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How do you prune a container grown climbing Rose

Hi - I am wondering if I would be really daft trying to grow a climbing Rose in a container? I thought maybe Graham Thomas. There are several things that put me off the idea but I DO LOVE ROSES. I haven't got room for one in the ground but I could grow one against the house wall (west facing) . Would I use trellis? 

So what is putting me off?

Black Spot is a BIG put off. I am not keen on spraying things if I can help it so what are the chances of black spot?

Pruning is a worry as I have limited space (maybe 100cm width) and aren't you supposed to pull down the stems to get flowers? That said  GT is supposed to be  pretty upright and if it is good for a pillar I guess it can go up rather than across yes?

Lastly, how on earth do you repot or change the soil for a climbing rose which will be partially attached to a wall? I am thinking that if I plant the Rose in a 2foot pot I wont so much need to repot as I will need to change the soil and root prune? What kind of pot? Again I keep reading conflicting advise by which time I wonder if this is more trouble than it is worth, but I DO LOVE ROSES :O)

Thanks in advance



  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 22,251

    Roses can be grown in containers if you get the right size of container, the right growing medium and the right rose.   It will be entirely dependent on you for food and water so you need to water regularly, protect the pot from frost in winter to keep the roots healthy and refresh the top layer of compost every spring and apply fresh slow release fertiliser at the same time as well as liquid feeds of rose or tomato food from March to early July.

    Pruning is the same as for a rose in the ground.  A climber or rambler would need trellis or stretched wires to support it and yu would have to train it.

    I suggest you have a read of this infor from the RHS - - and then, if you insist on Graham Thomas (a wuss in my experience so think about Teasing Georgia instead) ask David Austin for advice.  They have a good website and also happily answer questions from prospective or existing customers.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • kc.sdickc.sdic Posts: 91

    Hi Obelixx thanks for your reply. I am though wondering   what ' wuss'  means in this context ? I like Teasing Georgia but I was thinking that GT looked more upright  less of a goer! I did contact David Austen but didn't like to ask after they had replied (and didn't ask initially as I didn't know I would need to repot)  HOW to repot a climbing Rose when it is attached to the wall?  I always look through Google/Yahoo etc before giving up and posting here but websites re container roses do not  say HOW to repot a climber that is attached to the wall. So are you saying just changing the top soil would be sufficient or would all the soil need to be changed every few years?

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 22,251

    You don't re-pot.  You give it the biggest pot you can 60cm cube minimum and you refresh the top few inches every year and feed and feed.  Use best quality John Innes 3 type compost and bury the graft union 2 inches below soil level.  Leave a couple of inches at the top of the container to allow for watering.

    I bought a Graham Thomas.  It failed to thrive and became a single stick.  I have dug it up, potted it and tended it and, 2 years later, it is now a stick with leaves and one flower bud.   Teasing Georgia, on the other hand, grew into a fine specimen covering a 1.8m square trellis panel with healthy stems and foliage and plentiful, lovely, perfumed blooms.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • kc.sdickc.sdic Posts: 91

    Hi thanks again  Obelixx.

    Ah thus the "wuss" :O(  Yet it won the most favourite Rose or something didn't it?

    So great I don't need to repot just refresh, that is do-able.

    So how can I resist

    So what about pulling down stems to get flowers given that I only have about 1m width?

    in the pic above the rose seems to just be growing straight up a narrowish space?

    So trellis would be OK ? Don't need wires?

    And what are the chances of me having to spray this every year for black spot? :O(

    Thanks again :O)

  • kc.sdickc.sdic Posts: 91

    Forgot to ask what you think is the best container? Clay / plastic /wood/ other ? Thanks :O)

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 22,251

    Ceramic because it doesn't absorb moisture or breathe too much so the compost doesn't get as thirsty and root temperatures don't vary too much or too fast.  Can be expensive for the big ones.    Wood because you can build it to size and paint or stain it to your taste.   Be sure to stand it on feet so it can drain and line with plastic so it doesn't rot.  Don't forget drainage holes and crocks;

    Terracotta looks pretty but is seriously expensive if you buy the kind fired at a high enough temperature to protect against frost.  metal heats up and cools too fast so bad for root health.   Some of the plastic terracotta lookalikes are very good and are much cheaper than the real thing.  Line the inside walls with bubble wrap if you get cold winters.

    Last edited: 03 August 2017 14:57:46

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 3,911

    Just to say, I think you should be advised to reconsider your choice of rose, if it's Teasing Georgia... this is a mistake people make when they want a rose to climb, they automatically look at the ''climbing roses'' section, but these are way too vigorous for long term pot culture past a couple of seasons... you're looking at a rose that wants to grow 10-15 foot, has thick canes and big thorns [I've grown it in the ground]..

    What you should look at in my experience, if we're talking of David Austin Roses,  are those that have a stated height of around 4 - 5 foot, in the shrub rose section, because all of these roses can be trained easily as short climbers, up to 8 foot or so, more than enough for most people, and will last longer in your pot than a rose that's bred to be a climber...

    This photo is of 'Benjamin Britten', it's not my favourite rose, but it blooms for a long period, 4 or 5 flushes per season, and I have it in a metal trough 2 and half feet long, 1 foot across, about 2 feet deep.  It's been in it for 5 years.. I've no intention of root pruning, when I want a change, I shall just remove it and start afresh with a different rose - plenty out there to ring the changes..

    It'll be good for another couple of seasons I should think... I've attached metal trellis to the outbuilding.

    As for black spot, personally I couldn't care less about it, I just remove any manky foliage and let it regrow... Graham Thomas is a black spot magnet... choose a more modern rose, they have better bred in the last few years...

    ...just a few words of warning,... best of luck choosing..


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 22,251

    Sorry - didn't see the post about training and trellis.  The answer depends on the amount of wall space you have to cover.   Trellis can look attractive all year if you either stain it to make ita feature on its own or can blend into the wall if you just let it fade and weather.  Either way, attach it to battens on the wall so that air can circulate behind the stem sand also make it easier to tie stems in.

    If 1m is the path+ or space width in front of the wall you don't want a Teasing Georgia but something less vigorous so follow Marlorena's advice and look at good, new, disease resistant shrub roses that can be enticed to grow taller.   Training simply involves gently bending vertical stems to a diagonal attitude and then tying them, and any side shoots in.  Tie in or reove any shoots that insist on growing out away from teh wall and into the space in front.

    If 1m width on the wall itself is all you have, you need a total rethink.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • kc.sdickc.sdic Posts: 91

    Just came to check here re the advice in August (as I am ordering my Rose finally) but not for in a pot in the end it's going along the fence at the end of the garden and saw that both Obelixx and Mike Allen have provided LOTS of useful information so thanks both :O)  Already looking forward to the spring ! :O)

  • kc.sdickc.sdic Posts: 91

    Thanks Marlorena too great advice and pic thanks :O)

    Bought a Teasing Georgia as a shrub rose to train along the fence (not in a pot in the end.)

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