How To Grow Climbing Roses?
Climbing Roses: An English-inspired garden wouldn’t be complete without a climbing rose; and with so many varieties available, it’s hard to pick just one. Many offer improved disease resistance and are easier to care for than their shrub-rose cousins.
Climbing roses can provide a brilliantly colored, fragrant garden backdrop and repeat bloomers can set the scene all summer long, with some varieties blooming until late fall. When choosing the perfect variety for your garden, be sure to consider the mature size of the plant, as some can climb 12 to 14 feet tall and spread up to 10 feet wide.
Varieties are available for zones 3 through 10.
6 to 14 feet tall, 3-6 feet wide, depending on the variety.
Full sun to light shade, certain types will tolerate shade better than others.
Most will begin blooming late spring to early summer and continue to bloom until early fall — with cultivars such as Rosa ‘William Baffin’ blooming through fall until the first frost. There are some old garden climbers that only bloom once a year, so check your variety’s bloom time and schedule.
Pastel, bright, and multi-colored varieties available.
There are large- and small-flowered varieties, shorter and taller varieties, single- and repeat-blooming varieties, hybrid teas, old garden, and modern types. Some varieties will climb only in warmer climates where they have a longer growing season and will grow to be large shrubs in colder zones. There are also ramblers, with canes that are less rigid, allowing them to climb higher or to spread out along the ground. Check the specifics of the variety you are choosing to make sure it is well-suited for your zone and planting site.
Climbing Roses For Sale
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Description for Creeper Rose
Note: The fragrance of Rose flowers depends on its variety and climatic conditions, hence this plant may or may not produce fragrant flowers.
The rose is a type of flowering shrub. Its name comes from the Latin word Rosa. The flowers of the rose grow in many different colors, from the well-known red rose to yellow roses and sometimes white or purple roses. Roses belong to the family of plants called Rosaceae.
The symbolism of rose colors is steeped in tradition. Roses inspired people over thousands of years to develop a language of color.
Best Climbing Roses
Altissimo clusters of small buds open to stunning single flowers that are velvety bright red with central clusters of showy yellow stamens. Leaves are glossy and contribute to the rose’s brilliance. Train Altissimo as a small climbing rose or pillar climber. It can also be shaped into a tall shrub.
- Type of Rose: Floribunda
- Color: Red
- Scent: Mild, clove fragrance
- USDA zones: 5 to 10
- Size: 7 to 20 feet tall and 5 to 8 feet wide
American Beauty is a deep, cupped dark pink rose that is hardy and tolerates shade. These large roses are ideal for training on walls or trellises.
- Type of Rose: Hybrid Wichurana
- Color: Deep pink
- Scent: Strong
- USDA zones: 5b to 9b
- Size: 12 to 15 feet tall
Cécile Brunner is a rampant climbing rose that can reach 20 feet. From beautifully shaped buds come petite clusters of blush-pink flowers.
- Type of Rose: Tea
- Color: Light pink
- USDA zones: 6 to 10
- Size: 20 to 25 feet tall and 10 to 20 feet wide
- Scent: Sweet, spicy, tea-like
Dublin Bay is a sun lover that produces medium to large-sized rich, velvety red flowers that are fully double and have dark, glossy green leaves.
- Type of Rose: Floribunda
- Color: Red
- Scent: Mild, fruity
- USDA zones: 6b to 9b
- Size: 8 to 12 feet tall and up to 5 feet wide
Fourth of July
Fourth of July is a large-flowered climber that produces profuse clusters of large, semi-double blooms that are red and white striped. It has a sweet scent and is a repeat bloomer.
- Color: Red blend with stripes
- Scent: Fresh-cut apple and sweet rose
- USDA zones 6a through 9b
- Size: 12 to 14 feet high
Pruning Climbing Roses
For the first year or two, climbers should be trained in the direction you want them to grow; pruning only to remove dead or diseased branches. This will allow the plant to establish itself and expand at the base for a fuller appearance.
