PUZZLER: Hardy, constantly blooming, pink climber for zone 5b???

kelly_indiana(z5 IL)April 27, 2012

Hi all! My brain hurts from researching this question for the past couple months so I am going to the pros! Please help if you can...

Imagine a storybook looking Victorian house with a pink climbing rose twirling up the front porch banister to the roof, 12' from the ground, and then piling itself up (sort of cloud-like) on the roof and draping itself there. And imagine this 15 - 20' or so climbing rose 'cloud' is smothered in lovely pink blossoms (or at least HAS a couple blooms!) all season long - from spring to frost. This magical climbing rose is also cane hardy, climbs FAST, and is naturally pretty darn healthy (I prefer not to spray if possible). It will be on the south side of my house, enjoying 6+ hours of sun and plenty of fresh air and wind every day. It will be within a few feet of the water hose so drought will never be an issue. We have clay soil which I've amended but it's still clay (if this matters).

Now imagine I'm in zone 5b (Oak Park suburb, just west of Chicago). Is what I'm dreaming of even POSSIBLE???

Would 1 of these be better than the others and if so why? Are there any Chicago or Zone 5B rosarians out there who have luck with these as hardy roses that bloom all season long? Fragrance is unimportant.



Jeanne LaJoie


Cecile Brunner

Zepherine Droughin

The Fairy

New Dawn

John Davis

Viking Queen

Am trying to buy one this weekend at Pesches in DesPlaines (b/c they seem to have a good selection). Any advice will be MUCH appreciated!!!!! I'll be twining it in with Clematis Jackmaani (the new improved version) or Clematis Etoille de Violette.

Thanks all!!

Kelly (with the headache)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
michaelg(7a NC Mts)

I don't think there are any constantly-blooming large-flowered climbers.
The heaviest bloomer I know is Clair Matin, and it probably wouldn't be big enough for you. It blooms in heavy flushes rather than continuously. John Davis is also a medium-sized, shrubby climber, as is ZD.

I'd say New Dawn would be the best choice. It will probably give you two decent repeat flushes after a heavy first flush. Cecile Brunner, ZD, and The Fairy don't repeat as well. Ditto for Eden, plus it would be messy as a tall climber because the flowers may rot and hang on. don't know how Awakening does without deadheading. If that's not a problem, it could work.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 12:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stlgal(south z5)

I would 2nd Michael's sentiment about New Dawn. It will climb to the roof, bloom repeatedly (if not constantly) in summer and should be cane hardy. Even if you can't get up high to deadhead or trim often, it will rebloom reliably. It should have sufficient vigor to not be suffocated by the Jackmanii clematis also, which is an issue with some of my shrubs. One caution on planting such a vigorous rose would be that you check the neighborhood for any roses with rose rosette disease and convince the neighbors to remove any diseased plants. Because of its vigor and where it is located as a climber it can occupy a lot of surface area. If that area is in the windstream of RRD carrying mites, I can tell you from much experience it is not trivial removing this gorgeous and vigorous climber.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 2:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kelly_indiana(z5 IL)

My only concern with New Dawn is the extreme thorniness....this being our front porch and all. I also wonder if ND is a draping type of rose or more of a "stiff vertical canes" type of rose...any ideas??

I'm most partial to Awakening (which is a sport of New Dawn I know) b/c other zone 5'ers here mentioned it one of those few roses that's "always in bloom" which I really want.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 3:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
seil zone 6b MI

Jeanne Lajoie is a mini climber that may give you more bloom than a large flowered climber would. One of my friends has one that is climbing up and over her neighbor's garage. And it's in partial shade! Most years it's hardy to the tips for her. It's also always in bloom when ever I go over there!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 3:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If I were you, I'd skip the color preference of pink and opt for 'Darlow's Enigma', truly one of the most indestructible climbers out there. It reblooms extremely well and offers a wonderful fragrance. Top that off with disease free foliage and excellent hardiness, and you have a winner. Aesthetically, it would fit your Victorian theme, since it has a very airy, species-like quality.

Here is a link that might be useful: Darlow's E.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 3:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kelly_indiana(z5 IL)

Great ideas! I wonder if I should just get 2 so that I always have something in bloom....perhaps Awakening/NewDawn and Darlow's Enigma? Or Jeanne LaJoie?

MINI roses are just as good as large flowered, for this. i just don't want a mess of thorny canes over my front porch and NO flowers for long periods of the summer! THANKS!!!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 4:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

By the way, without spraying 'Jeanne LaJoie' is likely to spend much of the growing season half to three quarters leafless. It has very poor disease resistance in most regions.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 4:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

John Davis would fit the bill (not very thorny and everblooming)....but I've never seen it more than 8 feet tall. Jeanne Lavoie, same thing. Zephirine won't bloom continually and has the same height issue. I don't have experience with Awakening, but it would have my best guess.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Musings blog

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 5:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Hrose(6 A)

what about "pink showers" its a climber and looks like a hybird tea

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 5:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Terry Crawford

Hello Kelly - I'm south of you in Peoria. I grow about 300 roses, several of which are climbers.

'Berries & Cream' is a pink & white striped climber that is pretty much in bloom all summer, and mine gets to about 7'x3' wide. It is fairly cane hardy also without any winter protection.

'Autumn Sunset' is an apricot-hued climber which right now is working its way towards the second story. 'AS' blooms in flushes throughout the summer, and I have several clematis weaving their way throughout it.

Palatine sells 'Aloha Hawaii', and mine's in its second year. So far, it's about 15' tall. The colors are spectacular...sunset.

