Climbing Rose With No Blooms
(Salt Lake City, Utah)
QUESTION: We moved into this home 3 years ago.
There is a large climbing rose bush perfectly located between two large windows.
Every year this bush grows twelve to fifteen feet tall.
This monster would grow over the house if you let it.
In 3 years time there has only been 1 Rose bloom.
Where are the awesome beautiful exploding blooms?
I don't know how long this rose has been this way, but I'm ripping it out and putting in a new one.
But I don't want a repeat performance. Any replacement advice?
I've never seen a rose bush without roses.
ANSWER: Hi Kev! It sounds like the climber is an old Rambler rose.
Ramblers are once-blooming climbers, and only bloom on last years growth.
It should only be pruned, trimmed back, right after flowering in summer. Not in spring.
If you whack it back in spring it will never produce any blooms.
I don't know when you pruned it back.
Also the climber could have been there for many years, and if you don't remove some of the very oldest canes, at the base, no new canes will grow.
Old canes start to loose energy and will stop producing flowers eventually.
The reason the climber don't bloom could be a combination of the above.
To replace it, you could try the hardy William Cabot Climbing Rose.
You must remove all soil from where the climber once stood, if you are planting in the same area.
New roses don't thrive in the same soil of an old rose.