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DavidAustin roses - Floppy shrub roses

vonny232vonny232 Posts: 6

Hi All, 

I own two David Austin roses - Golden Celebration and William Shakespear 2000.

Both of the roses tend to grow long (ish) canes which cannot support the weight of the large flowering heads.

This means the shrub has lots of bent and floppy branches which doesn't look very good.

Photographs online show plenty of folk can "train" them into neat, tidy shrubs covered in flowers.

However, my luck has been mixed. 

Any advice please?


  • Problems with weak or floppy stems are often caused by incorrect pruning (or lack of).

    Depending on the type of rose, pruning methods vary quite significantly. It's worth buying a book on roses or pruning or doing some research on how to tackle your varieties. There are a gazillion varieties of rose but only a few 'types' i.e. tea roses, hybrid tea roses, patio roses, floribundas, climbers to name the most common ones.

    Weaker stems should be pruned off in early spring and if stems develop multiple buds at the head, some can be snipped off to prevent stems becoming droopy under the weight of the flowers. Less buds/competition for space = better individual flowers and less stress on stems.

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    It's a common problem with DA roses because the flowers are so heavy, and usually improves as the rose matures. A temporary "quick fix" to save the flowers is to build a frame around the rose for the first couple of years to stop the rose splaying out too much; it does have the advantage of allowing the supporting stems to grow more sturdy in a good open shape.

  • vonny232vonny232 Posts: 6

    Thats for the tips folks, I didnt think of thinning out the flowering buds but thats a good idea.

    I already propped up my WS2000 with canes, its growth rate and flower cluster production is incredible.

  • Bright starBright star Wrea GreenPosts: 1,121

    I have the same problem with my DA roses but this year they are less floppy than last and I'm hoping that each year there will be improvements.  I have the golden celebration bought as a gift and it's a stunning Rose and many passers by stop to have a smell! The next one I buy will be Queen of Sweden which is more upright and the flowers tend to be more upward facing.

    Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

  • DA roses are a cut above the rest. The guy knows roses like nobody else. His radishes aren't too brilliant though.

    Not wanting to spark a debate but standard, shrub or patio varieties shouldn't need additional support. Climbers,  ramblers... yes!

    Unless you have a windswept garden h or live in an area where heavy downpours are the norn, free-standing roses, if pruned and maintained correctly, don't need to be shackled up. They do much better when left to their own will. Well at least if you prune them correctly at the right time and keep a close eye on them.

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687

    Young roses are weak and the branches are too thin to support the blooms. They need at least three years to get stronger. His roses are also bred to nod, unlike many other roses, so from far, they have a better impact when seen from standing height.

    If you don't want to have long arching stems, be tough and cut them down to branches that are thicker. When dead-heading, cut further down rather than to the next set of leaves.

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