I received a start of this rose several years ago from a friend in another state. I brought it home, rooted it and potted it up. And it did nothing for two years. It didn’t grow. It didn’t bloom. Nothing.
I had set up this simple arch a couple of years ago, and transplanted a couple of Clematis to grow over it. They didn’t like their new placement and were pretty disappointing. So, last year I planted my little rose plants on either side of the arch and really didn’t think too much more about it. They didn’t bloom very much last year, but the greenery was sure pretty.
A couple of weeks ago, Hubby noticed a few buds. Then there were more buds. And a few days later even more. Next thing we knew, that baby was covered in buds!
I was so excited!
A dear friend had mentioned that she has wanted one of these for 50 years. (This22233 beautiful lady doesn’t even look 50!) I just so happened to have a couple of branches that had rooted where they touch the soil, so I offered to share.
I was told the name of this rose when I received it, but I thought it was just another pretty rose. It wasn’t until I started researching to make sure it was in fact the rose my friend wanted, that I discovered the history.
The rest of this post is an article I wrote for a quarterly gardening newsletter.
Seven Sisters Rose
Seven Sisters Rose is a multiflora Heirloom rose that once established, can last for many years to come. It can often be seen rambling along fence rows in the countryside. In Zone 7 and above, this is a very vigorous climber, growing anywhere from 12 to 20 feet tall. In Zone 6, this rose grows more as a bush. It is not hardy below Zone 6.
Native to China, it was first introduced in Britain by Charles Greville in 1817. It became very popular, not only because it blooms profusely, it’s also easy to propagate, will grow in poor soil and in full sun. It is believed that after crossing the ocean, early American settlers carried pieces westward, planting along the way as they trekked across the continent.
The small blooms are only 1”- 2” across. Because of how the flowers grow in clusters, it always has blooms in different stages and various colors all at the same time. The buds open pink and change colors as they age: going through many shades of pink and almost turning red. The blooms will then fade to a creamy off-white color at the end of the bloom life.
The flower trusses (cluster of smaller stems) of the Seven Sisters can bear up to seven blooms. The cluster of blooms grows together in different sizes and colors, resembling seven sisters, hence the name.
As beautiful as they are, they typically only bloom once a year in the late spring. If the faded spring blooms are removed, there may be an additional bloom later in the summer.
- Do not prune climbing roses the first three years after planting, as it will prevent future blooms.
- Following the third summer, prune in late winter. Remove dead and diseased canes. To prevent the spread of insects and disease, clean up plant debris and weeds under the plant.
- After blooming the fourth year and each year thereafter, cut all of the canes back by one third, and remove the dead and diseased canes.
- Seven Sisters Roses bloom on canes from the previous year. Don’t prune green growth before blooming, or you will lose flower buds for the current year.
- Use sharp pruners to prevent crushing the stems, which will affect growth. Cut at a 45° angle.
- Be sure the pruners are clean to prevent transferring disease from one plant to another.
Once established, the Seven Sister Rose will give you many years of enjoyment!
Take time to smell the roses,
PS: I’m running late with the next Container Garden Week 6 Update. You’ll be impressed! It’s coming soon!