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Keeping a Golden Celebration rose stocky and bushy

vonny232vonny232 Posts: 6
I have a David Austin Golden Celebration rose on an east facing wall in my garden.

The rose has a habit of growing long, spindly canes with long distances between leaf/bud points (6-8" in places).

The plant always seems to bolt upwards and focus its growth on a handful of upward stems.

Even pruning it just causes new stems to start shooting upward, which invariably leads to floppy branches bending over due to the weight of the flowers.

Also, because the rose is around 60cm from the east wall, the growth tends to be focused on the western side of the plant, which means it tends to lean away from the wall.

this is the 3rd year of the bush now, and given spring is (slowly) taking hold, I wondered if there was anything else I could try to encourage more stocky, bushy and fully growth?


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    With most roses, make sure all the branches are pruned down now. I suggest to around 1 ft in height if it's a young plant like yours, or around 1.5-2 ft for others. It could be that your area may not be receiving enough light which is causing it to try and reach for the light. It's very hard to judge, but it does sound like, from your description, it's trying to reach for the light.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,635
    I have found that most David Austin roses tend to have long spindly stems which do not support the large heavy flowers well so I prune them quite hard like Bordeline suggests but also support them with rusted steel "rose baskets" which I find works quite well. Are you tying yours onto the wall itself? 
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,322
    @vonny 232 - having planted a bare root GC in winter I was researching its growth habit (wondering if I had planted it in the wrong place for a variety of reasons) and found your post and this link below to another forum with tonnes of info. The main points I found helpful were that a). It does have big blooms and an arching habit so the stems might need some support, growing freestanding as I am; b). Floppy stems can be strengthened with a low nitrogen fertiliser like tomato feed - the potassium and potash do the strengthening whilst nitrogen causes it to shoot up, so avoid high nitrogen fertilisers like the chicken manure I mixed into the planting hole :/

    Hope thats useful.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • vonny232vonny232 Posts: 6
    Thanks for the feedback folks, I hadent thought about using a low nitrogen fertiliser, my instinct had always been to get as much growth as possible and that would eventually lead to a stronger structure.
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