Zone 8 Climbing Roses: Learn About Roses That Climb In Zone 8

By: Ilana Goldowitz Jimenez, Plant Scientist & Writer

Climbing roses are a striking addition to a garden or home. They are used to adorn trellises, arches, and the sides of houses, and some large varieties can grow 20 or even 30 feet (6-9 m.) tall with proper support. Subgroups within this large category include trailing climbers, ramblers, and climbers that fall under other groups of roses, such as climbing hybrid tea roses.

Ramblers are the most vigorous climbing rose varieties. Their long canes can grow as much as 20 feet (6 m.) in one year, and the flowers appear on clusters. Trailing climbers are smaller but still capable of covering a trellis or arch, and they usually feature abundant flowers. For almost every color and flower characteristic that you can find in other roses, you can find the same among roses that climb. In zone 8, many climbing rose varieties can be grown successfully.

Zone 8 Climbing Roses

Climbing roses for zone 8 include the following varieties and many more:

New Dawn – A rambler with light pink flowers, highly rated in rose trials at the Georgia Experiment Station.

Reve D’Or – A vigorous climber that grows up to 18 feet (5.5 m.) tall with yellow to apricot-colored petals.

Strawberry Hill – A recipient of the RHS Award of Garden Merit, this fast-growing, disease-resistant rambler produces fragrant pink blooms.

Iceberg climbing rose – Abundant pure white flowers on a vigorous plant that grows up to 12 feet (3.5 m.) tall.

Mme. Alfred Carrière – A tall (up to 20 feet or 6 m.), very vigorous rambler with white flowers.

Sea Foam – This disease-resistant trailing climber was rated as one of the best performing climbing roses by the Texas A&M Earth-Kind program.

Fourth of July – This All-American Rose selection from 1999 features unique red- and white-striped flowers.

Growing Climbing Roses in Zone 8

Provide climbing hybrid tea roses with a trellis, arch, or wall to climb up. Trailing climbers should be planted near either a structure they can climb up or an area of ground where they can grow as a ground cover. Ramblers are the tallest group of climbing roses, and they are great for covering the sides of large buildings or even growing into trees.

Mulching around roses is recommend for optimal soil health and moisture retention and to prevent weed growth. Place mulch 2 to 3 inches (5-8 cm.) deep around roses, but leave a mulch free 6-inch (15 cm.) diameter ring around the trunk.

Pruning practices vary based on the specific climbing rose variety, but for most climbing roses, it’s best to prune just after the flowers fade. This typically occurs in the winter. Cut side shoots back by two-thirds. Prune the oldest canes and any diseased branches back to the ground to allow newer canes to grow, leaving five or six canes.

Keep the soil moist after planting your roses until they are established. Water established roses at least once a week during dry periods.

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Roses forum→Need some advice on Climbing Roses

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I have been growing 2 different cultivars of roses in large pots up 2 different arbors.

The arbor and roses that I am most concerned about is the Climbing Cramoisi Superieur roses I have growing up a wooden arbor. It has been in the two pots for a number of years. I decided not to grow them in the ground because of the root-knot nematodes in my yard. Though I suspect the roots of both plants have found their way into the ground.

Are they supposed to look like a huge topper of stems, branches, and blooms on top? Or should I be pruning them much more to keep them looking more managed and less like a big poof of out-of-control branches like in my photo? I've never been able to figure out how to prune this fast growing climbing rose cultivar. They just dropped their most recent bloom flush so it looks colorless.

This is a photo of Climbing Old Blush growing on another arbor. Both roses in this picture are also growing in pots for the same reason I have the others in pots. This one looks more tame. It is sporting a bloom flush right now since it is cooler. I like this look much better. It doesn't look all wild and crazy.

Some climbers do tend to have concentrated growth at the top of the arbors and bare canes down at the base.
I don't know how often you prune yours, but a considerable thinning out of the top of the plants and then giving them some Epsom salts may very well encourage new basal growth as well as lateral growth from those older canes. I've encountered that problem in the past and the thinning/epsom salt treatment worked well.

Another thing you could consider doing (if the first suggestion doesn't work) is a remedy I tried and was successful with:
I planted a much shorter and less vigorous climber at the base of the big one which eventually "hid" the canes of the older one. You could also plant a smaller more manageable flowering (or green) vine at the base to get the same effect. i.e. clematis or some sort of climbing annual. I've used the shorter varieties of sweet peas to achieve that effect. ones that only grow to a max of about 5'.

I think I may have been confusing in my question . What I really want to know is . should the CC roses have THAT much top growth? They are so huge and sprawling at the top that it looks like a teased wig or clown's wig. I was thinking they should look more reserved like the Cl. Old Blush roses on it's arbor. I've honestly never seen a climbing rose look like that at the top. It reminds me of an episode (if there was one) of Climbing Roses Gone Wild. Should I be pruning it hard and more often? It is obviously a vigorous grower (even in pots). This is a China rose culitvar. Mine has no scent that I can detect unlike what it says on this link.

