What Can I Use to Attach a Climbing Rose to a Stucco Wall?
The varied, textured surface of a stucco wall is a beautiful backdrop for a climbing rose. However, stucco finishes are vulnerable to water damage, which often occurs when cracks or other breaks in the surface allow rain and draining water to penetrate beneath the finish. To best display roses against stucco, mount a rose support near to but not attached through the stucco finished wall.
Climbing roses can reach a height of 15 feet or more and need sturdy support to stay upright. The canes, foliage and blooms become even heavier if wet with rain or during the winter, when ice and snow build up on the bare canes. Add to this the stress from wind and storms on the rose bush and support, and it's clear that the challenge is to support the plant without damaging either it or the supporting structure.
Climbing roses don't actually climb the way that vines do. Although the thorns can give them some purchase to support themselves against a structure, the rose has stiff canes instead of pliant and meandering vines. Roses are trained, pruned and tied to create a "climbing" appearance, or are allowed to scales walls, weave in and under supports, or arch away from them if an informal look is desired.
Types of Mounts
Supports for a rose can be mounted directly to a stucco wall using wall brackets or other hardware. However, this requires drilling through the stucco finish, which potentially opens a passage for water to seep into and under the stucco, ultimately damaging it. There are methods that will look just as good or better, and also will make it easier to train the rose to "climb" the wall.
A better solution is to mount a rose trellis or other support made of wood, chain or metal 6 inches away from the wall. Tie the primary canes to this support --the 6-inch clearance from the wall will make this easier to do--and weave the lateral canes and tips and ends of the primary canes behind the supports, so they will begin to scale the stucco without actually being supported by the wall. If the trellis or support framework is painted the same color as the stucco, it will disappear in the rose foliage, and the appearance will be the same as if the rose were actually climbing the wall.
To avoid mounting any supporting brackets or hardware anywhere in the wall, submerge the support posts for the trellis or support framework in a submerged, poured concrete footing, or use steel fence posts mounted on stakes pounded into the ground. Paint the fence posts the same color as the stucco wall, as well.
Use strong but narrow materials to create a trellis or support that's as unobtrusive as possible. Galvanized chain strung at regular intervals between posts would work. Other choices include metal pipe, or cedar or redwood lumber. Build a support structure that provides a sturdy grid; you'll need to tie on a dozen or more sturdy rose canes at intervals of about 1-1/2 to 2 feet, starting 3 feet from the base of the rose bush.
- "Fifty Easy Old-Fashioned Roses, Climbers, and Vines"; Anne M. Zeman; 1995
- Climbing Roses
Gretchen Maron has written content for journals, websites, newspapers, radio news and newsletters, ranging from the International Horn Society journal "Horn Call" and the Air America Radio website, to non-profit organization websites. A librarian for over 30 years and a professional writer since 1996, she's an experienced, knowledgeable researcher.