Pruning Sun Roses.
"What is the proper way to prune a climbing rose? I planted a Climbing Golden Showers and a Climbing Altissimo and both did great last year...not so well this year. Do they grow blooms on old wood? A lot of brown and bare stalks...(canes?)from last year. New growth seems to grow from base so do I prune old wood? If so when? Should I leave the center cane as I read somewhere? Newbie to gardening. Thank you,"
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest


Thanks for writing. Many experts recommend leaving your plants be the first year or two after planting, except to remove any growth that was killed in winter.

Get detailed instructions, including some good drawings, here:

Most climbing roses bloom on current season growth, and may bloom once or be repeat bloomers. These roses are often derived from hybrid tea roses and are not particularly vigorous, usually requiring little yearly pruning except to remove winter-killed wood, dead, diseased, or weak growth and old, unproductive canes. Pruning should be done in spring before new growth occurs. ‘Joseph’s Coat’, ‘Handel’ and ‘Don Juan’ are a few varieties of climbing rose.

Some varieties of climbing roses, often identified by the word ‘climbing’ in front of the variety name, originated as a tall sport from a hybrid rose variety, such as ‘Climbing Peace’. These roses should not be pruned back heavily within the first two or three years after planting, or they may revert to the bush growth form. Throughout the summer spent flowers on repeat blooming climbers should be cut back to the first set of five-leaflet leaves to allow for reblooming.

Climbing roses derived from Rosa wichuraiana, including ‘Alberic Barbier’, ‘Silver Moon’ and ‘May Queen’, bloom on one-year old wood, do not repeat bloom and tend to be very vigorous plants. One method of pruning these roses is to cut blooming canes back to the ground after flowering and leave any newly emerging shoots to grow and bloom the following summer.

Rambling roses are vigorous plants that produce small clusters of flowers only once during the growing season. ‘Excelsa’, ‘Dorothy Perkins’, ‘American Pillar’, and ‘Veilchenblau’ are a few examples of rambling roses. Rambling roses produce much more growth from the crown than climbing roses, and can easily become a tangled mass of branches if not pruned properly.

Nearly all ramblers produce flowers only on second-year wood and should be pruned in summer after blooming. Begin by removing diseased and dead canes.

Next, remove the older, gray-colored canes since most canes will decrease in flower production after only 2-3 years. Also remove weak, thin-diameter canes leaving only the most healthy, vigorous canes. Cut lateral (secondary) branches back to 8-10 buds and shape the plant as desired."

Answered by BHGgardenEditors