I want thorns!!!!

dregaeMay 14, 2012

I need/desire greatly a rose to grow on a shady fence that is just wickedly thorny!

I looked at mermaid, but I am unsure of its hardiness here even tho we rarely ever dip below the 0 degree mark each winter. Frangrance is unimportant color is as well tho I would prefer one in the yellow to white zone, and repeat bloom would be a plus but not really necessary.

Please offer your suggestions as I am desperate to get it going in my yard asap.


grace e

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Grace - how "shady"? Does it get any sun, or partial sun, at any time of day? Most roses do not grow well at all in the shade. After we know more about your fence location, we will be better able to make suggestions.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 1:59PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

R. setigera

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 2:03PM
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it gets some sun in the morning for a few hours

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 2:06PM
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If it would get a few hours of sun, there are many roses you can grow. William Baffin is supposed to be hardy to zone 2b, and would grow nicely on a fence, is shade tolerant, and is thorny. Also I would look at New Dawn, which re-blooms more than William Baffin, and is supposed to be hardy to zone 5b.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 3:38PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

When I went to hear a local Rosarian talk, he mentioned using Mermaid along a bluff top, apparently it caught a hollywood celeb stalker in it. The stalker called 911 for help cause he was stuck in Mermaid. Seems Mermaid is good for thorns!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 4:12PM
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Mermaid is plenty thorny, but according to HMF it is not cold hardy enough for Grace's 5b zone. Also, if you have ever seen Mermaid growing, it would quickly overwhelm a fence, and spread out 10-20 feet on either side of the fence, probably eating much of both yards on both sides. It eats buildings.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 4:57PM
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the_bustopher z6 MO

The climber Night Light would fill the bill nicely. It is yellow and gets red edges as it ages.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 5:21PM
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Rose poachers giving you trouble???

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 5:40PM
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Night Light is gorgeous, but it is also not cold hardy to Grace's zone 5b accd to HMF.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 5:49PM
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Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev

I have 3 Mermaids and love her. She is definitely a thorn meister and will reach out and grab you if you venture too close to her claws. But I agree on the hardiness issue. Zone 5 would be a stretch.

Try looking at some rugosas. They are plenty thorny (will sucker happily too, to make an impenetrable thicket!) and cold hardy. Also many of them tolerate shade quite well. No lack of fragrance either. Not all rebloom however. If you want yellow, perhaps Agnes. Nova Zembla is a rugosa climber. Such a pale pink that it looks white. Rosa rugosa alba is a very beautiful single that repeats. Besides checking Help Me Find you might want to peruse Pickerings website as although they aren't shipping any more this season the rugosa page is chocked full of info and will allow you to compare a good selection of rugosas.

Sweetbriars (eglantines) are another possibilty. Cold tolerant, shade tolerant, and prickly as all get out. Another class that is an enthusiatic thicket-former. Not that many are repeat-bloomers.

The rambler Rambling Rector is reputedly very thorny. He is supposed to be highly shade tolerant. White flowers but only a once-bloomer. I'm not sure of his cold tolerance as HMF shows just the 6b to 9b default but there is at least 1 garden listed as growing him in zone 5. Other ramblers would be a possiblity.

Some of the species roses might fit the bill. I'd suggest R. woodsii ultramontana--its a beast!! and highly fragrant to boot--but it is definitely pink. HMF says height of 39", but think again on that, it gets BIG. I saw a monster sized one at Eurodesert. Ain't nobody or nuthin' passing through that jungle.;) It likes cold places too.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 6:31PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

Listen to mad_gallica's recommendation.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 7:28PM
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No rose poachers....yet :-), just annoying people who keep feeding my dog and being to nosy for their own good. Knocked mermaid off my thinking about list, and I am looking at some of the ones mentioned. Does anyone have experience with Darlow's Enigma. I have heard it's thorny and fragrant to boot.

Grace e

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 10:04PM
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predfern(z5 Chicago)

The combination of Stanwell Perpetual and Conrad Ferdinand Meyer makes an impenetrable barrier. Austin's Othello and Madame Bovary (Delbard) are also thorny.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 12:15AM
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I think any of the wichurana ramblers would do well in your situation. I just did a blog post yesterday about my fence full of ramblers.

Darlow's would be good, but may not be hardy for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: rambler fence

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 7:21AM
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Terry Crawford

I had an fence of 7 'Sir Thomas Lipton' rugosas in my 5B zone garden. They were massive beasts that would draw blood when I attempted to prune the massive giants. I really needed a suit of armour to do the job properly. They make impressive fences....growing 7-8' tall in graceful vase-like forms and bloom sweet, white blossoms. No one gets through these guys without blood loss or losing a limb or two. I have a few scars myself.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 11:33AM
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Campanula UK Z8

possibly one of the thorny varieties of R.helenae. A sweetbriar - either R.eglanteria or one of the sweetbriar hybrids such as Amy Robsart or one of the Penzance briars.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 3:54PM
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Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev

Grace, what did you end up choosing, and how is it doing?


    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 5:06PM
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