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From eXtension Ask an Expert: 'William Baffin' Rose

Rosa 'William Baffin' supported by a trellis,
at the MN Landscape Arboretum
Q: I have a 'William Baffin' rose bush growing in the lawn area of my landscape. It has well over 50 hips forming after a really fabulous bloom. Do I cut them off now or leave them on the plant? Will the rose re-bloom? 

A: 'William Baffin' is a repeat climbing rose; that is, it most likely will set more buds and bloom till frost. Pruning off the early hips will encourage the plant to put more energy into blooming rather than setting seed (the hips). You may decide to leave the later season hips on the plant as winter interest.

As a "climbing rose", 'William Baffin' requires
 support. Unsupported, it is a sprawling rose. Often climbing roses are trained along arbors, walls, fences, etc. Provide a strong trellis and tie the canes along the trellis. This will support the plant and allow light to reach the canes, improving plant health and bloom. Use a soft / padded tie material to avoid girdling the stems. You can purchase various types of covered wire and tie material in garden centers and online or use nylon stockings cut into 5-6" lengths.

Rosa 'William Baffin' is a repeat bloomer.
You note that the rose is growing in a lawn area. Grass will compete for light, water and nutrients, and the rose, as it grows, will shade out the grass, allowing for weeds to grow. It is best to remove the grass now by digging it / pulling it out in a 3-4' diameter circle around the plant. Apply rose fertilizer to the bare soil (always read and follow the directions on the label). Then mulch the plant with wood mulch about 2"-3" deep, pulling the mulch away from the main stem 3" to allow air and light to reach that area of the plant. Note that as wood mulch decomposes, it absorbs nitrogen from the soil, so the rose fertilizer is helpful in maintaining plant health through the season. No landscape fabric is needed under wood mulch. Mulch will conserve moisture, suppress weeds, protect the rose, and will show off the plant much better than grass. 

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