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Training climbing roses

so I recently bought a couple of climbing roses and have been reading about the training process. I gather that the main canes are the ones that just be trained at 45 degrees to horizontal to increase vertical growth/blooms. 

Now my current issue is the identification of these ‘main canes’. It’s obvious if the canes arise from the bud union but the one I’ve got at the moment has these canes that arise from the bud union and then appears to stop abruptly - see white arrow (blind ended) and give rise to lots of branches on its side (pink arrows). 

So would these pink arrow branches count as main cane or would they be considered as lateral cane? Given the ‘main cane’ that come from the bud union is actually blind ended does this mean I should just assume that cane itself is a goner? 

Ive also read that all canes that arise from within a foot from the soil should be considered a main cane in which case these pink arrived shoots should technically be main canes? I’m so confused!

a few more pics to illustrate the situation 


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    Don't worry about the canes that have been pruned back in the past. This is all part of rejuvenating climbing roses. All the other branches in your top photos can be trained to how you want. It all depends on the space/area you want it grow. If you want to keep it to one or two main branches, that's fine too, you will need to prune back the remaining branches.
  • Thank you @Borderline :) 
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 8,629 would be best to know the name of your rose for more targeted advice but I would say you're jumping the gun somewhat.. it's much too soon to be worrying about training that rose.. it hasn't developed it's main framework sufficiently... if it's a true climbing rose then it will eventually send up plum red, usually thorny, long canes from the soil line or lower down the stems... these will grow up to form your framework for training.. what you have there so far is just a shrub like form..although I can't see it all..

    ..incidentally, you have a short cane there with canker... in fact the rose doesn't look that healthy generally.. but I would prune that out if it was mine.. in the 2nd picture it's just right of centre and mostly black... I would prune it back to the green shoot.. it also seems to have spread to the cane to the right of it but that's ok for now..

    ..some people use disinfectant wipes on their pruners after pruning canker to limit spread to other roses... I don't bother personally but I should...
    East Anglia, England
  • @Marlorena This is Etoile De Holland climbing rose from David Austin. It does look quite shrubby at the moment and I couldn’t quite make out which one might be the main cane. 

    I have to to say that the batch of roses I have received from DA this time have not been as good as the previous batches, in the sense that the roses have more leaves with black spots and rust. I have pruned those leaves with disease on and left the rest so far. 
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 8,629
    @celcius_kkw oh..ok... a glutton for
    ..that's a climbing Hybrid Tea which is capable of throwing up some thick canes... if yours is in a pot then this will limit its vigour.. but ordinarily it's a tall lanky rose that also has long laterals... I hope you will be able to cope with it..  it can take a year or two before it takes off..'s a photo from a rose acquaintance of mine, on his house wall, so you can see how it wants to grow - quite unruly - but I kept one much shorter than this on a wall.. and also as a rambler on wooden posts.. worry about all that much later... for now, just leave it develop...
    East Anglia, England
  • @Marlorena I’ve actually put it in a HUGE pot this time knowing its a climber so will need extra depth. It’s so huge it could even fit me inside lol! I will just let it grow naturally for now, I guess I won’t be training it till next spring? 
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