How to Train Climbing Roses on a Trellis


Like many types of flowering plants and shrubs, roses require occasional pruning to keep them looking their best. One variety of rose, the climbing rose, spreads upwards and outwards along supporting structures, such as trellises. These types of roses enhance areas along structures, near entryways and surrounding patios. Their spreading growth along trellises creates living, blossoming screens and colorful focal points. Enhance your own yard and landscape by training your climbing roses to grow on a trellis.

Step 1

Select a strong trellis for training your climbing roses. Purchase one made with metal or pressure-treated wood. Avoid training climbing roses on unfinished wood or fine-gauge wires. Roses place heavy weight and pressure on trellises as they grow and mature. Secure the trellis to a structure, such as the side of a garage or pergola, or set firmly in the ground between fence posts.

Step 2

Plant your climbing rose at the base of your trellis. Follow the pot or package instructions for correct planting procedures.

Step 3

Cut off only the dead or severely damaged sections of your young rose. Use a pair of sharp pruning shears to remove broken branches and canes. Do not remove sections of healthy growth until the plant matures. Climbing roses require very little pruning during the first two years of growth.

Step 4

Tuck the small shoots and canes through nearby sections of lattice. These pliable shoots easily bend to accommodate placement within the weave of the lattice. Allow the middle shoot to remain in front of the lattice, but weave the small, side shoots outwards and upwards through the lattice to encourage even horizontal growth. Climbing roses readily attach to sturdy lattice, but require occasional redirection of extending canes and branches. Weave these errant sections through the lattice in your desired direction. Do not allow the new shoots to cross over each other as they grow. Keep placing the emerging ends outward and upward along the lattice. Tie these to the lattice with a piece of heavy twine. Check your climbing rose regularly and reattach any sections that lean away from the lattice. Continue directing the new growth upwards and outwards by weaving it and tying it to the nearby lattice.

Step 5

Prune your climbing rose after it reaches 2 to 3 years old. Wait until the rose completes its bloom cycle for the season. Cut off just the damaged and the oldest canes a few feet from the ground. This encourages healthy growth of new canes. Prune back the horizontal canes to leave just two or three buds. Remove the cut portions from your lattice. Cut off suckers that emerge near the base of the parent plant. Repeat this pruning each year after your climbing rose stops blooming for the season.

Things You'll Need

  • Trellis
  • Climbing rose
  • Pruning shears
  • Twine


  • University of California: Pruning Climbing Roses
  • Rose Gardening Made Easy: Pruning Climbing Roses
  • Clemson University: Pruning Roses
  • "Botanica's Gardening Encyclopedia"; Susan Page, 2001
Keywords: climbing rose, rose on trellis, train climbing roses

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.