Climbing Pinkie

Right now my yard is the prettiest it will be all year.  While many of my plants are beginning to grow and bloom, it’s the roses that are stealing the show.  I have a dozen different varieties of “named roses” on my property (and couple that I really have no idea about).  Some are pink, some are red and some are pink and red at the same time.  I also have white ones and apricot colored ones.  About the only color I don’t currently have is yellow.


Climbing Pinkie’s almost thornless canes makes it the perfect choice for fences, arbors and trellises.

While I love all of my roses, each year one of them does something to make me notice it all over again.  This year the rose that I has most impressed me is Climbing Pinkie.  My first Climbing Pinkie was a gift from Martin Anderson at A&M. He took cuttings from his bush and shared them with several of us.  I planted my “pass along” rose in front of one of my picket fences three years ago.  Then, two years ago I won another one at our church picnic.  I planted it beside the first one.  While they did ok, I would not say that I was overly impressed with them.


Climbing Pinkie has a mild, sweet smell and beautiful yellow stamens

This year, Climbing Pinkie has made up for its slow start.  Both of my bushes have sent out many, many long canes that have created cascades of beautiful pink roses that drape over my fences.  When I built the picket fence three years ago I had visions of it covered in running roses.  I can honestly say this is the first time they have looked the way I hoped they would when I built them, and I have Climbing Pinkie to thank for it.


Climbing Pinkie is the perfect compliment to my white picket fences.

Climbing Pinkie is a garden favorite that was introduced in 1952.  Since then its nearly thornless canes and ever blooming sprays of rose pink flowers has made it a favorite of gardeners around the world.  Climbing Pinkie is mostly known for its 12 foot canes that are very easy to train over your arbors or pergolas.  However, it is much more than a mere climber.  This beautiful rose can be planted to make a beautiful bush.  It can also be planted along a ledge to create beautiful falling cascades.  In fact, it is so versatile that you can plant several of them together to create a beautiful, almost ever blooming hedge.


Climbing Pinkie a a polyantha rose. Polyanthas bloom in clusters from spring through first frost.

If you want to grow this rose, plant it in full sun in soil that has been well worked with organic material.  While the compost will provide all of the nutrients the plant needs, it will also allow it to be grown in areas that have high salinity in their water supplies.  Climbing Pinkie, and most other polyanthas, grow new canes from the base of the plant.  To ensure the best blooms possible, remove old canes after the spring bloom is complete.


The long cascading canes of Climbing Pinkie even make my propane tank look good.

Like most of the heirloom roses, Climbing Pinkie is resistant to most of the pests that plague hybrid roses.  While resistant to things like blackspot, it is not immune to it.  For this reason you should always water it (and all roses) from below.  Roses can also be bothered by aphids and spider mites.  You can control these by applying a hard spray of water to the underside of their leaves every two or three days.  If you need to spray for these pests, do it in the morning so the foliage has time to dry out during the day.

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