Gardening Advice: Climbing Roses


Gardening Advice: Climbing Roses

October 4, 2001

Q: How can I train a rose on my house without damaging wooden siding? Robert Dobbins, Framingham, Mass.

A: Unlike vines, roses don’t actually climb. You need to tie the canes to some type of structure for support. A wooden trellis is best since it requires far fewer holes in your walls than does a series of wires or any other method. The structure also holds the foliage 1 or 2 inches away from the siding, allowing airflow that’s beneficial to the rose and to the finish on your siding. Make a removable trellis to simplify the chore of repainting or restaining your building or trellis. Fasten the framework with screws at the corners and every 4 feet along the top. For a more quickly removable arrangement, hang the trellis from hooks and eyes at both top and bottom. Or attach the top with hooks and hinge the bottom so you can fold down the trellis, with roses, as needed. (Screw the hooks directly into the wall or into strips of wood attached to the wall. All hardware should be galvanized.) Make the trellis from 1 by 1-inch lumber or laths. A simple grid of squares, 4 inches per side, is classic, but any pattern that pleases you will be fine for the roses. Loosely tie the canes to the lattice, using garden twist ties, hemp twine, or even strips of old nylon stockings, a peculiar but popular practice among rose growers. They’re easy on the canes and neutral in color.

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