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Using a shrub rose as a climber

kc.sdickc.sdic Posts: 91

I have asked a Q about roses before and had lots of great advice and learnt a lot but I am still not clear as to how I prune a shrub rose if I am using it as a climber. I understand that some roses are both shrub and climbers and that the only difference is how they are pruned. What I am still unclear about is that if I am going to try to use a shrub rose as a climber (to keep it @ around 5 x 4) then do I prune it like a shrub rose or a climber?  Thanks


  • sooty5sooty5 Posts: 107

    Hi kc.sdic , I would be interested to hear from anyone who knows this too 

  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 8,643

    Presumably you are growing it up a support structure like an obelisk?  This is very easy to do and nothing to worry about.  Just train the taller shoots upward and don't prune too much when deadheading, you can remove some short ones near the base if you want, but I try to keep some as I want blooms lower down too, but keep the longest and just train them on the support, whatever that is.. you'll be needing lots of green string or similar...

    This is shrub rose 'Royal Jubilee' trained upwards, normally 5 x 4 foot this reaches 8 to 10 feet as a climber,, and constantly in bloom but I try to keep it at around 6 foot tall or train some shoots sideways along rope connected to another obelisk. It's fun to do actually..    


    East Anglia, England
  • kc.sdickc.sdic Posts: 91

    Hi Sooty5 and Marlorena what a lovely rose and thanks for your advice. I am going to train this on a fence covered in trellis. So I want it to look more like a climber but shrub rose proportions.  Not realising I had got a reply here (as for some reason it doesn't notify me) I wrote to David Austin and this was their reply. 

    "Train the rose onto the structure, fanning the main stems side ways to encourage new side shoots, then when it comes to pruning I would recommend cutting one or two of the main stems right down as this will help to contain the height. Then reduce the side shoots back to about 9 inches. " 

    I assume I let it grow UP first (like yours Marolorena)  then pull the shoots down but not do much the first year  other than let it grow ?  I can't wait for the spring. 

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