One Bloom in 4 years

pinnyOctober 22, 2012

I have a Climbing Tropicana (Tangostar;Superstar) that is 4 years old. This year I had only one bloom. What am I doing wrong?


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mike_rivers(z5 MI)

If your zone 4 is on the US hardiness scale, then your Winters are probably just too cold for a climbing Hybrid Tea such as Tropicana. The winter-damaged plant wants to grow new wood before it produces flowers and then the next Winter puts it right back where it started.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 11:00AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

The other problem is that climbing sports of bush roses (such as Hybrid Teas) OFTEN do not bloom in much volume.

For volume of bloom, you really need a rose that was "born to be a climber."


    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 11:59AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

And, is it in full sun?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 2:04PM
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seil zone 6b MI

I had a climbing Peace rose for 6 years. It only gave me one bloom in all those years. It's gone now. I replaced it two years ago with Candy Land and even though it hasn't climbed yet it does bloom all the time!

As Jeri said, a lot of the climbing sports of hybrid tea roses are not very prolific bloomers in the first place. So if it's planted where there is any kind of disadvantage they don't bloom at all. If it isn't getting quite full sun or maybe has some minor soil or water issue that may be why it isn't blooming for you.

As Michael points out winter will do some serious damage to the canes in your zone as well so it may never actually climb for you. But that shouldn't prevent it from blooming. Even if you have to cut it way back every spring it should still produce blooms. My Peace climber had some years where I didn't have to prune but a couple of inches at the tips and it still didn't bloom!

I would get rid of it and find a real climber that will grow and bloom in your zone. If you want something in the same colors as Tropicana take a look at Joseph's Coat. That is rated to zone 4.

On a side note I found it very interesting that Tropicana is only rated to zone 7 and yet you've been gorwing it for 4 years now in your zone 4. I think a lot of those zone ratings scare people off from trying roses that are much hardier than we give them credit for.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 6:42PM
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Thanks everyone for the advise. Yes it is in full sun. I will look for Joseph's Coat next spring. Any other suggestions.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 8:56AM
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I have the same concern for 3 climbing hybrid teas I have in my garden: Cl Snowbird, Cl Mme Jules Bouche, and Cl Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria. All three grow prolifically; they are huge, especially Cl Mme Jules Bouche. However, Cl Snowbird blooms only in the spring for me and I have not yet seen a bloom on either of the other two. Cl Mme Jules Bouche has been in the ground 3-4 years, and as I said, is HUGE, but no blooms. I would welcome anyone's opinion on whether it is worth it to keep them.

Jeri, could you give some examples of climbers that were "born to be climbers"? Do you mean noisettes and tea-noisettes?

I'm in hot Phoenix area, by the way.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 12:36PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

pinney, here is a list of cold-hardy climbing roses-good place to start your seach.

Have fun searching!


Here is a link that might be useful: Modern Large flowered Climbing Roses

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 3:38PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Jasper, if you look at the entries in HMF about a Climber, you'll see that there are roses with two parents ... which produced a climber.
A good example of that would be 'Fourth of July.'

(Note that it's not, officially, 'Cl. Fourth of July.' -- Just 'Fourth of July.' It does not exist in a bush form)

Its parents are 'Roller Coaster' X 'Altissimo.'

Now, look, by contrast, at your 'Cl. Snowbird.'
It has only ONE parent!
It is a Climbing sport of the Bush form of 'Snowbird.'

'Snowbird' (The BUSH form, Int. in 1936) has two parents: 'Chastity' X 'Louise Crette.'

'CL. Snowbird', OTOH, was int. in 1949. It has only ONE parent!
It is listed as a "Sport of 'Snowbird.'"

I went with your example of 'Cl. Snowbird' because I know 'Snowbird' reasonably well. It is a tall-growing, upright rose, which repeats in SoCal like a house-afire.

In its day, it was a top Exhibition rose.

Our 'Snowbird' was collected as "Louise Avenue," at a very old home in the San Fernando Valley -- where a friend collected literally armloads of blooms, in mid-January.

So, I don't know if you will EVER get generous bloom from your 'Cl. Snowbird,' but I wouldn't bet the farm on it. OTOH, I KNOW you can get generous bloom from the original bush form.

And, BTW, we had the same experience years ago, when we planted 'Cl. Peace.' I am VERY patient with roses, but 'Cl. Peace' gave us one bloom in 3-4 years, AND committed the additional sin of rusting. (And that's when we sprayed!)

SO before you buy a modern Climbing Rose, check the parentage, to see if it had two parents. :-)


    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 9:50PM
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Jeri, thanks for the info on climbing roses; makes perfect sense, of course!

Hmm, makes me question my choices of planting climbing hybrid hard to pull them out though, when they are so healthy. But, I'll have to see...

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 11:24AM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Oh, if they're in the ground, by all means give them a chance to prove themselves. There's an exception to every "rule of thumb," so you never know for sure.

BUT if you are buying more climbers, I'd look either for the climbing Tea-Noisettes, or for modern climbers that are not sports of bushes.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 1:46PM
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seil zone 6b MI

I agree with Jeri, if they're doing well for you keep them. Just don't feel the need to hang on to ones that don't please you and when you replace them look for the other types of climbers instead.

In defense of poor Cl. Peace I feel I have to tell you that the president of my rose society has one that he loves!!! I've seen it too and the darn thing blooms it's head off for him!!! Go figure?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 7:51PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

There's an exception to every "rule of thumb"??


    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 8:58PM
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We replaced High Hopes with Super Excelsa and have been quite pleased with its reliable blooms. High Hopes would die back every winter, and grow long canes with just a few blooms at the tips.

We have also gotten plenty of blooms from Lemon Meringue, which is a sport of a sport--the parent is Westerland--a vigorous climber that grows well in Z6. We planted it near the fireplace that vents the furnace, so it stays warm in winter.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 9:41AM
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