Climbing roses-help!

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Hello, peeps! need some help on containing the climbers. I have no idea what to do with them as they get so leggy in the summer-understandably as they should :) I have two bushes next to each other and right now they look a bit sad, but once i feed them (late this year with garden care) and mulch, i know they will take off like crazy again. Please tell me how to manage this setup? Do i get a large ring and mount it on the porch post to hold the main stems together? Or tie them? how do i manage the tops as they get very long? I would ideally like to see them go towards the front door horizontally (obviously best position), but under the roof there is zero light and I feel like i'm killing them up there. Help?

Same question about the clematis (not sure if i should post it separately in the clematis forum? new here).... this thing took off like insanity and now i just need to give it room to climb somewhere. What would be the lease visible and best solution? tie strings to the porch? wire? help! :)
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NatalieW

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It definitely needs some training. I would work on thinning it a bit so that you can get the main stems and some of the side stems trained and pointed into the directions you want them to go in. It's such a big clump that you might want to put a large strong rectangular trellis behind it, one made of slats or framed and covered with lattice... one that goes up all the way to the roof and attached up there so it's strong and sturdy. That post is too small on its own for such a lot of roses. ... then start training the main stems. Attach them with very loose ties along the trellis and also along the railing so they spread out to the sides as well. Cut back any suckers and wandering stems that are going wayward, this keeps it looking neat. You are in charge of the bush, so anywhere you don't want it, cut it back. It will eventually go where you aim it. ...thinning it will also help get rid of the slim spindly stems all over it and help thicken and strengthen the main ones. Feed it some bone meal after you're done....and a good mound of composted manure around its base will really be good for it.
 

NatalieW

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oh, the same with your clematis.... it doesn't need cutting, just loosely tied to a support trellis. Cut back anything dead or wandering away. Make sure they are getting enough sunlight.
 
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Natalie and Mary, thanks!
so here's the kicker which changes everything-we are a month away from putting the house on the market and while i actually have the full size trellis in the garage, I don't think i want to put it up (used to have them up), because i want the house to look as clean as possible in case potential buyers don't dig that look.

The rose bush is mostly main stems now (i don't know if the Red Prince Wiegela to the right of roses looks like it's part of the rose bush?), but covered in buds and they are opening up, so I hate to waste them. I know that ideally climbers' main stems need to be trained horizontally to produce the most flowers, but I don't know where i would even do that with my scenario and not willing to put up a full trellis up.
does this help? Of course, our house could take forever to sell, so I could have all summer to work on them, just don't want to put up any new structures. What can i do short term to clean it up and leave it looking good for the next owner?
 

NatalieW

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Natalie and Mary, thanks!
so here's the kicker which changes everything-we are a month away from putting the house on the market and while i actually have the full size trellis in the garage, I don't think i want to put it up (used to have them up), because i want the house to look as clean as possible in case potential buyers don't dig that look.

The rose bush is mostly main stems now (i don't know if the Red Prince Wiegela to the right of roses looks like it's part of the rose bush?), but covered in buds and they are opening up, so I hate to waste them. I know that ideally climbers' main stems need to be trained horizontally to produce the most flowers, but I don't know where i would even do that with my scenario and not willing to put up a full trellis up.
does this help? Of course, our house could take forever to sell, so I could have all summer to work on them, just don't want to put up any new structures. What can i do short term to clean it up and leave it looking good for the next owner?

That changes everything! You won't want it to look like a high maintenance nightmare, so I would thin it considerably ...then trail the long stems out along the rails of the porch and give them a loose tie down.... if you don't want to thin it, then you'll want to untangle some of it and let the stems run along the porch rails and up the post. I think they just need more room to spread out instead of clump together. The stems are so busy trying to find something to cling to and support them that they are just clumping over one another and the bottom ones end up supporting the uppers. ...this puts a lot of strain on the bush, which is another reason to thin... you can even thin from the inner layers, keeping the prettier outer layers in tact and then trying to spread those out to better surfaces of support. :)

Feed them so they get some pretty showy blooms to help sell! ...
 
