How to Support Climbing Roses


Climbing roses are different than climbing vines in that they do not have tendrils that attach the canes to supports. Climbing or rambling roses are not true climbers, however, they carry the name because they grow very long canes; some ramblers will grow branches that are 20 feet long. These canes can be attached to supports or allowed to grow as a ground cover. The most common supports for these roses are arbors and trellises, but they can also be grown up a wall or attached to a fence.

Step 1

Install supports before planting the rose plant to avoid damaging the roots. Allow the rose canes to grow long enough to attach to the support. Do not prune the canes for the first two years.

Step 2

Tie the can to an arbor or trellis with cotton string or strips of fabric about 8 to 10 inches long. Tie the string tightly around the support, then wrap around the rose cane and tie loosely to the support.

Step 3

Attach a trellis or metal pegs to a wall or privacy fence with a 3-inch gap between the support and the wall or fence. This will give the plant enough ventilation to prevent damage or disease. Then tie the canes to the trellis or pegs.

Step 4

Place one cane to the left of the support, one to the right and another straight up to keep them from crossing. As each new cane grows long enough to reach the support, tie it in a vacant area.

Step 5

Prune re-blooming climbers in the winter or very early spring to shape the plant or keep it in bounds. Cut back plants that only bloom once a season right after the roses die off. Cut off dead, damaged or diseased canes anytime.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton string
  • Trellis or arbor
  • Metal pegs
  • Pruning shears


  • Washington State University: Climbing Roses
  • Colorado State University Extension: Climbing Roses
  • University of Illinois Extension: It's a Good Thing Roses Are Easier to Enjoy Than They Are to Categorize
Keywords: climbing rose care, attaching climbing roses, supporting climbing roses

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.