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Advice on rejuvenating a climbing rose on obelisk

NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,095
My Warm Welcome rose was not very well trained due to my inexperience, it has far too many straight stems shooting up the middle, I didn’t wind it around the outside of the obelisk as much as I should have. Despite this, in its first year it did flower amazingly but less so this year. Now it does really need some serious attention. There is a lot of dead wood that I plan to prune off, but some of the remaining green stems are a bit stiff and I probably need to chop those back by two thirds in order to tease them out without breaking them on the cross-bars, so I can then tie them to the outside more horizontally. 

Is now now a good time to do this retraining or should I just cut out the dead wood and leave it til spring to do anything more severe? Would I be better chopping the lot right back to the ground and starting again?


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,845
    What are your winters usually like Nollie?  I probably would leave the pruning until the rose begins to sprout in early winter just to be on the safe side, but probably others may have better advice.
  • yorkshireroseyorkshirerose North YorkshirePosts: 574
    Definitely remove all the dead and damaged wood, and maybe reduce the height by about a third. Wait until Spring, when the new growth starts appearing, it will be much easier to train then when the stems will be pliable. 
    You could take one in three stems down to just above ground level in early Spring to encourage fresh growth lower down the plant.
    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,095
    Hi @Lizzie27 , spring is earlier, summer hotter but winters are similar to UK averages - we have just had our first tentative signs of frost this morning. Last year’s low was -8. 

    So If I prune and thin as you say, @yorkshirerose, the remaining good green stems I keep would be more pliable to tease out the frame and retrain in spring (sap rising?), then now?  I was thinking the opposite, that they will be older by then and thus less bendy, but seems I have it the wrong way round, so thanks for that!

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,845
    Hi Nollie, those temperatures make gardening a bit easier!  Yorkshirerose gave some good advice.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,095
    Well I don’t have anything to compare it to Lizzie, this being my first garden, but the big temperature swings and monsoon-like rains do bring their own challenges, especially for roses I’m finding! The Warm Welcome (and many other things) were engulfed by ginormous 8ft Tithonia I planted as a temporary stop-gap in my young border - which probably didn’t help...
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