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Unhappy rose

Hello again, I’ve posted about this rose before-madam Alfred carrierre, a bit too vigorous for its arch. This year it’s looking ok on top but very sparse and a bit sick lower down:

It has bad black spot and has been heavily infested with aphids. I am wondering about pruning it really hard, pretty much to the base in the hope of encouraging bushier growth down there and starting again. What do you think? Or is this normal? Any advice on cheering it up?! Thanks


  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 571
    You could always take some cuttings to give yourself a back up plan. Do you know the name of the rose? If its something like New Dawn (Dr van Fleet's successor) or Alberic Barbier the grow easily and quite quickly. If you don't know which rose it is, if you could post a photograph of the flowers it might be easier to advise. I've grown lots of these roses from cuttings which also have the advantage that they never send up wild runners.
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,280
    I'd leave it until spring then give it a severe prune.
  • Valley GardenerValley Gardener Posts: 2,727
    edited July 2019
    @elspethscott ....I've had a Madam Alfred Carrierre in a previous garden,and found it needed pruning quite hard every second year. But as @Ceres says,leave it till spring now,or Autumn if you can't stand the sight of it! Try spraying with Neem Oil too,the Aphids just drop off.
    A cutting or two is a good backup plan.
    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,174
    Mme Alfred Carriere is a very vigorous rambler like climbing rose which can quite easily get to 20 ft. Every time you cut it back, it just throws out more very long and flexible stems. It is totally the wrong rose for an arch and is usually grown up and along a house wall.  I suggest you cut your losses (it is beautiful after all) and get a different rose more suitable for an arch. I've found the climbing version of 'Claire Austin' is doing pretty well on my arbour - although it is also a bit vigorous and rambler like. 
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Thanks very much everyone for your help. I really love this rose, the perfume is incredible but I think you may be right Lizzy27. I wonder if I could move it, when would be the best time? I will attempt some cuttings too, good idea! Thanks
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,174
    The best time to move it would be in the winter when it's dormant. I hated having to get rid of mine, but it grew to 10 ft and then I couldn't manage it. I had thought I could keep it smaller but not a hope!   I really must do more research before I buy any more roses!
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Thanks, I’ll try and keep it if poss. I’ll take a look at you’re recommendation and do some research, something scented would be fab.
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