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climbing roses

Because of railway sleepers standing proud about 9" on the earth against a 6 ft trellis fence it will not be possible to plant climbing roses in the ground much closer to the fence than about 18 " Will climbing roses be able to climb satisfactorily because their roots and stems will be too far away from the fence? Two of the climbing roses I have bought are golden showers and zephrin druin If climbing roses are not able/ allowed to climb do they revert back to shurb roses? Having already bought the roses this I think is my only option. I do not want to stand them on the sleepers in tubs/pots. Also can you restrict the two roses I have bought to a height of about 5 feet by keeping them pruned please


  • ommthreeommthree Posts: 314

    The canes are bendy, so they'll probably go kind of prostrate. If you make sure that the canes are flopping in the right direction, then once they reach the trellis, you can start tying them in, and you should be fine.

    You can pinch out the canes when they reach the maximum length that you want, but for best effect don't have them climbing vertically up the fence, but tie them in so that the canes are fairly close to horizontal, weaving back and forth across the fence. That'll give you a lot more growth and flowers on the side shoots.


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,119

    Just lean the roses back at a slight angle when you plant them and then tie in the flexible new stems as they grow.  They'll be fine.  Remember to give them well prepared soil with lots of added garden compost and well-rotted manure to grow their roots and find food and water.  

    They are very hungry plants so will appreciate an annual spring feed of rose fertiliser and an occasional liquid tonic of tomato food between April and the end of June. 

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • exegesisexegesis Posts: 22

    18 inches is good anyway the lee-side of a fence - you don't indicate, could mean thet the ground is too dry. The roses will have a natural inclination - ie the stubby, cut-back stems will be pointing one way, probably, so take advantage of this, then train the new growth back to the fence, carefully, they are very very sappy and snap easily. Use a miochondrial (I think that's right) dressing directly to the roots before planting and keep well-watered. As before, lots of well rotted stuff, they like an open root run. A good scattering of blood fish and bone in the hole; don't scatter it on top or just under the surface because, being a meat product, foxes, badgers, uncle tom cobbley and all will dig up your new plants in their quest for it.

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