How to Plant Climbing Roses in the High Desert


The US has four distinct deserts, and three of them are considered high deserts because of their elevation: the Mojave Desert, the Chihuahuan Desert and the Great Basin Desert. These desert climates are drastically different from each other. While the Mojave Desert has long, hot summers and short, mild winters, the Great Basin Desert has hot summers and cold winters similar to the Chihuahuan Desert. Climbing roses can be planted in any high desert area.

Step 1

Choose a spot in your yard for the climbing rose plant. Climbing roses need at least 6 hours of sun a day, but they should face the east for milder sunlight. Climbing roses thrive in rich humus, but most high desert soil is either clay or sandy. Add 5 to 6 inches of compost or manure to the soil and work it in to a depth of 10 to 12 inches.

Step 2

Install the trellis for your climbing roses to climb on. Loosen the dirt around the ground and push the trellis into the dirt until it stands up on its own. Place it at an angle if you are putting it against a wall.

Step 3

Dig a hole for your climbing roses. Make sure the hole it as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Plant the roses 2 to 6 inches below the graft union in cold climates, so the soil can protect it, and 1 to 2 inches above the graft union in warm climates. Place the climbing roses into the hole and cover it with the soil and compost or manure mixture.

Step 4

Water the climbing roses for 10 to 15 minutes and place mulch around the base of the plant to hold in the moisture.

Step 5

Tie the strongest canes to the trellis loosely, spacing them evenly apart, with the string.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be careful when planting climbing roses as they have thorns.

Things You'll Need

  • Trellis
  • Shovel
  • Compost or manure
  • String
  • Mulch


  • Desert USA: The Mojave Desert
  • Desert USA: The Chihuahuan Desert
  • Desert USA: The Great Basin Desert
  • Colorado State Universtiy: Climbing Roses
  • National Gardening Association: Training a Climbing Rose Rio Rancho NM
Keywords: desert climbing roses, plant climbing roses, high desert roses

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.