I just read on that link that it grows to 15' tall. So maybe that explains why it is ridiculously tall and branching out everywhere at the top like it's on steroids. I had no idea it would grow like that. I was mainly looking for climbing roses that would actually survive here in central Florida. I didn't expect in pots that it would grow to it's full potential.

Anyway . should I hard prune these two CC climbing roses? Or is this the nature of these beasts and should I just leave them alone and prune like I have been doing (which is when the branches get so long that they are hanging down and scratching anyone walking under them)?

Mike - You suggested I do that, but should I . given the nature of this particular cultivar of climbing rose?

BTW - The Cl. Old Blush roses do NOT have the roots growing out of the pots yet. The pots are sitting on pavers and I can still shift the pots. The CC though I can not move either of them and any paver they are sitting on is buried under the ground like probably any roots growing through the drain holes of the pots.

Your situation brings to mind exactly what I went through with a Cl. Lemon Meringue rose. I didn't do my homework when I planted it and it completely overpowered the VERY NARROW (12" wide) steel arbor I had it growing on. It was way too massive for such a small arbor and always looked top heavy. When it DID sprout laterally from the canes, the whips got to be enormous, regardless of if I piched them out or not. I've since removed it, so it's history.

I will give it a good pruning the next chance I get. Probably in a week. I do love the fact that it does indeed cover the large wooden arbor, but I don't like ducking when I walk under it to avoid being scratched by the lateral branches. It does bloom off and on throughout the entire year. Though it seems to prefer the cooler temps of Winter for happier blooms. It is just too top heavy that it looks out of proportion to me. But maybe my thinking is all wrong. Maybe that is exactly how it is supposed to look. I did want a climbing rose to cover the arbor. It does that and then some .

I've tried growing a number of rose cultivars over the years, but none survive past the second year. Bad soil and root-knot nematodes. My soil is horrible even with amending. So all but one of my roses grow in pots. My Don Juan has survived in the ground for about 5 years. It never gets real big, but it does bloom and the blooms are gorgeous and have a wonderful scent. It is not as vigorous as CC. I sure wished it was. But at least it has survived the ground soil and has not died.

I envy all of you who have such beautiful rose gardens! That must be Heaven! I wished I knew of a really lovely and fragrant rose that would grow well in a pot (not a climber) in FL zone 9b. I have the Knock Out Roses (a pink and a red one). No scent, very bushy. I have both in pots. I do like them because they have done well for me over the past 4 years, but I yearn for a "real" rose bush. (sigh) A big, glorious strong scented rose. In my dreams .

If you can't find them locally, you can get them by mail from K&M Roses.

I've ordered many roses from K&M and they are superb! Fortuniana works well in California, where it has the added plus of not appealing to gophers, and in all of the southern states. It isn't hardy, so it doesn't work well in the lower zones. The roses have to be planted with the graft high above ground level, so it's not a good choice of rootstock in any location where the graft has to be underground.

Years ago, I also bought some roses from MerryGro in Florida, which grew Jackson & Perkins roses on Fortuniana rootstock. Those roses put the other J&P roses in my garden to shame! They're taller, wider, and healthier. Unfortunately, MerryGro was going out of business when I bought my roses, so I never had a chance to buy more.

Fall Planting and Cold Season Tips

Fall planting is a good thing to do in Zones 7 and warmer. An exception is that we do not recommend planting the Teas, Noisettes, and Chinas after mid summer in Zones 7 and 8a. If you prefer delayed shipping, we will overwinter your order and ship in the spring on the date you specify. Bands and 1 gallon plants can also be potted into 5 gallon or larger pots for overwintering in Zone 7 and up. Plants in pots should be considered to be in a zone colder than that of plants in the ground. Colder zones may require taking roses in pots into a cold garage for a brief time during hard freezes.

Alert gardeners will see that plants are well watered before a freeze hits. Roses in pots that are less hardy may be moved into a cold structure that provides some warmth against extreme temperatures, or at least under a roof overhang. Move them right back outside as soon as the extreme weather stops, otherwise you will need to observe them carefully all winter. Plants moved indoors for longer periods must be kept moist but not wet. Infestation of spider mites, aphids, or other insects should be prevented by regular application of a systemic pesticide that also contains a fungicide for disease prevention. Keeping plants indoors at room temperature is not recommended. Moving plants outdoors again is best if just a few plants are involved. Consult successful rose gardeners or organizations in your area for successful special outdoor techniques used in extreme cold where you live.

Watch the video: Eden Climbing rose 1 year later

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