Queen Elizabeth Climber
That Has Never Bloomed

by Lela Kurtz
(Novato, CA 94947)


I have this very large Queen Elizabeth Climbing rose that has never bloomed. I am sure it is at least 4 years old and gives me beautiful growth with long canes and healthy green leaves but has never bloomed.

I have an organic rose garden and the other roses seem to do fine. I have tried using fish fertilizer, organic compost and even the banana peels planted around the plant. I have tried pruning the canes down about half way after the first two years with out blooms. They had grown to about 8 feet high and the are at least 6 nice thick canes.

I just don't know what to do to try to get it to bloom. It gets about 6 hours of sun from late spring until fall. It is on a drip system but I usually give them extra water by hand to deep water in the summer when it is really hot.

I am think about just chucking it and replacing it with another rose.. I live in Marin County CA where we only get a week or two of 28-30 degrees the rest of the winter is in the mid thirties and forties at night.. in the summer we have hot dry summers.

Do you have any ideas of how I might get it to bloom.. Would it help to prune it back more.. it is pruned to about 3-4 ft right now.. I use organic rose fertilizers starting around April through June..
and cut back when it is really hot.

Thanks for any help you can give me. When I was growing orchids one writer recommended moving the non flowering orchid closer and closer to the garbage can to get it to bloom..
Lela Kurtz


Hello Lela,
The Queen Elizabeth climber is known to not flower well, sometimes never.
It happened to my Queen Elizabeth climber also.
I finally got rid of it.
Pruning down the long arching canes does not help, in fact the opposite.
That's the reason your climber never bloomed at all.
Climbing roses should never have their arching canes pruned down. You should only prune the shorter lateral flowering canes in the spring every year.
If an older cane stop producing, the best way is to simply remove it at the base, so new long canes can grow.
Having said this, if you hadn't pruned it, you would not have been happy with the very few blooms it would produce.
The Queen Elizabeth rose bush does not have this problem and flowers very well.
On this page I actually warn people not to buy the climbing sport of the very popular Queen Elizabeth rose.
I recommend you dump it.
Best Regards,

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