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Natalie, thank you so much for the advice. I now have a million questions for you, i hope you don't mind. truth is, i love my climbers, but never knew what to do with them. Ive had so many moments of wanting to just be done, because I didn't know how to train them properly. I had trellises up, trellises down, googled things a million times and never found any solid advice other than "tie them prettily together". So, it *has* been a nightmare for me, but i love them too much to toss them, and I keep thinking I should be able to figure them out!:) So maybe you can help me and I can start on the right foot at the new house!

So i made a sketch to see if I'm understanding you right on the roses... I should untangle them and let them trail horizontally along the porch rail and vertically up the post? Spread out the main canes, yes? And when you say to thin out, you mean leave the main canes alone and cut down some of the new growth? or.... cut down some of the big canes?

I've also noticed my stuff is blooming later than everyone else's this season and my poor irises only bloomed for 3 days and were done. So they are clearly starved. Feeding them all today. We have had a lot of life happen lately and of course, the flower beds were last on the priority list. So I didn't do much last summer and fall and just now got done weeding a meadow it's become. Everything seems healthy (except for the roses, they look sickly to me). So i think feeding them, mulching and trimming will help things.

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Clematis.... i will trim it down, but how do you suggest I support it? Should i just tie some strings vertically from the porch rail to the roof? or to the post, even, at a triangle of a line?

My hydrangea (was supposed to be Incrediball, but I have my doubts) went insane on me this year, as you can see from previous pics, and of course i got around to dealing with it when the blooms started forming. I hate to lose all the flowers by trimming, but i should trim it down, shouldn't i? how much would you suggest to cut away?
 
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Another question-something is eating the roses! how do i protect them? By the time I had time to deal with the flower beds, things were about to bloom and half eaten... so moving forward, how do i save new growth now?

and I'm also uploading a couple more side shots of the rose bush, maybe to give you a better idea of how it's situated.
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Just my opinion, but I'd cut out quite a few of the thicker canes from the center of the clump. Partly to thin it out, and partly to let more light into the center. (I need to do that with my lilac!) I don't grow roses, but my neighbor did. She got too old to take care of herself, so the kids put her in a home, and sold the house. Now, I live next door to Mr. Plant Hater, who mows everything down, either because he doesn't know what it is, or simply doesn't care. :mad: Last fall, he mowed the rose bush. Held the mower over top of it, and went at it from all angles. I think he actually lowered the blades on the mower for this; the ground was chewed in places! And don't you know, this spring, that rose came back? Chances are, your rose would survive a heavy pruning!

Lyoshka, I understand what you mean when you say, "We have had a lot of life happen lately," and for ease of having done with it, you might just want to prune that big rose even with the porch rail, and call it a bush. (And dig out some of the little ones to take to the next house, so you can "raise 'em up right!") :D

My point is, you are selling the house. Not sure I'd take the time to train roses on a porch rail, just to make it pretty for a potential Plant Hater. Make it neat, less overgrown, and be done with it. Divide your plants and pot some up to take with you to the next place, and keep coming to the forum!!

That way you can learn how to train your climbers while they're little, rather than trying to tame the beast! :eek:

I imagine if you uploaded pics of the new place, you'd get 20 ideas from 15 different posters, and it would be investing time in something you are going to keep!

What if you invest all the time and work, only to get attached and not want to move?! :D
 
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Mary, i think your advice is excellent. I think I will go ahead and thin the roses out (by the way, I don't think i mentioned, but that spot has two bushes planted close to each other, thus this many main canes) and cut the canes down to a manageable height to just make it look neat. However, I still have a question- i know that in a course of a season, I have seen them shoot up close to 12-15 ft. Should i just cutting them back every couple of weeks, i guess?

your neighbor sounds heinous! That poor rose!!! I think you should go rescue it. He clearly doesn't want it, you should ask to dig it out and take it home.

I think once the house is on the market (still 59000 things to do inside) and i can relax a bit, i may start thinning some of the plants and repotting to take with when we do sell. There is a small chance we may decide not to sell at this time (moving to be close to a charter school our boys go to, and some crap is going on that may change the school's future, at which point no sense to move there just to go to another district school), but i suppose even if we decided to stay (very small chance), it would be easier for me to manage the roses from a trimmed state.

