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Horizontal wire support for climbing rose and clematis

I've got three clematis to grow 'against' three different fences, and a couple of climbing roses and a rambler turning up any day.

I've been reading a bit about the support required - my plan was to secure a series of horizontal wires using vine eyes and turnbuckles.

Would only horizontal wires (at approx 45cm apart) be fine for both the roses and clematis, or should clematis have more of a mesh to allow for vertical support?

Other question was the thickness of the wire - I've bought 1.6 mm galvanised wire, does anyone have any thoughts if this is sufficient for both the roses and clematis?


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,264

    Here is an interesting article about this

    I'd guess that clematis would prefer something a bit rougher than wire to wrap their little elbows round.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Andy for roses you need the wires max 12 inches apart. Clematis I wouldn't use wire. They scramble so need trellis or something close knit.

  • Andy LeedsAndy Leeds Posts: 512

    Interesting article pansy face - 'pig netting'?  That's a new one on me image

    I was thinking of the horizontal wires as I didn't want anything unsightly (including trellis here) in front of my nice new fence when the clematis were pruned, but if needs must... I'll have to think on this one image.


  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener EssexPosts: 1,062

    I have horizontal wires (spaced at about 30cm apart) on my fence for my clematises and it seems to work ok so long as I tie them in at the start of the season. I've also got a free standing horizontal wire structure for my climbing roses but they've only been in a year so I can't yet say how they will fare.

    I use black gripple wire which is stretchy so doesn't sag over time and I think looks quite smart.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 21,886

    I have clematis growing on wooden trellis, wire mesh trellis (for reinforcing concrete), obelisks and 2 treese.   They all need guiding from time to time or they just shoot straight up in a bundle and are impossible to untangle.   I think horizontal wires spaced at 30cms/12" would be fine for the clematis and easy to manage.  

    I also have a huge Kiftsgate rose that is trained along the house walls on wires - very easy to attach the thicker stems with good twine and then wind the whippier ends of new growth around it.   There is a clematis heading the same way, just as soon as it gets its feet established and takes off.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Andy LeedsAndy Leeds Posts: 512

    Well that's promising - I had been looking at that green mesh type 'stuff' and not really fancying seeing that in the late winter / early spring months after cutting back the clems.

    If horizontal only doesn't fill everyone with horror then maybe I can give it a bash image

    Thanks again!

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 21,886

    Just remembered.  SIL had a rampant montana on nasty plastic mesh which was sagging so 3 years ago we installed horizontal wires for it and an alpina further along the wall.   We then wound more wires to make a zig zag to help them along as she's a novice gardener.

    It worked really well and she liked it so much that last year she ripped out the montana and planted two or three longer flowering summer clems instead.  We'll be seeing it for ourselves in September and, no doubt, fixing some other problem.   Re-dug and lined and edged her two ponds the last time too and planted up a border next to a new fence.   

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • IamweedyIamweedy Cheshire East. Posts: 1,364

    I have just read the above. This forum is so helpful. There is usually someone about who knows what they are doing or know how to make it work even if it is not the "officially recommended" way. imageimage image.

    I have a sort of "I like this plant so I will grow it somehow." attitude.

    Last edited: 13 April 2017 15:29:45

    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • A lot depends on the fence itself. If it's featherboard with decent posts, it will be stronger than most fences. If your fence is built of panels, most concrete inset posts cannot be drilled through as they will shatter. 

    Clematis' can be extremely heavy when mature and can grow through and even pull down fences. My beloved Montana destroyed my shed within a few years image

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