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Lanky Roses


Can anybody help my wife.  She has a climbing rose,pictured above, which has got way out of control, and she is at a loss as how to prune it.  All the books she has read tell her to cut right back to just above a bud, or growing point. The trouble is that this particular plant has not got any below about 3'6".  It's a good flowing plant with lots of blooms, but the're all at the top. It is also one of her favourites, so she is reluctant to lose it.  We think it's called "Golden Showers", but we can't be certain.


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Its needs regenerating-the trouble is if not pruned regularly all roses- climbing or not will do this-all top growth

    There are likely to be dormant buds -usually at leaf joints nearer the ground-if course from the picture these can't be seen-I would take the bull by the horns and cut hard back

    More on climbing rose pruning here


  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    Find a bud, there will be one - bit like a raised area on the stem of old rose wood and cut just above there at a slant. I would go about 2ft off ground and not do it till early spring - late Feb. Other son forum may have different ideas. lovely rose reminds me of my Dad.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,143

    Yes, I agree with Geoff and Bjay - cut it hard back in late February, following  the advice on the link above.  

    When new stems grow try to train them as horizontally as possble and then tie them into that trellis, this will encourage the formation of side shoots which are where the flowers come from.

    If they grow upwards they only get side shoots at the top - hence all the flowers at the top image

    It does look like Golden Showers - a lovely rose;  give it the treatment above and it'll bloom it's socks off image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    I will just add-there isn't a lot of soil there,so after pruning give it a good feed and again mid-summer

  • FlyerFlyer Posts: 11

    Thank you all for your advice, I will pass it on to my wife, and we will let you know the result next year

  • If cutting it right back all in one go sounds scary your wife could cut a couple of stems back this spring hoping that they sprout from lower down and then do the rest the following spring.

  • LeggiLeggi Posts: 489

    Just a quick note to say don't be scared to cut it back hard, I've done it at the wrong time of year (as well as not knowing particularly well where to cut) but I can't say it made much difference. Climbing roses will tolerate an awful lot, just be generous with any manure in the spring.

  • when do you prune roses?

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802
    denise butcher wrote (see)

    when do you prune roses?

    Most rose pruning takes place in February

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,143

    I would say, prune bush roses and HTs and floribundas etc in Feb.

    Prune climbers about now - late Oct, Nov, Dec, but preferably before the strong gales start whipping the long new growth around and damaging it and possibly damaging passers by.image

    Prune (tidy up) ramblers after flowering but do structural/renovation type pruning in the winter).

    Pruning roses at the wrong time of year won't kill them, but it may reduce the amount of flowers you get the following season.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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