roses and morning glory
I have a William Baffin climbing rose that I have climbing up an old, almost dead peach tree. The first question I would like to ask is about pruning. I have seen several videos about pruning roses and most of them say that if you have an old cane that is big and heavy and scruffy brown looking that it should be cut completely out. I do have one of those but it is also the longest ones and the first one to reach up toward the top of the tree. It has a lot of nice new growth going into the peach branches. If I cut it down will more branches take over and climb higher? The poor old peach tree has been hacked away at for years and now resembles a gnarly frame for the rose and is making a great backdrop for it.
The other question is about the rose and morning glory. I bought some dark purple morning glory seed because I thought that I would plant some by the William Baffin and they would look really pretty growing up and around with the dark pink roses. I was reading up on morning glory and now I am afraid that it could take over and strangle the rose. Is it a bad idea to plant them together?
Jackson County Colorado
Roses do benefit from pruning and sometimes removing the old, thick canes can result in great growth for the shrub the following year. Roses do put on a lot of new growth each year, so I wouldn't be overly concerned with the loss of height--especially if it's a cane that is not productive or flowering (which you didn't mention). But the decision to prune it is yours.... Yes, if you prune it, resources will generally go into growth of the other canes.
I wouldn't plant the morning glory at the base of the rose. If your focus is on the roses's health, then you want to make sure it receives as much sunlight as possible for photosynthesis and flower production. Planting morning glory may shade the rose leaves and could result in a competition among the plants.