Cutting Back Climbing Roses in Early Summer.

(Question)

I trimmed back some excessive growth on a climbing rose in late winter. Now those parts of the plant have come back with a vengeance. Can I cut them back again now (early summer) to control the size and shape of the plant?

Thanks in advance,

(Answer)

Wow, your rose looks very happy if not a little congested.  While pruning is best done in the early spring,  please go ahead and remove the large stem that has taken off towards the heavens.  Remove it with clean secateurs or a pruning saw at an angle, near where it begins.  Look for an outward facing ‘bud’ near that point and make your snip.  You might try putting it in a vase and sometimes buds on it  may open.

For the average gardener pruning a climbing rose is a fairly simple practice aimed at keeping the rose healthy, happy and well behaved.  As you likely already know it involves removing obviously dead stems (this can sometimes be challenging since dead looking stems are not always dead).  But by now any stems that have not leafed out should be removed. Next, stand way back from the climber and determine the general shape you want it to be.  Cut off the tips of any stems that go outside this general shape but keep a looseness to the overall shape ie don’t make the rose box shaped.  Then you might look at ‘sacrificing’ some of this years stems and buds on the inside of the climber  to ‘open it up’ ie make space in the mass of the plant that is growing along your railing.  The goal is to keep the air circulating around the stems to avoid diseases.  Cut off only a few smaller stems near where they leave a main stem.  Any stem that crosses another stem would be a good choice. Again, cut at an angle about 1 cm away from the stem or above a stem ‘bud’ pointing outwards.  Please don’t overdo it by creating obvious holes in the spread of the rose.  Just create a bit of breathing room.

Please read the pruning guides I have included and look forward to the early spring next year when you can prune it with enthusiasm.

https://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/askagardener/cultivating-more-patience-than-plant-growth/

https://www.finegardening.com/article/pruning-climbing-roses

https://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/gardeningguides/pruning-roses-a-toronto-master-gardeners-guide/