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I have a large old American Pillar climbing rose that was very severely cut back 3 years ago, it gets very badly infected by mildew, which discolors the flowers and they then fall of. I have been spraying it with a fungicide which controls the disease but this operation has to be done every 2 weeks during the summer. Is the American pillar prone to disease? I would like to have a climbing rose on the cottage wall, if I planted a disease resistant climbing rose would I be wasting my time?
The wall is south facing, exposed, heavy clay.
I've never seen an American Pillar rose which didn't have mildew and in my experience it has much worse mildew than any other rose - I know it's supposed to have average disease resistance but that's my experience.
I also believe AP is a rambler rather than a true climber.
I don't see why you shouldn't successfully grow a climbing rose on the cottage wall - I'd prepare the soil well digging plenty of moisture-retentive material into the clay which will help prevent mildew. Lots of choice on this website - there's a helpful rose selecting guide down the left hand side. http://www.classicroses.co.uk/products/roses/
An excellent site from Dove, but I love David Austin roses as well. I have a pale yellow climber called "The Pilgrim" and it didn't have a trace of disease this year, not even black spot. http://www.davidaustinroses.com/english/advanced.asp
Thank you for your advice, I look forward to not having to spray the side of the cottage next year.
I love David Austin roses too and have several lovely roses from him. However, I do think the selection guide on the PB site is really helpful - the best I've come across - which is why I recommend it