Roses are ideal plants to embellish a facade! In addition to their beautiful dark green foliage they bring magnificent flowers and present no risk of structural damage. The selection is by no means limited to the so-called climbing roses. Why is that? The roses that are called "climbing roses" is an arbitrary assortment of rose cultivars with long shoots wich allow them to climb on pergolas and rose arches - this doesn't necessarily mean that they are a good choice for walls. Historical "climbing roses" are often susceptible to disease on walls, while modern shrub or ground cover roses may be fine. Roses with large stems can be planted as bushes without any wall trellis.
Climbing roses - latin: Rosa
Roses are fragile and often prone to disease. Many historical cultivars bred in the industrial age fail today because of the high quality of the air, because the sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the air is missing and there are no acid rains anymore. Environmental protection can also have disadvantages ! On hot facades this problem is intensified and sulfur may be sprayed. Select a robust cultivar if possible, for example among the ADR roses. There are hardly any new climbing rose cultivars, so it may be necessary to choose one of the more resistant small shrub roses or a ground-cover rose. Many wholesalers sell their products under fantasy names as a marketing practice, so it is recommended to shop directly from rose nurseries to guarantee the quality. The use of false picture labels is also not uncommon.
The roses should be planted in a sunny location but some varieties may suffer from hot south-facing walls. Partially shaded locations may also be considered. The soil should be sandy and loamy, deep, not too moist but not dry, with some humus but not too rich. Potassium or ash fertilisation until early in the summer. Roses can be found in many garden shops or online. Distance between two roses: 1,5 to 4 meters.
Roses are ramblers: they snag onto branches or wires with their prickles to grow higher. Some cultivars tend to lose their leaves at the base of the plant. The height they is depending on the cultivar, between 2 and 15 meters in height. The leaves persist from May to October, some cultivars keep their leaves well into March. The flowers open at the extremities of green shoots and come in many colors from dark red to apricot or yellow or white. Some cultivars flower only once, some twice and some for several months.
The stem should be developed depending on the growing habit of the particular rose. Generally speaking, the horizontal shoots will produce more roses in the following years. Cutting the older flowers stimulates the development of new flowers and can extend the flowering period. On smaller trellises the rose can be cut down to the ground in winter. When cutting a shoot, always leave a small stub.
Stakes, grids or wire rope trellises can be used for roses. The table at the bottom of the page lists suitable designs. Chose a wire rope trellis in the medium range, maybe even the simple or light ranges for some, but a heavy or massive trellis for the more fragile cultivars or for larger projects.