Speaking of not wanting to move... we already had a very decent backyard that backed up to woods. We had a creek back there and bc our street was never zoned, we are paying pretty steep flood insurance. Thankfully, the town got a federal grant and they just finished the project-took 90 ft of trees out, moved the creek back, landscaped the whole area with grass, wild flowers and tall grasses and did elevation studies that are getting submitted to FEMA, so we'll likely be out of the flood zone (in another year or so, when they get around to rezoning us). So now my large yard became about 20% larger, with open area in the back that is already beautiful and the grass is just starting to come in. It's going to be stunning, and I now have room for that 10X12X10ft greenhouse we'd been wanting, and apple trees, and whatever my heart desires.... and we are moving:(. The new house will be newer and bigger, but the new yard, most likely, will be small and cookie cutter and facing neighbors. i KNOW I'll never ever have a backyard like that again....:unsure: The thought of it is *almost* making me want to stay....
 

NatalieW

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sorry it took me so long to get back... I agree with Mary ... the roses an definitely handle a good hard pruning. and they do need the light. Roses really do very well from heavy prunings and helps them to branch off instead of create such long bare stems. ..these new photos make it much easier to see them now ... they are more leggy than I first thought. ..looks like beetles are eating them. you probably have grubs in your lawn, so a grub control in spring and fall would benefit IF you were to remain at the house... but in any case, use an insecticide that will target beetles.

...the clematis is the same way ... such a big clump can be thinned down from the center outwards and then you can manage that clump better once some of the big stems from inside are pruned out and then you can out the branches and point them into directions you want to go.
It does look like it can use a good feeding. The whole bed could benefit from a thick spreading of good composted manure ...lay it down thickly and spread it all over the bed and water it in well. You can get it in bags at most garden centers.
 
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Thanks for the tips, ladies! I spent a few hours yesterday and gave them all food, bone meal, then put 2 large bales of peat moss all over the flower beds. Then added Preen (first time using it, hope i didn't kill my garden). My flower beds will always be full of weeds, because about 4 years ago we got a semi-truck worth of dirt and i built up the level of soil when I did all the landscaping with bricks. that entire project was almost the death of me, literally!:cool: Since the dirt came from a place that sells soil to contractors, of course it's full of who knows what. So hoping Preen will help.

Will do manure today and then will use that black plastic/paper weed block under mulch-good idea? I used to do papers which worked great, but i don't do couponing anymore, so no steady supply of sunday paper ;)

Ok, now.... will prune the heck out of my roses. Totally fine with making it a nice large bush. How high would you say should I make it? i was thinking 2/3 of the height of the porch? maybe shorter, depending on how things look once i get chopping :) Thoughts? Ideas?
 

NatalieW

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Thanks for the tips, ladies! I spent a few hours yesterday and gave them all food, bone meal, then put 2 large bales of peat moss all over the flower beds. Then added Preen (first time using it, hope i didn't kill my garden). My flower beds will always be full of weeds, because about 4 years ago we got a semi-truck worth of dirt and i built up the level of soil when I did all the landscaping with bricks. that entire project was almost the death of me, literally!:cool: Since the dirt came from a place that sells soil to contractors, of course it's full of who knows what. So hoping Preen will help.

Will do manure today and then will use that black plastic/paper weed block under mulch-good idea? I used to do papers which worked great, but i don't do couponing anymore, so no steady supply of sunday paper ;)

Ok, now.... will prune the heck out of my roses. Totally fine with making it a nice large bush. How high would you say should I make it? i was thinking 2/3 of the height of the porch? maybe shorter, depending on how things look once i get chopping :) Thoughts? Ideas?
you are going to be busy!! Being a climber, that sounds like a good height... don't go lower than 3 ft on your canes and it'll bounce right back.
 
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you are going to be busy!! Being a climber, that sounds like a good height... don't go lower than 3 ft on your canes and it'll bounce right back.
I know... but I hope that Preen helps and the black paper/weed block, too. and i will make sure to stay on top of it and hope i can contain the weeds.

thanks for the confirmation. I will probably do about 5 ft, roughly. that should make it look nice and cleaned up. will be back with pics in a couple of days. Ordering shears from Amazon today-the canes are too thick for my regular puney shears :)
 

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