Roses forum→Spacing between a climber and HT or F rose bush

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Name: Rosemary
Sacramento, CA (Zone 9b)
Oct 16, 2020 1:50 PM CST
Any opinions about this? When looking up Pruning a Climber on this forum, I read that the top growth of a climber has an equal bottom root growth, so give it plenty of space. I've noticed that the bushes planted in close proximity to some of the climbers in the Garden where I volunteer, the bushes directly next to the climbers have either died, in the case of Cl. Cecile Brunner, and a couple of others have either spaces where bushes have died, or there are a couple not thriving. So what has been your experience? And how much room should a climber be given as far as planting other bushes nearby? Thank You!
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
Oct 16, 2020 3:58 PM CST
I think a lot depends on which climber and how you train it. With most climbers you want to spread them sideways as much as you can to encourage laterals and therefore more blooms. In that case you need to allow for that sideways spreading. If it is a very large, vigorous climber you will need more room than for a smaller medium sized climber. Take another look at those climbers at the garden and see if the roses on either side were getting shaded out by the taller, larger climber. That may be why they didn't thrive. Also, by size alone climbers need to have very large root balls to support the top growth. They may have used all the nutrients and were water hogs forcing the smaller roses to die off.
Tuscany, Italy
Oct 18, 2020 2:33 AM CST
Rosemary, I, too, would like to discuss this matter; thank you for posting the question. It seems like whenever the subject of spacing between roses comes up, people tend to respond with the formula "estimate the mature width of the roses in question", and space according to that. Or else "space climbers 1-2 meters apart",but it's hard to get a straight answer when you ask how much space a bush or shrub rose needs from a climber ! Now, I think Seil brings up some vital points: one needs to consider the garden conditions that result from the presence of a climber, and also just what sort of climber is in question. I myself am still experimenting around with this. My own garden conditions are so peculiar: my land had never been cultivated before I started my garden, so the soil is by no means "good garden soil" and , 20 years later, I am stil working hard on it, since it's very different in different areas, etc.Also, I have no running water out there (my garden is a 20 minute drive from my house) so plants basically have to rely on rainfall after the first year or so.Up until now, with these very tough conditions, I've really only had success with climbers, ramblers and (some) OGRs and hybrid musks,and a couple of landscape-type roses and Austins. Now I am trying to attempt some floribundas,but I think they will need more coddling than the others. My point re your question here, and building on Seil's remarks, is that I think when considering spacing it's important to consider the natural vigour of the plants involved.Perhaps one could get away with planting a vigorous, robust landscape-type bush rose near a climber, whereas a floribunda- type bush would fail? Hopefully, more people will weigh in...

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