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How to correctly pillar a rose around a pergola post?

Hello. I am new here and I am also new to growing roses. 

I have a David Austin The Generous Gardener Climber growing in a 65 x 53.5cm plastic pot. It was planted as a bare root back in November 2020 and the plan is for the rose to climb by covering the pergola posts and then upwards to cover the top bit for some shade.

I am training the GG rose to pillar around the middle-right pergola post and I have lots of buds because of the angled stems (see photos attached). I also have a David Austin The Pilgrim Climber growing in the same size pot being trained around the middle-left pergola post but not as big as the GG rose. However, I am not sure if I am training them correctly or securing them properly. 

I've watched the Paul Zimmerman videos about this but they show older roses so I am not sure if I should do things differently since my roses are only half a year old.

Any comments, feedback or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,


  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 2,329
    I would say your rose is too young for training. Until you get long 1.5m+ canes, there isn't much to train.
    GG really isn't a pillar rose, you probably won't be able to do any sophisticated training., it won't let you bend the canes too much.
    Also, it is hard to judge the size of your pots from your photos but they may be too small.
  • redlipz6redlipz6 Posts: 2
    Hi Edhelka. Thank you for your comment. If I don't train the canes now and leave it, will it be harder for me to bend it later on when it reaches 1.5m and a bit older?

    I got the idea of pillaring on a pergola post when I visited DA site and saw this rose wrapped around a big column. If I don't do it pillar style, any ideas on how will I make it go up the pergola?

    Btw the pot is 53 cm height so I think that's about 20 inches. Attached is a photo and I've put a chair beside it if it helps see how tall it is.
  • B3B3 Posts: 25,252
    You can try to bend the stems when they're whippy. You think you've got it just right and a pigeon will sit on it and snap it. Game over. Start again.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 2,329
    It won't be these stems growing to 1.5m or more, it will be new ones. If it goes well, you'll get 6ft stems in the 2nd season and 8ft stems in the 3rd or 4th season. The new canes will grow from the base of the plant (or close to the base) and will be red and soft, slowly hardening and getting green.
    The problem with them isn't their flexibility but the likelihood of them snapping off at the base. You can train them directly up or you can wrap them gently around the pillar. As long as the angle isn't too big, it will be fine. If you want them to go up, covering the pergola beams, it's a very good rose for that. Just don't expect to be able to wrap them around the post in a tight spiral.
    Be prepared to water it and feed it regularly.
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