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Climbing or shrub rose?

EmptyheadtimeEmptyheadtime Posts: 232
edited May 2022 in Plants
How do you tell if a rose is a climber or a shrub type? 
I have a rose that has been in the garden for a number of years. It was given to me with no name etc. As i know nothing of roses and I only had 1 other rose that was a shrub type I have treated it as such over the years and it has always flowered. It does take more 'trimming' through out the summer. However, this year I bought 2 climbers and watching them grow has made me wonder if this rose that I have been treating as a shrub is actually a climber. How do you tell?
The rose in question.


  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,249
    It's not easy to tell.
    I have 3 shrub roses that have turned into climbers.
    One of which - Moonlight - is about 12ft x 15ft.
    I planted it as a shrub rose, but never pruned it and it has since climbed up into a Rowan and spread along the fence.
    The other 2 are pink, but I can't remember the name - both of which I've trained onto wires along a fence
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,768
    edited May 2022
    One clue when moving into a 'new to me' garden, is that if a rose has been planted up against a fence or wall, there's a strong chance that the person who planted it believed it to be a climber or rambler.   If it's been planted further out in the middle of the bed, it's likely to be a bush/shrub type.

    It's a clue that's rarely proved wrong for me  :)

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,670

    What is the thick trunk on the right? Also the 2 upright stems with green ties, are they part of the rose or something else?
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,022
    It is difficult to tell, just look at David Austin who lists exactly the same rose (you can tell because the breeder’s code is identical, e.g. Gertrude Jekyll) as both shrub and climber. It’s all in the pruning and training as many shrub roses exhibit a propensity to climb if you let them! When it’s got going, maybe post photos of buds, leaves and open blooms in an ‘ID my rose’ thread?
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • EmptyheadtimeEmptyheadtime Posts: 232
    Thanks for the replies. Good sleuthing 😄. Its not a new to me garden, its just that i was never told/asked what the rose was when given it, back then a rose was a rose to me 😳. The trunk to the right is an old lilac stump I need to dig up as it is sending up new shoots/suckers (the green ties)  that I don't want, and it's near the wall as I planted it there years ago when I got it. My plan it to leave it alone this summer and see how it goes.
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