climbing rose recommendations for zone 4

chloeflowerJuly 15, 2008

My husband built a beautiful arbor in the full sun of our zone 4 yard. I'm trying to find a climbing rose to for our new arbor. I love the look of New Dawn but I'm uncertain if this is a poor choice for our climate. It's my understanding that William Baffin or John Cabot are good selections for this zone, but I prefer the pale color of New Dawn. I don't have much experienced growing roses so I need something that is easy to care for. Any suggestions?

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dr_andre_phufufnik(Blsk, Voynovia)

You are right, 'New Dawn' is not hardy in zone four unless you take it down each fall, lay it on the ground and cover it up.

Baffin and Cabot are very vigorous and not really great rebloomers. The best Explorer rose that meets you needs is 'John Davis.' Lovely, light,pink flowers, continuous blooming almost thornless, too. A bit shorter than the others, but a superior rose in all regards.

A good alternate is 'Applejack,' Like the others it is not really a climber, but unlike the others it is scented and healthy.

Finally, there is 'Lillian Gibson' an hardyhardyhardy rambler type of rose. bazillions of light pink flowers on smooth canes in the spring. Utterly hardy and great fall coloration.

I have grown all these roses in zone four. I grow 'John Davis' as a shrub. Here's a picture from earlier this summer:

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 6:31PM
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My Baffin seems to rebloom really well. John Davis is superior, though.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 4:30PM
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Over the years I've had at least ten William Baffin and att rebloomed well. John Davis is an excellent choice and produces beautiful roses. Hnery Kelsey is also a good choice if you are looking for red.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 11:21PM
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chefcdp(z4a MN)

I grow John Cabot and John Davis on either side of an arbor. Both provide amazing spring bloom and moderate repeat. neither one has any particular disease problems. JD can get a bit of PM once in a while in a bad year and JD gets a few fall spots - nothing serious.

I have never seen anything other than sparse and sporadic repeat on William Baffin. If you grow WB as a thicket and cut the canes almost to the ground after the spring bloom, I can get a bit of rebloom on the ends of the new canes.

I have not grown Henry Kelsey on an arbor, but he does OK as a shrub or against a fence. Two reds that I like better are Ramblin Red and Quadra. They are not quite as hardy, but have nicer flowers and longer blooming times.

RR and Quadra die back a little too much for an arbor here in my MN zone 4a garden, but could do OK in a more protected location.



    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 2:48AM
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celeste(zone 4 NH)

I also am in zone 4 and I grow New Dawn on an arch, along with Rosarium Uetersen on the other side. It can be successfully grown in zone 4 but you will need to either take it down as was suggested, or wrap it with burlap which is what I do. To me it is easier (both roses have some mean thorns!) to wrap it than it is to take it down off the arch and bury it. There might be some dieback at the tips where the new growth was, but the canes should be o.k. for the most part. I should mention that I live at a high elevation and the arch is subject to a lot of wind off the mountain, so if you are in a more protected area you should be fine wrapping it. If you want a completely hardy climbing rose that you never, ever have to wrap or winter-protect than Henry Kelsey is good. Here are some photos to show you what I mean. Good luck!


Arch, wrapped for the winter.....

Arch, as it just starts into bloom.....

Henry Kelsey on a pillar.....

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 11:26PM
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