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Shaping a smaller climbing rose (Jazz) as a shrub

micearguersmicearguers Posts: 614
We have the rose 'Jazz' (Previously called 'That's Jazz' I believe). It is described variously as a 300cm or 200-300cm climbing rose. Due to circumstances it ended up a stand-alone shrub. Occassionally I struggle with it; this year because it grew quite a few branches on top with many flowers on the new growth of about 3 feet in length, and these branches start to weep heavily. Is there a method I can use? Or am I torturing the poor shrub? Its described height seems to make my quest a tantalising possibility.


  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,323
    It sounds like what would bee called or classed as a patio climber, short but with long stems.
    You could cut it back harder and treat it like a shrub, but it sounds quite nice as a cascading, weeping, falling over  kind of thing?
    You could use a short obelisk,  round or square to contain the stems so when you forget to prune it,  that would contain it and keep it tidy and supported weeping over the frame.
    Just a thought .
  • micearguersmicearguers Posts: 614
    Thanks @Rubytoo - an obelisk did cross my mind, I'll give it more consideration! The weeping / falling over is not all that great. Right now I only have the following picture, but the weeping is worse than it seems from this picture. The rose actually combimes quite nicely with a group of macleaya cordata (or microcarpa, not sure), but not with those branches falling over, as it jars with the beautiful upright shape of the plume poppy.

  • micearguersmicearguers Posts: 614
    Please allow me to rephrase my question; is there a specific method of pruning I can use to keep a smaller climber like this shaped as a stand-alone shrub? I hope you don't mind @Marlorena me tagging you, but I've seen you mention training shrubs and directing their shape towards different sizes and habits by pruning; I assume timing and selection of branches are important. Are there generally applicable principles?
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 7,884
    ...what you have there is a large flowered climbing hybrid tea rose, capable of 12 foot or more.... understanding its breeding gives clues about how we can deal with it...
    ...this rose wants to grow in a tall upright manner, with blooms on the top, either singly or in small clusters.. typical climbing hybrid tea fashion, very lanky, and difficult to train any other way... it gets this habit from one of its grandparents...
    ... if you try and keep it short,  you will just be cutting off the flowers to keep it in check...  therefore you have no option but to give it support, or move it in the winter to a support structure.. fence, trellis.. posts and wires etc.. or cheap green metal supports such as I use that come in various heights from 3 to 8 foot..
    .. I don't consider it really suited to an obelisk but it's better than nothing... but more an upright post structure, which is usually cheaper anyway... but if you leave it freestanding, it's just going to flop over...  pruning just involves cutting back the old flowered shoot a foot or so back to an emerging bud where the next flowering shoot will come from...'s a picture showing how someone is growing it.. which I think looks quite nice and rustic.. they will have tied the thickest cane to the post and then tied the other canes to that I it looks bunched...  if they removed that post all those canes would just flop right over...

    East Anglia, England
  • micearguersmicearguers Posts: 614
    Thanks a lot for that very informative response @marlorena ... this will help me greatly for sure. Indeed, either some structure, or move it, but more generally you always give insights into the nature of a rose and that's so helpful. I wonder if you'd consider writing a book about your experiences with roses - I'd order it eyes closed! If this is not on the cards (yet), are there books you'd recommend that sketch some of the history, trials, and lineages of roses?
  • micearguersmicearguers Posts: 614
    Oh, from another thread I noticed you're on holiday @marlorena. Hope you have a fab time --- visiting gardens too? Let us know later!
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 7,884
    edited July 2019
    @micearguers … how kind of you to say that, and thank you... yes holiday going well.. no garden visits though..

    ...these days I'm more of an internet person but my go to Rose book is this one... but I'm not sure it's suitable for those new to roses, and it costs in the region of £100 New... but 2nd hand much cheaper.. 

    it's from 1994 and Mr Thomas, like so  many others of our great rosarians has passed on now... so it's a little out of date... and more for the classic rose enthusiast...  most people I know have a copy of this book though..

    Roses by Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix - lots of photos - always loved this book.. in fact anything by these two writers.. I have their Perennials double edition too.

    ...and todays pre eminent rosarian Charles Quest-Ritson.. although I don't have his Encyclopedia I've heard it's very good… he's also done one on Climbing Roses..

    Like so many others I started with 'The Rose Expert' by D. G. Hessayon back in the 1980's, and I think it's still good today for those just getting involved with rose growing.. the last edition of this is from 1997 I think...  

    I shouldn't leave out books by David Austin and Peter Beales especially his 'Classic Roses'... it's a great book... wishes, and thanks again...

    East Anglia, England
  • micearguersmicearguers Posts: 614
    Thanks a lot @Marlorena , I'll start browsing and looking for those books! I have a few of the Hessayon books on other topics, and also two by Roger Phillips, I know they come well recommended. I should say that I'm very content to read your (and others'!) advice on this forum. I just love the very personal observations, but also the further knowledge that you have, including how roses grow elsewhere and for other people.
    The books remind me, there is a wonderful book about a Belgian rose grower, Louis Lens (, but I think it is available only in Dutch and French ('the elegance and the rose'). Have you grown any Lens roses? Anyway, continued wishes for a good holiday!

  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 7,884
    ..thankyou. ...oh gosh Louis Lens... I've got his website bookmarked... although he's another that's passed on unfortunately, his business is still going... famed for hybrid musk roses.. .like Plaisanterie and Guirlande d'Amour.. would be two of the most famous, I notice mentioned on your Wikipedia link there along with Vif Eclat... these are known internationally... but he has a great selection... I think one of the very best is likely 'Alden Biessen'... it is said the flowers stay on the plant for months before turning papery..
    ..his father introduced 'Pascali' which has been offered here for a long time.. one of the best white hybrid teas.. 
    ...sounds like a good book, shame it's not in English...  I know it's by Ivo Pauwels..''De Elegantie en de Roos''...

    ..yes I find the internet to be the best resource these days... I hardly have time to look elsewhere...
    East Anglia, England
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 7,884
    Whilst in literary mode.. here are 2 other books I can recommend … as you mentioned Lens from Belgium... next door in Denmark there is a great book by Danish rosarian Torben Thim called ''The History of the Rose in Denmark''... it's in English... costs about £40 I think..
    ...I don't have it but it's been recommended to me.. apparently it's wonderfully written with all sorts of fascinating historical details.. photos, prints.. medieval manuscripts.. Old Masters.. modern watercolours etc... written with some humour too...

    ...the other, and one I do have is ''Noisette Roses 19th Century Charleston's Gift to the World''.. edited by Virginia Kean..... this is available on Amazon.. not expensive..
    ...expertly written and researched, fascinating history about this class of rose and the people connected with it,  whose origins are from late 18th C South Carolina...  the rose we grow today 'Blush Noisette' is important to this group..'s very readable, not huge, produced more in a catalogue type of format...

    I love Noisette roses.. some are still very popular today, mostly climbers...including the often seen 'Mme. Alfred Carriere'...
    East Anglia, England
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