History of Iceberg Climbing Roses:
Iceberg roses were first bred in 1958 as a floribunda rose by German breeder Reimer Kordes. It is sometimes referred to by its registered name Korbin as well. Iceberg was bred using the two parent roses Robin Hood and Virgo. Nowadays Iceberg roses come in virtually all varieties, mostly as a standard rose and a tall bush rose, and of course it is also available as a climbing rose as well! Originally bred for small gardens, you should have no trouble finding a home for this rose in your garden.
Iceberg roses have often been called one of the best white climbing roses that you can find anywhere in the world, producing stunning wedding quality white blooms that are about 5cm in diameter with anywhere from 20 to 35 petals per bloom. Iceberg climbing roses tend to grow a little larger than other varieties, reaching upwards of 12 to 15 feet in the air, so make sure that you take this into consideration when choosing a location. Iceberg roses are also considered to have a fairly good resistance to diseases, which is another bonus for growers.
Choosing a Location for Your Iceberg Climbing Roses:
Planting your Iceberg roses is easy and can be done by just about anyone with a shovel and a little ambition. The first thing I would suggest is to put a little thought into choosing the right location for your Iceberg roses. This is a climber, so obviously you are going to need something for it to climb, as well as enough vertical space for it to grow into. The location should also have well-drained soil and should receive good circulation of air. Locations that are constantly wet or damp are not well-suited to growing roses.
The other consideration when choosing a location to plant your Iceberg climbing roses is how much sunlight it receives. Most rose growers will say the absolute minimum is 6 hours of sunlight each day. If you have a suitable location that gets more, well then that's even better. Roses in general require a lot of sunlight in order to bloom vigorously. While the plant itself will certainly grow in shady locations, it will not perform as you would hope it would. If you absolutely have to plant roses in partial shade, there are a number of varieties suited for these spots.
Planting Iceberg Climbing Roses:
Assuming you have found the perfect spot to plant your Iceberg roses, all that is left is to actually get them into the ground. Depending on where you purchased them, you either have your Iceberg in a container, or as a bareroot plant. If it is in a container, planting is pretty straight forward. Dig the whole 4 to 6 inches wider than the container itself and mix the freshly dug up soil 2 parts soil to 1 part organic compost. Set your plant with the top of the soil level with the top of the hole. Then backfill the hole with your new mix.
If you received your Iceberg climbing roses as a bareroot plant, then you have a little more to do. Don't worry, it's still easy. You will need to dig your hole as wide as the roots of the plant are long, and deep enough to that once planted, the bud union is only an inch or two below the surface of the soil. Mound up some of your soil mix in the center of the hole so that the roots can be laid out in full, angled downward. Backfill the hole halfway with your mix and water thoroughly. Backfill the rest of the way and water again. This should ensure even coverage of the roots and prevent any air pockets.
Caring for Iceberg Climbing Roses:
Caring for Iceberg roses is pretty straight forward and you can follow normal guidelines as you would any other type of rose. The first thing you need to do is make sure you give your new rose enough water. A typical rule of thumb is one thorough watering per week, whether by Mother Nature or yourself. If your region is usually hot and arid, you may have to step this up to every 4 to 5 days. Just as long as you are giving the plant a drying out period in between and never EVER water the leaves. Always try to water just the base of the plant.
Your Iceberg climbing roses will be more than happy with a standard feeding schedule once in the early Spring. Use a granular all purpose fertilizer as opposed to a chemical fertilizer. Many varieties of roses do not take well to chemicals and you could risk burning them. You can also, if you choose, give a second feeding just as the first bloom starts to form, and a third around mid-July, to help promote additional blooms. Always make sure you follow the directions on the fertilizer and keep at least 4 weeks in between feedings.
Pruning Iceberg Climbing Roses:
Pruning your roses is a snap and should always be done in early Spring before the leaves begin to form. This prevents the plant from wasting energy on leaves that you'll end up cutting off anyway, and it makes it much easier to see what you're doing with the foliage not in the way. Start off by removing all the canes that look dead or diseased and it's a good idea to clean up the base of the plant as well, removing all the dead leaves from the previous season.
Rotting canes and leaves are a breeding ground for pests and diseases so don't let them lay around the base of your Iceberg roses. Beyond that you can shape your climbing roses by pruning back to buds that are facing the direction you wish the plant to grow. This helps tremendously for training. Prune back any canes that are growing outside of the growing area and I like to try and remove overlapping canes as well. This helps prevent the leaves fighting for the san rays of sunlight once the plant opens up.
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