine would be sure to pull the lattice entirely off the wall support. Make no mistake, this rose is a thug. A nice flexible thug, but give it room to grow.
Here's a shot of SS from three years ago when she was starting to come into her own. You can see the canes at the base of the rose that are near the sidewalk, and I have to stretch every last one of them backwards about 4' to reach the trellis. See, I believed the reports that she was 2-3' tall (hahahahahaha!). You can see one wayward cane toward the left of the mass that is visible in its stretch backwards, and every cane that shoots out to the sidewalk gets faithfully lashed back toward the trellis. Kind of like a lion tamer - BACK, you BEAST! HYAHHH! The scattered dark red blooms are a 12 year old Illusion rose that is SUPPOSED to be a large climber but he's totally dwarfed by SS. The russet rose at the bottom was the About Face that SS was supposed to gently highlight at its feet, but it eventually got shaded out by the monster.



This is a slightly closer shot from the next year, and you can no longer see the trellis.


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Here's one more shot from a little to the side last year, showing some of the wayward canes reaching out that need to be reattached to the arch.


Thumb of 2019-04-05/nippstress/49f09d

I've recently finished reattaching SS to the arch after winter so I'll see if I can get some pictures of her in her bare nekkid glory, so you can see how the canes work.

Cynthia

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