How to Grow a Climbing Rose


Climbing roses are popular plants, but to call them "climbing" is a bit of a stretch, as these plants do not truly climb. Instead, they produce very long or tall canes that must be supported with a trellis or other support structure. There are many types of climbing roses, from those that bloom all summer (ever-blooming) to plants that bloom only in the spring. Regardless of the type, all climbing roses have the same basic growing needs.

Step 1

Plant in a location that has full sun for a minimum of six hours per day and has rich, well-draining soil.

Step 2

Amend the soil with a 2- to 4-inch layer organic mulch such as peat moss or leaf mold before planting. Spread it over the planting site, then work the material into the soil to a depth at least that of the rootball or container of the rose.

Step 3

Dig a hole as deep and wide as the rootball or container. Make sure there is room for the roots to spread out. Place the rose in the ground so that the bud union (which is like a big, swollen bump on the stem) is just above the surface of the soil.

Step 4

Backfill the hole with the removed soil, then tamp it down gently and water it until the water stops quickly soaking into the ground. Prune the rose immediately back to about 7 inches above the bud union.

Step 5

Provide a support structure for the climbing rose. Insert a freestanding trellis into the ground behind the rose or attach it to a wall. Tie the canes to the trellis as they grow.

Step 6

Fertilize the climbing rose after the first flowers appear but not sooner. Apply a fertilizer formulated for roses according to the directions on the label.

Step 7

Water deeply and slowly; a drip or soaking hose is best. Water enough so that the soil is continually barely moist. Do not let the soil around the rose dry out. Apply 3-inch layer of mulch to help the soil retain moisture and stifle weed growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic mulch, peat moss or leaf mold
  • Watering tool
  • Support structure and string
  • Rose fertilizer
  • Insecticide (optional)


  • University of Missouri: Roses: Selecting and Planting
  • Clemson University: Growing Roses
  • Ohio State University: Planting Roses
Keywords: grow climbing rose, caring for roses, climbing rose culture

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.