New to Roses - Now have Four - General Advice?

Houston, TX

Hi there. *waves* I'm Hastur and I'm brand new to rose growing.

In an attempt to bring more bees to my yard, I decided to try my hand at some antique roses. I am now the proud owner of two Dame Decour (I probably mangled the spelling there), one Don Juan, and one Green Rose. All of them have been transplanted from their pots to their homes in the ground, and they are blooming already so at least something is going right.

I chose these because my understanding is that they are hardy, will grow, and are not "fussy". I'm a vegetable gardener, normally, and have only recently started seeing flowers as 'useful' so I wanted things that are easy.

I've gone through and read every post that made any amount of sense to me, and I've been reading everything I can online, and I now have a couple of questions that are probably obvious to you guys, but not to me.

1) I want to pick the flowers, so that I can dry the petals to use in - well, something. Is there a place on the plant that I should pick them/cut them so that the plant will continue to bloom, and I won't hurt it?

If these were the wild roses that used to grow in Maine, I would snip off one or two flowers per plant, and let the rest go nuts, but this is different. I want to encourage the wee plants to grow into the monsters that I am hoping for.

2) I've seen all kinds of gorgeous pictures about training the climber, and I have a trellis in behind the Don Juan. However, I cannot see if I have to tie the vines to the trellis (like I would for a tomato), or if the vines will just wrap themselves (like a cucumber or pole bean). Would someone please be so kind as to let me know which one?

Thank you very much for the time and attention to these inordinately newbie questions.

Richmond, TX

Welcome Hastur! You are smart to have bought the old garden roses, they are indeed low maintenance. I killed a lot of Hybrid-teas before I learned. 1) Roses like to be picked; you can treat them as you did the wild ones down east, and they will bloom better if you always remove the spent flowers too. 2) Climbers need help clinging to their support and they will produce more blooms if trained quite horizontally. - And if you want to please the bees, let your broccoli bolt, the stinky flowers seem irresistible!

Houston, TX

Thank you, Porkpal. You're right up the way from me, judging by your city.

That does bring a question: What is "spent"? Like, when it's in full bloom, gorgeous, but no more bees on it? Or when it's starting to wilt a bit? Either way, I'll grab, but I want to make sure that it's done before picking the flowers.

And I may have to let one broccoli go to seed then. Almost a shame to not eat it though....

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Greetings Hartur, and welcome to roses and the rose forum.

On the subject of training climbers, we recently had a thread that answers some of your quesions. I use tomato tape and pull the new growth as horozontally as I can.

Please have a look at this thread.


Houston, TX

Hi Donna:

I saw that thread and am going to keep following it. It looks cool! I just wasn't sure HOW to get the vines in the right direction. Knowing that I have to tie them in makes a difference!

See, way too new at this. *grin*

*wanders off to find her biker gauntlets for rose training*

Richmond, TX

Gauntlets are good. You can pick the bloom at any time if all you want to do is encourage re-bloom. I wait until most of the petals fall off then pop the rest off before the plant wastes its energy forming a hip. Obviously if you have a use for the petals you'll want to grab it sooner - unless you enjoy picking petals up off the ground...

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Oh, you make me nostalgic! I ordered gauntlet gloves with the first rose I ever bought, which from the "old" (before acquisition) Edmunds Roses.

Hey, at that time (2003) I didn't realize that people tied them in! I thought that perhaps they had tendrils, like sweet peas, or an impulse to climb, like morning glories.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Hastur, welcome to rose!

I've saved this you-tube link:

It is a short video by Paul Zimmerman on pegging--which is not what you are asking about. But if you ckeck the additional links on the right of the page you can find videos on almost everything regarding rose care--and one of them is how to train a climber, actually more than one. I tend to refer back to these videos as lots of pictures really help me to learn what I want to do.

And yes, gloves!

Have fun with your roses and hope you get lots of bees, too!

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)


Thank you for this link! The video on roses in lower light conditions is phenomenal. I am going to full sun locations to a mix of lighting conditions, and he confirmed for me that what I am doing will work. Very cool!

See Hastur? I've been growing roses with success for nine years and I can still learn from the greats (Terri, are you listening?)

And great source for information, and lots of it, in one place.


Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Oh, I'm listening! I learn something new here on Dave's almost every day and I love it!

I find most of my misadventures with roses (my main passion although I love tomatoes, too) to be hillarious. I love laughing at myself but need guidance as in the end I think we all need to succeed. I love those you-tube videos and even I can understand them. I'm better at the chemical formulas of the compost than at pruning and training a climber. Even though I love climbers. Being a short little person I can get into some real trouble with a climber! It just figures that I would be drawn to big honkin' climbers, big thorny shrud roses, really tall lilies, big tall cannas, really tall torch lilies, six foot tall DH....=D

Glad to share the link, Donna, I love Paul Zimmerman too. He is so patient and I find that to be one of the hallmarks of a good teacher.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

What an image. I now see this tiny person with a great big (and wonderful) personality. I will now always visualize you next to big honkin' climbers, with your big studmuffin of a husband!

And when I said the greats, I meant YOU!!!

This message was edited Mar 23, 2012 10:42 AM

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Aw shucks!

I think you're a pretty groovy rose gal yourself! Blush!

Houston, TX

You guys are awesome. And that video showed me that my climber will be fine where he is. He's on the north side of the house, which is partial, rather than full sun. I figured that it would be OK, as he still gets a good amount of sun each day, and lo and behold - me logic was reasonably accurate!

I don't know if you care, but my first pickings!

The first is my roommate enjoying the scents. It's a tad light, as the actual flowers are a much deeper red. The second is a close up of the flowers.

I never thought I could be this excited about flowers!

Thumbnail by Hastur Thumbnail by Hastur
Richmond, TX

Roses do that to you.

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

Let's all give a hearty welcome to Hastur, our newest "rose addict" ! LOL !

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