Once-Flowering or Repeat-Flowering Climbers? It is essential for pruning climbing roses to know the flowering habit of the variety
Most climbing roses need little or no pruning during the first two, three years of growing. That will allow them to develop several long arching canes.
When it comes to pruning, we have to distinguish between two types of climbers:
Regardless of the flowering type, first remove all dead, diseased and damaged wood. Cut away any canes growing away from the structure that cannot be tied back.
Any crossing or awkwardly placed canes should be removed too.
Then try to get rid of as much as foliage as possible. This allows you to see the rose’s branching structure much easier and reduces the risk of disease spores being carried over.
When you buy climbing roses it is necessary to know to which type your new purchase belongs.
Later in an established garden with several roses, you always should know what type of bloomer you have planted in which place.
Some private gardens have more than hundred rose varieties and without a guide or tags on the flowers, you can easily lose track where which rose grows.
To draw a sketch or put a tag on the flowers, will help you identify the roses in your garden exactly.
Even experts sometimes struggle to distinguish among so many rose varieties and once you have to prune them, it is very useful to know with which type you have to work.
Once-flowering varieties form blossoms mainly on one-year-old wood. If you cut them in the spring, you take away the best blooming wood. Therefore, in the spring only a basic pruning (dead, diseased and damaged wood) takes place.
Once-blooming varieties are best pruned in summer in full leaf after the flowering has finished.
As an ideal goal, the rose should preferably have only young shoots.
Unlike the once-flowering climbing roses, the repeat-flowering varieties primarily form buds on two-year-old and perennial canes with many laterals.
Repeat-blooming climbers are pruned in spring. To ensure an annually repeating floweriness, you have to keep canes of all ages.
Weak shoots, less than a pencil in diameter, should always be removed during the growing season, to keep the plant strong and tidy.
During the summer, dead-head as the flowers fade, to encourage second flowering. Cut back to the nearest leaf.
The removal of redundant and weak shoots during the summer ensures that they do not take energy from the climbing roses.