Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Grow Climbing Roses On An Open Wrought Iron Fence

Climbing roses and ramblers look great on fences.

If there was ever a landscaping match made in heaven, it would be climbing roses and fences. Many gardeners attempt to grow climbing roses and are disappointed with the lack of flowers. That is likely because they grow climbing roses vertically on an arbor or trellis. When rose canes are trained to grow horizontally, they produce many offshoot lateral branches that produce many blooms. A fence is a great way to capitalize on this growth habit. In addition, an open wrought iron fence is ideal because the beauty will be visible on both sides. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Match the right rose with the length of fence you have. Climbing roses come in sizes from 6 feet to 20 feet, so select one that does not exceed the fence length. Of course, also make sure the rose is hardy in your area and is a bloom color and fragrance that is appealing to you. Look for a disease-resistant rose and one that is rated well. The American Rose Society issues ratings from 1 to 10 based on a variety of criteria. If possible, select one that is an 8 or higher. A local rose society should be able to supply you with rating information.

2. Plant the rose about a foot away from the fence. Place it along the fence in a spot that you want to be the center of the display. The canes will be trained to go in both directions along the fence. Plant it in rich, organic, well-drained soil. Add in to the backfill some granular fertilizer designed for roses according to package directions.

3. Train the newly emerging canes to grow horizontally by tying them with twine to the horizontal fence rails once they reach the height of the fence. The canes are very flexible when they are young and you can direct them wherever you like. Bend them and tie them in place in one to three spots depending on how long they are.

4. Continue this process with all the canes as they grow throughout the season, attaching them to different parts of the fence, at different heights and different angles coming from the base.

5. Water new plants regularly so they do not dry out. The amount of water will depend on your soil type and the weather. Watch for wilting and adjust your watering schedule as needed.

6. Fertilize the plant once a month throughout the growing season. In cold climates do not fertilize after August so that the plant does not generate new growth as winter approaches.

7. Prune minimally the first few years of growing the rose, letting the main canes develop strength and vigor. In later years, prune the lateral growth coming off the main canes back to just above a bud approximately 12 inches from the cane. Prune each year when the roses are dormant.

Tags: along fence, climbing roses, grow climbing, grow climbing roses, grow horizontally