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Support for Zepherine grown as a Shrub

Posted by zepherinedrouhin 6 VA (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 18, 12 at 20:08

I'm growing Zepherine as a shrub, not a climber, but she's starting to sprawl on the ground. Anyone have ideas for structures/ways to prop her up? Arbors, trellises, and fences are not options for the location she is in. Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Support for Zepherine grown as a Shrub

  • Posted by seil z6b MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 18, 12 at 21:01

The only other thing I can think of besides just staking it would be some kind of obelisk.

RE: Support for Zepherine grown as a Shrub

I grow moonlight, a lax and limber hybrid musk, up through an old municiple rubbish bin - the ones which consist of a cage or metal designed to hold thinner inner receptacles (what a mouthful) - at any rate, a stout obelisk with the top cut off, leaving a four foot high structure is a good substitute although you do have to pull the new growth through the top so it fountains out over the rim. Failing that, four timber posts, upright in the ground, encircled with jute rope, chain or covered wire will do the trick. The main thing is to lift the loose lower branches upright, then allow them to fall forward (where they will flower like crazy). An unexpected bonus seems to be a lack of powdery mildew resulting from much better air circulation so do thin out the long canes.

RE: Support for Zepherine grown as a Shrub

I'm supporting Zepherine with a wood obelisk. Tried training her long limbs horizontally to it but only semi-successful. Those branches have tended to die off from the ends, objecting to the angle. I'm in south Florida so weather is not a factor.

Now I just let them wave but if only the terminal ends bloom then I'll cut 1/2 of them back to get more shoots. So far it's wait and see while she fills out.


PS If I have time later to upload a photo to Photobucket I will but it's tax season ergh :-(

RE: Support for Zepherine grown as a Shrub

I find that the first flush grow along the canes and then I prune for summer because those canes and subsequent laterals will get longer and longer and only bloom at the ends.

Photo: Zepherine on obelisk


Here is a older photo of Zephirine. She has doubled in cane number since this was taken but still stingy with bloom and they are almost always at the end of the cane.

The obelisk is not really supporting the rose per se. It was placed to help train the canes into making more laterals and blooms but that has not happened and I've been untieing canes and cutting off dead ends which has made Zephy happier and prettier.

Campanula and others: would you cut back 1/2 of the long canes? or would you cut back almost all of them for the summer? Summer will be here in May or earlier.



P.S. The flowers at lower left are "periwinkles", the Florida not northern type, in the same color as Zephy, just a happy co-incidence I planted them there or they volunteered, can't remember as they move around at will.

RE: Support for Zepherine grown as a Shrub

Canes of a mature ZD are self-supporting. If room permits, one very attractive way way to grow it is to let it form a fountain shape ten feet wide, blooming all along the arching canes in May-June. Pruning would consist of thinning out the older canes after blooming and removing any strong laterals to preserve the lines. In my experience, new canes of the current season tend to bloom only at the ends, but they provide most of the limited repeat bloom that ZD gives.

RE: Support for Zepherine grown as a Shrub

, yes, I agree with Michael that the best way to grow this would be to not really bother too much twisating the canes around the obelisk - it is a bit stiff and unresistant, even when quite young. Instead, let a couple of good canes for each leg of the obelisk grow more or less straight upright (you will have to put up with naked legs to some extent but there's things you can do about that. Fasten loosely with nice fat ties, about halway up the obelisk and then let those canes reach up and pull themselves horizontal, then finally, tipping back topwards the ground. Try and give it a good thinning now so you have the best and longest canes left and wait till after the first big flush - which should be all along the length of the main canes. Those canes will then start to throw big laterals which I then trim back around the end of July, which also coincides with the annual blackspot fiasco. The semi-naked canes are not that lovely but are easy to work and shape. In august, there is usually a flush of new and lovely foliage which is distinctly autumnal and a display in its own right.
Yes, this can be a tricky rose to grow well but it is also worth persevereing with. Mine grows exactly as described but I let all the canes fall forward over an arbour - it is like walking under a tunnel of deep pink when in full flood.

RE: Support for Zepherine grown as a Shrub

Thanks campanula and michael for the insight on Zephy care to achieve best blooming. Let me state what I believe I read:

Spring (now in Florida)-Prune to remove the smallest canes and loosely tie vertical canes to the obelisk (vertical canes are indeed growing well now).

After blooming (which is not looking like more than a few blooms here and there)-perhaps June in Florida-cut back the laterals to encourage leafy growth.


When you say prune "older canes" does that mean something really woody looking. I'm trying to understand the difference between keeping the "stronger" canes vs. removing the "older" canes. I'm guessing the canes that are the most floriferous are the ones of middle-age, not too young/weak and not too old/woody. (I don't have any "old" wood just yet on Zephy)

Thanks again.

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