Rehabilitating A Climbing Rose

Before I could rehabilitate the rose, I had to find it. It was buried under a Baccharis. I've blogged enough about my love-hate relationship with Baccharis, (I love to hate it) so I won't say too much about that ordeal.


Last year my subconscious noticed performance dropping off on the lower of the two 'Crépuscule' climbers, seen here in better days.  So much for no care!  It needs some care now, nine or ten years after planting. 

It took a year for my conscious mind to realize what my subconscious long knew: this rose was in decline. It's a little late to prune, but with the rose in this shape, pruning is better than waiting until next January. So yesterday, Baccharis whacking and hacking and chopping ensued, along with an unintentional slide down the slope and some swearing. I discovered a lot of dead rose branches underneath the mass of Baccharis.

Dead, all dead:
Piece of Eden

More and more of it!

Like a lot of woody plants left to themselves, the rose was a thin layer of green covering a mass of dead stems. The Baccharis was the same way, each branch a long stretch of dead with a bit of green at the tip:

 So much dead material I began to wonder if the enchanted castle of Little Briar-Rose was under there somewhere.  No, no castle appeared.  In this case, the rose itself is what needs to be rescued.

The Baccharis had grown down the slope, then up and over the rose.  The rose had survived by pushing through the fence, gettting enough sun that way to continue.  It allowed the rest of itself to die--no use keeping a cane alive if it isn't getting any sunlight. That 'Crépuscule' looked so good for so long is a testament to what a great cultivar it is.


Where oh where to begin?  I remembered my climbing rose rules, and started by removing all the dead stuff.  I didn't think about anything else, didn't think about what I would do next, didn't think about which canes to save and which to cut.  None of that.  First, the dead stuff. 

It got dark and the dogs were hungry and I still wasn't done.

To be continued...


  1. I hope with this care you're giving, Crepuscule will thrive and bloom heavily for you again.

  2. Good luck with rescuing your 'Crepuscule' rose! That looks like a heck of a job, but seeing your photo of 'Crepuscule' in better days it is all worth it.

  3. Wow, that's impressive. It just looks like you wouldn't even know where to start! Good luck!


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