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Video: How to Train a Rose on a Trellis

comments (19) May 10th, 2010 in blogs
PFZimmerman Paul Zimmerman, contributor
174 users recommend

Video Length: 5:36
Produced by: Paul Zimmerman


Paul Zimmerman, long-time rose grower and owner of Paul Zimmerman Roses in Landrum, South Carolina, reveals the secret to blanketing a trellis with blooms. You start with a trellis and a climbing rose, of course, but there's a little more to it than just installing the trellis and planting the rose. If you do only that, you'll most likely get a disappointing few blooms at the top of the structure, with a wall of mostly greenery and thorns.

For more expert advice on growing roses, see Paul's article "Give Roses Tough Love" in the May/June 2010 issue of Fine Gardening (#133).



posted in: roses, climbing roses

Comments (19)

PFZimmerman writes: Without seeing pictures of your Summer Wine I would say cut out an old cane this coming winter, then continue to do that over the next several seasons. As new canes start to grow in they will be more flexible and you can train them the way I do in the video.

Does that help? Posted: 1:09 pm on August 27th
NancysGarden writes: I have a Summer Wine Climber in corner by sun room. It is four years old and really growing with tall thick shoots. I want to keep it narrow and contained to grow along patio slider. Please give me tips about how to do this. it is on a three foot trelis wraping around post. Thanks for any help. Love the flower and scent of this Climber! Posted: 6:33 am on August 27th
PFZimmerman writes: You can prune the long side shoots back to 14-20" or you can tie them in like main canes. I tend to do a mixture of both particularly if I need to fill in a gap and don't have a main cane I can do it with. Posted: 7:50 am on March 24th
pinkmountain writes: Just want to thank you for taking time to post this video! Just what I needed! Can you say anything about big long side shoots? Should I prune those off? Or can I cut them down? I didn't cut them at first because I figured those would be the blooming parts, but my a lot of my canes have equally long side canes, but all horizontal. Seems like I need to prune something to get some order going in there! Ouch. Somone needs to invent a protective rose pruning suit! Posted: 10:49 am on March 23rd
PFZimmerman writes: Same rules apply to ramblers as climbers. So I would tie Malvern Hills as horizontally as possible. Posted: 12:17 pm on March 12th
janicejm1 writes: I have a malvern hills rambler and need to know if it should be trained horizontal as with a climber, or if different rules apply to a "rambling" rose
Thanks,Janice Posted: 10:32 am on March 11th
Ruth writes: bruinjon, the video is here; just click on the screen, and it should start to play. I see it fine using Internet Explorer; what browser are you using? Posted: 10:27 am on July 13th
bruinjon writes: Hey what happened to the video?, I enjoyed the others quite a bit, am hoping the video is reposted. Posted: 4:17 pm on July 12th
PFZimmerman writes: Gramjan. How old is your Dublin Bay? It's not unusual for climbers in their first year to not put out much height and then start doing so in their 2nd year when they begin putting out new canes from the base of the plant. Also is the rose own root or grafted? Are you using fertilizer and if so what?

Posted: 5:44 pm on June 1st
gramjan writes: Paul, I was aware that 'vertical' was not the way to go with climbing roses, but one video is worth more than 1000 words. thanks. My other problem with my climbers is that they don't have long canes. The first is Dublin Bay which I have planted on both sides of an arch. I have many roses that were not sold as climbers that have much longer canes than my DB. Is there anything I can do to encourage longer canes? It takes up more of the cane to run it horizontally. Posted: 8:06 pm on May 31st
PFZimmerman writes: Lis. If you train a cane straight up the trellis it won't produce horizontal canes. Training the canes horizontally (between 90 and 45 degrees) forces the eyes along the cane to produce those lateral shoots. Therefor training it straight up will only produce blooms at the top.

However, you can take a main cane straight up to about half way and then start weaving it. This will fill in the top faster. It also works if you have a tall structure and the rose doesn't have enough length to reach the top when weaving it back and forth. Posted: 5:44 pm on May 24th
Lis77 writes: This is a great video! Question- if you tried to train a central cane up the trellis with horizontal canes coming out of it, would only the top ones bloom? Posted: 1:00 pm on May 24th
PFZimmerman writes: Thornless for Zone 5 is a tough one! There is a rose called Pink Gate that bears blooms looking like Cecile Brunner. It's available from a mail order nursery called Roses Unlimited in Lauren's, South Carolina. I know them well and they are very good.

Another choice is Climbing Crimson Glory. Red blooms and not very thorny.

Climbing Shot Silk is another you might try. Also not too thorny.

What direction does the back wall face. South facing would be ideal but if north or west facing we may need to rethink and go for something hardier. Posted: 1:00 pm on May 24th
gardenerCathy writes: Thanks PFZimmerman. I live in Park Forest IL, Zone 5A. I have a white shrub rose, a red climbing rose (the thorny one)I think its a Martin Kelsey, and a St Jude the Obscure, David Austin rose. I do not have a lot of space as I live in a co-op block, and we can only plant our own little yards. My back porch has the trellis type walls that look like those in your video. Thanks for any help you can give me. Posted: 10:49 am on May 24th
PFZimmerman writes: GardenerCathy. Yes, it could hurt the rose if you remove the thorns. By doing so you are essentially creating a wound on the cane. Do you need roses that are thornless? If so where do you live and I'll recommend a few choices.

Posted: 6:29 pm on May 17th
celtic_dog writes: Did the video disappear? or is my computer just taking an early vacation? Posted: 4:13 pm on May 17th
gardenerCathy writes: Does it hurt the roses if you remove the thorns before trying to wrap them along the trellis? Posted: 10:41 am on May 17th
PFZimmerman writes: Pammyc. Just keep in mind gardening roses are nothing more than flowering shrubs. Trust your own gardening instincts and run with them along with the simple tips I give you. In the end you know what's best for your garden and because of that you know what to do.

Glad you enjoyed the video!

Paul Posted: 10:17 pm on May 16th
pammyc writes: This was sooo easy to understand! I think even I can do this! Posted: 7:45 pm on May 10th
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