Good luck on your decision! There's alot to choose from.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 6:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stlgal(south z5)

New Dawn has thorny, not at all droopy canes, somewhat stiff but bendable. They are very disease free, and stay covered in foliage here most of the year (with this mild winter, they were semi-evergreen here). I have it over a tall arch and it works great there, it covers the arch better than the others I have there for color. Mine are within a foot of the path--they can get big, so if you left them completely untrained they'd snag passerby, but it is not too much upkeep to keep long canes off to the side and climbing where they should. I have it on the arch with three Austin roses (James Galway, Crown Princess Margareta, and Shropshire Lad). CPM blooms fairly well, is large and fairly thornless but may not bloom continually enough for you or be cold hardy enough.

Another Austin thornless pink climber I have is Brother Cadfael--it made it to the second story floor (10-15 feet) here. May be shorter there. It it not continuous blooming, more flushes. I don't know that any of my Austins would meet either your cold hardiness or frequency of bloom needs. I'd be tempted to do as you suggest and put two roses there with New Dawn as something that will cover a lot of space plus something in a complementary color (like a very free-blooming rose with smaller flowers) that will add bloom time and where you won't care if it can cover a structure.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 7:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

I agree with stlgal that New Dawn doesn't have droopy canes in the least. I just got rid of my ND, and my experience with this rose is that it throws huge, stiff, very thorny canes that would wave wildly from a roof rather than draping without some firm anchoring and training. This requires a lot of time on a ladder. Brother Cadfael is a favorite of mine. It has large fragrant blooms and few thorns. I love its wine colored canes and lovely growth habit (mine is about ten feet tall). But it is very upright, and I can't imagine it as a draping climber. You might just get it because iit is a very nice rose-heheh. Diane

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 8:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Have you researched any of the Kordesii climbers?

Rosarium Uetersen blooms almost continuously, but, I understand, you might need to punch off the blooms the first year to induce it to climb. The canes are much more flexible than ND.

Karlsruhe also has good repeat bloom, and seems to grow faster than RU.

Some others I have not tried, which look beautiful in pix are Laguna and Rosanna (2 versions).

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 9:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm close to the same zone as you, so I can speak to cane hardiness. It's very dry in my area, so I can't speak to diseases - we're blessed to have almost none.

Jeannie is one of my favorites - always in bloom, hardy, but only gets to about 8 feet. That may change over time (I've seen pictures of it to 14'). It is cane hardy in a protected spot, and has some cane damage in unprotected spots (where it needs to get whacked down to about 4 feet). Still, a great rose.

Darlow's is super, although mine haven't been around long enough to get to 10'+. Somewhat bulletproof - very little cane damage and blooms a lot. As a previous poster had mentioned, it has a nice airy feel to it (it reminds me of goatsbeard).

John Davis survives the toughest winters, has a nice lax habit that is easy to train, but - again - only gets to 8 feet for me. It does rebloom nicely.

Ramblin' Red is a great rose - although it, too, is an 8 footer.

My Viking Queen is just in her second year, so I can't comment except to say she is certainly cane hardy (no die back this winter at all).

There seems to be some demarcation between the great climbers/ramblers that get to about 8 feet, and the true monsters like New Dawn that would fit your profile for a cloud of color at 15'. Tough decision - especially since you'll have to invest a couple of years to see if the decision was the right one. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 9:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
predfern(z5 Chicago)

Nahema is an excellent climber although it will not get as tall as you wish. Brother Cadfael is a joke. Mine is lucky to get 3' and it is the ball king.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nahema

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 12:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Is Spray Cecile Brunner cane hardy in your zone? Here it blooms year around and always has a few blooms on it. Tiny perfect little pink blooms born in, of course, sprays. It gets quite large here.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 11:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ginni77(z 5)

New Dawn is a dangerous beast!! I loved it but it's thorny, stiff and blooms 2 or 3 times a season. I had two of them planted on one trellis backed by a large privacy fence. It ate the trellis, fence and almost me!!! They are gone now, sp'd them when they showed signs of RRD. I do miss that rose, but not the thorns!!

Rosarium Ueterson is one of my faves...it's also very thorny but it blooms from spring until frost. The flowers are kind of a gaudy pink but they have a great form. Not a real tall climber at first but it gets better with age. Very clean foliage and super winter hardy!

John Davis has a great flush in the spring and then just a few roses on it now and then, nice bendy canes, very few thorns, pretty color and so hardy!!!

If you could put all the good traits of those three together you'd have the perfect climber!!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 4:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's my two cents..I've had my John Davis roses - I have 2 - for over 5 years. Both are about 8 feet tall. They have the most incredible flush of flowers in the Summer - don't most roses? I don't have Awakening, but I've heard great things about. ND, which I also don't have, is supposed to be very thorny and the repeat is not as good as Awakening - which I would get. As for a clematis, I love Etoile Violette, which I've had for quite a few years. It's paired with an amazing white clematis, Huldine, which I would definitely recommend. Huldine gets VERY tall at least 10 feet. I also have RU, which has salmon colored flowers that are very beautiful. My plant is only 3 years old and is around 4 feet tall. Hope this info helps. Good luck and don't forget to post pics!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 7:36PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Awesome Climber
This is a very popular spot to take photos in the San...
Pruning vigorous HTS in soCal
Hi, Usually a 'lurker' on the forum. I am a gardener...
Planting Rose in Square Container
Hi, I am wondering if I would have any problems planting...
sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)
Julia Child for Pacific Northwest garden
I am on Vancouver Island and would love to add Julia...
Blueisland BC Pacific NW-Z8
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™