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Rose to climb through a magnolia

Hi, my small garden is dominated by a large magnolia. 

Despite threatening to, I can't bring myself to cut it down. I would like more flowers in the garden and have been thinking about a climbing rose. 

Can I grow a climbing rose through it or will the magnolia suffer?

Any suggestions for a cream/white climbing rose?



  • Did you want a repeat flowering rose?

    The very vigorous rambling ones, from what I know of them, tend to only put on one glorious display over a short period of time, usually in June.

    Climbers can be repeat flowering, but you'd need to train them through the tree, which may be tricky.

    Have you considered a clematis for scrambling through the tree, instead?

    Some, like Alba Luxurians, flower repeatedly over many weeks (mine from late June to September usually), can be cut hard back to the ground every February (allowing you to do any tree maintenance you end without cutting yourself on thorns!) and look glorious rambling over a large structure.

    Here's a photo of mine from last Summer.


    Last edited: 16 March 2017 13:27:21

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,283

    Personally I wouldn't grow a rose through a magnolia - you'll end up with a tangled mess.
    As Jess suggests above a clematis would be a much better idea. If you get a group 3 clematis, this is cut down to the base in spring each year and you can pull off all the previous years growth from the magnolia. I guess you'd have to do this a bit earlier than recommended so you don't damage the magnolia buds.

    This is my Madame Julia Correvon a group 3 clematis


    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,139

    I agree.  A clematis will be better for the magnolia and you can cut back the group 3s once the leaves all go brown in autumn.  Just remember to mulch the base of the plant to protect the crown from frosts and don't plant it at the base of the tree where there will be too muck competition for water and nutrients and also difficult to dig a deep enough hole.

    The same planting conditions would apply to a rose and you could try one of the repeat flowering ramblers.  David Austin list a few on their website but I'm not sure if they will grow tall enough to get to the light.

    You don't say how tall yur tree is but If you do go for a clematis, you may need one that will grow a long way such as Huldine.   Don't go for a montana as they flower at the same time as your magnolia and are too rampant.    Don't go for  a group 2 either as they are fussy to prune right for maximum flowering.

    Have you thought about lifting the crown on you magnolia and maybe thinning a few branches?  This involves removing lower branches to show more bare stem and then taking out one or two or more of the upper branches to make the tree more airy.  You should get a qualified tree surgeon to do it and during the dormant period or at least after flowering so it doesn't bleed.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks! A clematis sounds like a great idea, I'll do some research. 

    A couple of years ago we cut out a few of the lower branches as an alternative to cutting the whole thing down. It didn't flower as well the year after but is looking pretty perky this year. 

  • Pete, that clematis is glorious! 

    I cut my Alba Luxurians around mid Feb normally - to just above the woody lower stems (literally, meters and meters of plant), but last year due to building works, I had to cut it back in Autumn instead - it has done just as well this year.

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