How to Plant Climbing Rose


Climbing roses are easy-to-grow plants that can endure most types of conditions and neglect, and yet still produce abundant flowers. A fast-growing rose can reach 40 feet tall in a few years if not pruned and attended to. Climbing roses grow on trellises, fences or an arbor. Two types of shoots are produced on a climbing rose: the main structural canes and flowering shoots that grow from the canes. Providing support for climbing roses is essential to keep the flowers off of the ground. Planting a climbing rose is relatively easy and a good choice for all gardeners.

Step 1

Select a planting site that receives full sun all day and is not close to other trees or shrubs.

Step 2

Plant in the spring after the last frost. Work the ground in early or late spring by shoveling or tilling to a depth of 1 foot. Work in a 5-gallon bucket of well-rotted manure or compost to ensure the soil is well-draining. Plant on a slope, if possible, so the water can run off and not leave the soil waterlogged.

Step 3

Dig a hole about 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet deep. Put up a support such as a trellis after digging the hole. Ensure that the roots of the rose are not disturbed. Place the support 1 foot from the back edge of the hole.

Step 4

Place the rose in the hole so the top of the root ball sits about 1 inch below the ground's surface. Fill the hole halfway with soil. Water to settle around the roots and eliminate air pockets. Fill in rest of the way with soil after the water drains from the hole. Tamp down firmly around the base of the plant.

Step 5

Remove all but two to three main canes that are sturdy and larger than the diameter of a pencil. Cut the remaining canes to about 6 inches in length to allow the roots to become well-established before the plant expends energy on growing the stems and foliage.

Step 6

Water the rose with a drip irrigation system or soaker hose to give a deep watering to the roots and avoid getting the foliage wet. Water one time a week, letting the water soak the ground for several hours.

Step 7

Feed the rose in late spring and again in mid-summer, usually in May and July, with a complete feed such as 15-15-15. Fertilize with a slow-release fertilizer for best results. Follow the instructions on the bag for the appropriate amount.

Step 8

Add a 1-inch layer of mulch such as decomposed pine bark, pine needles, leaf mulch or any type of shredded bark, around the base of the rose to help control weeds, maintain moisture and add nutrients to the soil. Apply the mulch two to three times per year.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not water overhead with a sprinkler.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil
  • Manure
  • Trellis
  • Pantyhose
  • Shovel
  • Fertilize
  • Mulch
  • Clippers


  • Old and Sold: Planting and Care of Climbing Roses
  • Brushwood Nursery: Planting Climbing Roses
  • National Gardening Association: Training a Climbing Rose
Keywords: plant climbing roses, climbing rose, planting climbing roses

About this Author

Residing in Southern Oregon, Amy Madtson has been writing for Demand Studios since 2008 with a focus on health, pregnancy, crafts and gardening. Her work has been published on websites such as eHow and Garden Guides, among others. Madtson has been a childbirth educator and doula since 1993.