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March 24, 2021 - How to care for your Peggy Martin climbing rose

Updated: May 6, 2021

Last year we purchased our first climbing rose from a local garden center and chose to get the Peggy Martin rose. We brought it home around the end of the summer with the expectation that we could plant it and let it settle in over the fall and winter months. We even purchased a trellis/arch on the internet and placed it over our bridge walkway, so it would be the perfect year-round decoration as we entered the backyard from our deck.

We chose this particular rose for a couple of reasons. First, it's a great climber and has thinner stalks, allowing it to grow quickly. Another reason is that it's a native species in the southeastern part of the US. We have a thick layer of clay soil, so we really need to be careful with the plants we choose to put into the ground. Good news - Peggy Martin does very well in clay! It survived the winter just fine and is perking up quickly with the early spring weather (rain and warmer temps).

Early stages of growth of Peggy Martin. Bonus hummingbird!

So this year, Peggy Martin has grown more than halfway over our arch and there are new shoots coming off of it everywhere. It gets full sun, which for us is closer to 10-12 hours of daylight because of the particular position in the yard. It will have beautiful white flowers with a touch of peach when it comes into bloom. We'll update with some pics when the blooming starts, but it's too early for that now.

Another fun discovery is that the Carolina wrens, Eastern bluebirds, and Hummingbirds really enjoy the rose. It's up high on the arch, so it gives them a good vantage point to watch for the Cooper's Hawks that live nearby, and it gives them some cover when they hide in the foliage. We're glad it's not just us that enjoy Peggy Martin. See pic below for our cute hummingbird friend that visits us.

A humming bird on our rose arch
Blooming in mid Spring

Quick planting tips:

  • Dig your hole in a square so the roots don't get bound in your clay soil hole

  • Add some grit (we use pea gravel) at the bottom and then add some dirt

  • Pop in the rose and then fill with garden soil and compost

  • Special note - most of the time when you buy roses, the soil will come off the roots and you'll be left with a bare root plant. Don't expect much at the beginning, but do water it thoroughly to give it a head start with settling in. You can use some Mycorrhizal or root starter too.

  • Water thoroughly and make sure it gets plenty of sun and warmth.

Weather update: It's warming up! Highs in the mid 70's, Lows in the 50's, with some overcast clouds. It'll be like this for the next couple of weeks.

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