What Climbing Rose to plant with my Wisteria?

LynneinPerthSeptember 14, 2011

I have a magnificent old wisteria, which is intermingled with a white climbing rose. The rose has the most vicious thorns, making it very difficult to prune both the wisteria and the rose.

I would like to replace the white rose with a hardy and long flowering thornless white rose, suitable for our hot and dry Perth climate. Do you think Climbing Pinkie or Climbing Iceberg would be suitable.

I have included a photo to show you what it looks like now (hope it works - I haven't tried linking a photo before).

Any suggestions would be appreciated.



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I've just noticed a typo in my post - I meant to say I'm looking for a thornless white or pink climbing rose. Does climbing Iceberg have many thorns?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 11:58PM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

I like the one that is there. Probably nothing else you could plant under that big old Wisteria could compete with it, especially if the rose was small.

Climbing Iceberg is not really thornless anyway. Just when you start to depend on that characterization, it will sprout a big prickle and get you. Better to just wear the leather gloves and deal with it.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 12:20PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Ditto. Getting any rose to compete successfully with an established wisteria vine is problematic. What you have looks beautiful, so I'd say leave that rose alone. For pruning, arm yourself with a leather or denim jacket, a hat, and some welder's gauntlets that are available at modest cost at stores that carry a lot of tools (in the USA, Lowe's or Home Depot). Gauntlets make growing roses so much easier.

If you want to add a second rose to the mix, 'Zepherine Drouhin' is thornless and vigorous enough to compete. It is medium pink with a powerful fragrance.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 7:14PM
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karenforroses(z5 NorthernMI)

What a magnificent combination you have there - If it were my garden I would celebrate it (with gauntlets on :-) ) It is so beautiful I wouldn't change a thing.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 8:35PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Yup. Too beautiful.

Even Pinkie has some thorns. At least mine does, and it manages to draw blood every time I prune.

You could try planting something away from the rose you already have to see if it could get going, and then if it did you could remove your white rose without telling us :D


    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 1:00AM
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Thanks for the compliments! I think there's an old saying that goes something like "Don't be disappointed that the rosebush has thorns, be grateful that the thornbush has roses". I'll try and remember that the next time I prune, LOL.

I'll see how I go next pruning! Maybe I might do as Renee suggests and plant something new to see how it fares and how I like it before doing anything hasty with the old rose.

Thanks for the advice. Lynne

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 9:16AM
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Based on the lovely photograph of the two plants and on your description of the rose's thorns, I'm wondering if that rose is Rosa laevigata . . . If it is, I can't fathom having to contend over time with those two plants intermingled. Good grief!!

If it is Rosa laevigata (known in the U.S. as the Cherokee Rose), then YES -- get rid of it as soon as possible. The once-blooming R. laevigata is a fine rose if grown where you can maintain control. Ditto wisteria. Planted together? I don't think so . . .

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 8:14PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I have no advice. Just wanted to add that the present combination is gorgeous!


    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 9:58PM
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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

Leave it as it is! It's SO beautiful,and my guess only worked out so well out of good luck; it's the sort of thing that,if you try to do on purpose, might fail. So my vote would be,leave it as is,or at the most try adding something like a Z. Drouhin,as suggested above. bart

P.S. how far apart are the base of the rose and the base of the wisteria in the photo? Because, of course, I would love to try to create such an effect as you have in this picture (though as I said before, it's very risky and iffy),and need to know how to space the two plants. Thanks! bart

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 4:23AM
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I'm not in your zone, but thought I'd mention Kathleen Harrop, it's thornless, light pink.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 11:36AM
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That is jaw-droppingly beautiful. A yellow/apricot, think Crepuscule (mostly thornless), would be breathtaking mixed with the purple. How you would fight the wisteria off until the rose was established, though, I haven't a clue.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 1:46PM
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seil zone 6b MI

That truly is magnificent! Like the others I wouldn't mess with it. Any new rose coming into the mix is going to be very small and probably won't get enough sunlight under that wisteria to thrive and grow quickly so it would take many, many years to get the same affect. Leave this one and plant something new and try it and see how it does before you do anything radical with the old one.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 7:47PM
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I love wisterias and yours is a magnificent example of what a glorious display one can get as a reward for correct and consistent pruning. Which brings me to the point I will make here - the addition of a climbing rose as a companion will make the pruning of both a night mare. I know this from experience - this has been the 7th year I have been stubbornly trying to manage the co-habitation of a Wisteria floribunda 'Rosea' and climbing Peace. It can be a bit of a nightmare.

So,I would say to forget about a climbing rose. I have underplanted another wisteria, trained as a standard with the English Rose, A Shropshire Lad. Now, that is a more manageable combination.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 2:25AM
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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

Yes, but how far apart have you spaced your rose and your wisteria, cactus joe? I really want to try this; I know it may be a bit crazy, but what the heck...I mean "nightmare" garden situations come up anyway, all the time, for example, growing New Dawn as a free-standing shrub in my climate-Tuscany, Italy- in the middle of the garden...BAD,BAD move. I'm actually going to try moving this monster rose to some other place where it can just do what it wants,without me having to prune it.The fact is, it just doesn't give an impressive enough of a show to make me be willing to go through the mess of trying to prune it every year. But for something as spectacular as a rose-with-wisteria combo,well, I'd be willing to deal with that. I, too, love wisterias,especially the purple ones...cheers, bart

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 3:53AM
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Not for cold climates and not thornless, but Belle Portugaise could handle a wisteria just fine. That is one strong growing rose and the color would be romantic with the wisteria. One of my favorites if you have the space. Also, the flowers smile down from above in a charming way. I had one in a jacaranda tree.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 4:51PM
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Thanks for the compliments and suggestions.

Bart 2010 - to answer your question, the rose and the wisteria are planted about 4-4.5 metres apart. The rose is growing up on the left of the photo, just below where the flowers are. The wisteria is planted at the far right of the photo, where that large cluster of blooms is hitting the ground. Overall, the wisteria covers about 11 metres across the fence. But it does send out runners along the ground and tries to put down roots along the fenceline. Plus it is very heavy, so you need a strong wall to support it, like I have. It is really magnificent, and I think worth the effort. I would think the minimum distance apart for planting would be 3 metres, based on the age of my plants.

Thanks windeaux for identifying my rose - I've always wondered what it is - it is very pretty and old fashioned, I just wish it bloomed more often, so I could enjoy it for longer! And obviously, the thorns are a bit of a nightmare.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 7:39PM
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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

Thank you very much, Lynne! cheers, bart

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 3:49AM
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Just a note to add to the chorus that it is beautiful as-is...

Did you add another rose to yours?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 9:35PM
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Please tell me my 3 year old will look like yours! Mine is surrounded by mostly Austin's. the runners seem to shoot out in every direction, but they have not yet affected the roses. This is early spring so u cannot tell, but there is a New Dawn that happily coexists with this tree. I know the standards are a lot easier to control. Your vine is beautiful.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 8:14PM
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What is the name of the white wisteria posted above, Do you fertilize it to have that many blooms?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 11:26AM
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