How to Deadhead Climbing Roses | White Dawn

Dear Garden Diary,

Climbing up the 5 steps to my pretty blue front door last month would have been a real treat for anyone deciding to visit me.


Planted by the steps leading up to the main door, the month of June saw my fully double, lightly fragrant, White Dawn roses explode into soft, ivory white showers all over my front stair railing. 

White dawn roses, white climbing roses
June 9th

Yes, I know. A stair railing is a most unconventional place to train roses on, but I wanted my small front garden bed to look like a colorful, English garden, bursting with flowers... cascading, spilling, scrambling... messily and happily in the most unpredictable of places and ways. Anyway, I made sure to train the climbing rose cane below the hand railing, so that the sharp thorns wouldn't poke anyone using the railing.

English front garden bed
June 17th

So, my 'White Dawn' Climbing Rose is now in its third year in my Zone 5west-facing front garden. You remember the first year I planted it alongside the staircase leading up to the front door and  just let the major canes grow straight up without bending them. The second year, I trained these major, structural canes to grow horizontally to promote the growth of lateral branches which produce prolific buds. This year (year 3), the horizontal cane that weaves along my stair rail threw out many strong, healthy lateral shoots with upto 10 clusters of buds on each shoot. How fantastic!

White Dawn roses, Climbing white roses
June 17th

Many repeat flowering climbing roses will rebloom if they are deadheaded often to encourage new blooms. Lucky for me, my gorgeous, gardenia-like, White Dawn roses (a product of New Dawn and Lily Pons) are one of these repeat blooming climbing sorts. 

While the first bloom in June will be the most profuse, I do have luck with a second bloom later in the season, as long as I make sure to deadhead. After the blooms fade, cutting off the spent blooms helps divert the plant's energy away from making rose hips, into making new buds and flowers. 

As a reminder to myself (and for anyone else wondering how to deadhead climbing White Dawn roses or even it's parent, New Dawn, in summer after the first bloom), here's how to take care of business and enjoy a fresh, flush of flowers in 6-7 weeks.

How to Deadhead White Dawn and New Dawn Climbing Roses for a Rebloom in Summer

Deadheading is the process of removing spent blooms to encourage new ones. The sooner deadheading is done, the sooner the plant begins to produce flowers again.

  • These White Dawn climbing roses bloom in clusters. As the petals begin to fade, use secateurs to clip off the individual flowers, allowing the rest of the buds to open and bloom. This will keep the bush looking tidy and fresh. But since, I'm neither a neat freak nor a perfectionist, I'll just wait for the entire cluster to have finished flowering before deadheading.

  • Once the entire cluster of multi-flowered roses has bloomed, remove up to 2/3rds of the lateral shoot, cutting on an angle to just above a set of 5 leaflets.

Deadheading climbing roses, pruning climbing roses, 5 leaflets
July 2nd

  • The rose plant will flower again in about 6-7 weeks. 

See you later!


Related posts that might interest you:

How to Prune Miniature Roses for a Rebloom

 Or take a garden tour of my perennial garden in July.

What Garden Tasks to do in June | Zone 5

What Garden Tasks to do in July | Zone 5

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