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pruning climbing roses


By Johay

United Kingdom Gb

I have moved in to a property with an overly mature garden. having cut back various trees/shrubs I now have climbing roses with 12 foot stems and limited growth at the top How's best to prune them for better results next year? Additionally I have normal roses that have struggled for light and have 6 foot stems with limited growth at their top, how hard can I cut them back? Thank you in advance for any help. Jo



First you need to know if its a climbing rose (groups of five leaflets) or a rambling rose.
Hopefully your branches were trained horizontal (not vertical) to begin with. This is what produces the blooms it slows the sap.
Climbing roses bloom on last years stems so pruning is important in the autum. Cut out dead weak or ones you do not need at the bace and train in new shoots as they appear. You really need to decide on the type you have before prunning it as it is different for ramblers and climbers and also about feeding/mulching it. Again with rose bushes you need to know if they are floribunda ect before pruning. But it will be worth it. I am sure you will get some more imput from the others. Good luck.

28 Aug, 2009


Ramblers usually look like a big, dense, thorny thicket with green growth, some of which may be very long. Climbers tend to have more upwards growth, with long shoots going up. Recommended pruning time for climbers and bushes is Spring BUT I wouldn't worry too much - sounds like you need to sort them out now and that's exactly what I'd do - if you're not sure, reduce all top growth by two thirds, then prune again in the spring back to where you can see the new buds of growth starting, and also removing any dead, diseased or weak shoots left after the winter. After that, don't prune them all so hard - if you don't know the variety of climber you've got, then its hard to know whether it requires moderate or light pruning - any rose which is very vigorous will become much more so if hard pruned, which means that hard pruning vigorous ones every year will actually encourage them to get huge, so you will have to learn how your roses behave as time goes by.

29 Aug, 2009


I beg to differ Bambo! Climbing roses flower on last years growth and the RHS recommend pruning late summer to autumn not spring. Also if allowed to grow straight it produces very few flowers and those are at the very top. To get blooms alll the way up and plenty of them branches are bent a few inches as they grow to slow the sap to increase the blooms

30 Aug, 2009


Depends on the climber - there are varietal differences. But in these circumstances, there's no choice, and no harm will result -RHS is also the body that conducted trials 10 years ago by cutting all roses down with a hedgetrimmer and pruning the rest "correctly" - growth the following year was just as good in both groups. Tho' I personally wouldn't recommend doing that regularly....

30 Aug, 2009



30 Aug, 2009

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