Friday, May 7, 2010

Climbing Roses Add Grace and Interest to the Garden!

Hello again,

Valerie Knotts is a rose gardening expert and author who enjoys teaching others how to plant and grow beautiful roses. She recently published the following article about Climbing Roses; the article can be found at

Climbing roses are about as traditional as it gets in the garden and the beauty of their flowers can be just overwhelming. Ms. Knotts writes very clearly and I think you will enjoy this piece:

"Climbing roses are vigorous and easy to grow, and no rose garden would be complete without them. Climbers are often called pillars, ramblers, trailing roses, and ever-blooming roses depending on how they grow and are not considered true vines. They are simple to grow, and they add ornamental grace and interest to your garden or landscape.

Plant your climbing roses 12 to 15 inches away from the solid wall allowing four to five feet between each climber. The reason for this is that the soil near a building is usually shallow due to the foundation. Roses climbing on a trellis or fence may be planted closer. If you are planning to espalier on a trellis or fence, they can be trained to cover six to eight feet. Since these roses lack support structures you can loosely attach the plant to a trellis or wind it through the frame. Besides a trellis you can grow roses on arbors, sheds and most any suitable structure. Roses trained to grow laterally rather than vertically frequently produce more blooms. Vertically trained roses produce short spurs along their main stem or canes on which blooms are produced. The steps for growing climbing roses are not much different than those for growing other types of roses. Sunlight is important to roses and they need six to seven hours of direct unfiltered sunlight daily. Although climbers are said to do well in part shade they still need four to five hours of direct sunlight each day.

Consider the height or length of climbing roses when planning to use them in your garden. Some species can reach from seven to thirty feet in growth. Will the structure you plan to use support the roses? Another consideration is the climate of the area and the variety of the roses you plan to use in your garden. Some varieties are spring bloomers while other bloom throughout the growing season. These are often called everbloomers.

A major advantage between growing climbing roses and other types of roses is that they require very little pruning. Normally you won't need to prune them during the first two years of growth. If you prune these roses every year they will produce fewer blooms. Some climbers only bloom on the second year or older wood. Trim the light wood and remove only the dead and injured wood in early spring. When everblooming climbers have finished blooming, only remove the flowers and none of the foliage. Reblooming occurs from the top leaves just below the flower clusters. Some owners can get away with pruning their climbing roses every three or four years. Even then, pruning consists of only removing small canes and old or less vigorous canes at the base of the plant. Vigorous young canes are encouraged to grow and to become long and flexible. Owners will have an easier time training these canes through and onto structures.

Remember to have patience when growing climbing roses, as it may take a little while for them to get established. But, once established, their colors, beauty and fragrance will be worth the wait."

We have a good selection of all types of roses right now in our nurseries; so come and check some out!

Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
May 7, 2010

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