After the first year or two, you can begin lightly pruning as needed in late winter to early spring for maintenance and shape; this will also help promote new growth. The main canes that come directly from the base should never be pruned, as climbers put energy into growing first and flowering second. Therefore, if energy is spent to regrow the main canes, it won’t flower. The lateral canes produce the flowers and lightly pruning these will encourage blooming. There’s no need to prune to outward-facing buds (like on shrub varieties), as climbing roses grow randomly anyway. These lateral canes can be lightly pruned any time of the year in order to keep the climber in shape. Major pruning is best done after it has finished blooming for the year – this timing will vary depending on the variety. Deadheading (removing spent flowers) will encourage more flowering on repeat-blooming varieties. For more information on pruning, see Pruning Climbing Roses.
Climbing roses prefer consistent, regular watering; water deeply in the first year to establish roots. Mornings are best. Water at the base of the plant. Be careful not to overwater your roses, as they are more susceptible to fungal diseases if their feet are wet.
Amendments & Fertilizer:
Feed with a time-release fertilizer in early spring, before new growth begins. Water before and after feeding to prevent burning. A few inches of mulch around the base of the plant will help retain moisture through the warmer weather. Add some more mulch in the late fall, piling it up around the base of the plant to provide extra winter insulation. Remove the excess mulch when the ground begins to warm in the spring.
Diseases and Pests:
While most climbing roses offer better disease resistance than their shrubby cousins, they are still susceptible to blackspot, anthracnose, powdery mildew, rust and other fungal problems caused by too much water, humidity and heat. They can also be the target of pests such as aphids, scale, whiteflies and rose cucurlio weevil. A strong jet of water gets rid of a lot of aphids and whitefly or you can try the sticky yellow cards that physically trap insects. Lastly, insecticidal soap acts quickly and on contact to get rid of rose pests. However, remember that pesticides don’t discriminate, so it is best not to use them when bees or other beneficial insects are present. Keeping the ground around the base of the plant clear of dead leaves and flowers will help prevent disease and pest infestations. Choosing a location with full sun and good air circulation will also help keep your plant healthy.
Roses are listed as non-toxic to dogs, cats, and horses on the ASPCA Plant List. Rose buds have been referred to as “deer candy” and young green growth (when the thorns are still semi-soft) is also a favorite.
When to plant:
Bareroot planting should be done in late winter or early spring, allowing the roots enough time to establish before hot summer weather.
Where to plant:
Climbing roses will grow and bloom best in a location with full sun, although they will tolerate light shade. A location with eastern exposure is best to protect the leaves from the hot afternoon sun. Make sure the mature size and height of the plant are suitable for the location. Most varieties will require the support of a structure, whether it is an arbor, fence, trellis, or wall. However, if the goal is to get the climbing rose to cover a wall, it is recommended to use a trellis placed a few inches away from the wall to allow good air circulation.
How to plant:
Dig your planting hole wide and deep enough to accommodate the plant’s roots when spread out. Loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole to allow the roots to easily grow deeper. Center the plant in the hole with the branches pointing slightly toward the climbing structure. The grafting union should be just below the soil level. Fill in the hole and lightly pack the soil. Water well after planting.
Climbing roses prefer slightly acidic, well-drained soils.
Climbing roses require a sturdy structure that they can be secured to, as they don’t have tendrils to attach themselves and they do not twine. Hand-tie the branches to the structure with stretchable fasteners so the growing canes are not damaged.
Thornless Climbing Roses
Roses with very few thorns are ideal for planting in areas that you frequently walk past or sit near. They are also especially useful in gardens where children and pets play. The majority are not completely thornless but, the higher up you go, the fewer thorns there are, making these roses easier to prune and better for cutting.
Yellow Climbing Roses
Climbing Roses are an excellent way of bringing height and a feeling of abundance to the garden. They are best and most frequently used on house walls but are also perfect for growing on pillars, obelisks, walls, trellises and overarches. Climbing Roses usually have large flowers, held singly or in small groups. Nearly all varieties have the ability to repeat flower. There are numerous classes of climbing roses.
Our collection includes English Climbing Roses, Noisette Roses, Climbing Tea Roses, Climbing Hybrid Tea Roses and Climbing Bourbons. David Austin’s English Climbing Roses are wonderful climbers – in fact, we regard them as being amongst the best of all climbers. They are fragrant and healthy and have the natural ability to flower from the top almost to the ground.