How to Garden Climbing Roses


Climbing roses in the garden add a brilliant wall of color each summer and when properly cared for will continue to be enjoyed for years to come. The misconception is that roses are a difficult plant to grow and maintain, yet a climbing rose is a vigorous grower that can take quite a bit of neglect and still survive. Most climbing roses will not reach full maturity, producing abundant blooms, until about two years after planting and will reach height of 8 to 15 feet.

Step 1

Select a planting location that receives full sun all day and is near a wall or fence. Six to eight hours of sunlight a day is optimal for a climbing rose to thrive in the garden and an eastern exposure is ideal for protecting the rose from overly hot afternoon sun, which can burn the leaves.

Step 2

Amend the soil in the planting site with compost or organic matter; mix in well. Dig a hole for each climbing rose you are planting that is twice as wide as the root ball and slightly deeper than the height of the root ball.

Step 3

Place a trellis behind the hole about 2 to 3 inches out from the wall or fence. Push the trellis in the ground at least 6 inches deep to help secure so it will not fall over.

Step 4

Place the rose into the hole so the top of the root ball is about 2 inches below the ground's surface. Adjust the amount of soil in the hole by either removing or adding more if necessary, to make sure the top of the root ball is below the ground's surface. Fill in with soil and tamp down well with your hands.

Step 5

Water the climbing rose well after planting with a soaker hose so the roots get a deep watering. Keep the rose watered every other day so the soil stays moist. Be consistent with watering and do not let the soil dry out more than 3 inches deep. Stop watering the roses in early fall to prepare the plant for winter weather.

Step 6

Apply a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 beginning in the early spring as the rose plant starts leafing out. Add another application after the first blooms appear. Water in well after applying so as not to burn the roots.

Step 7

Add a 2-inch layer of mulch such as pine straw, shredded bark, chopped leaves or compost. This helps to maintain moisture in the soil, keep weeds down and protect the roots during cooler weather in the winter.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not water climbing roses over head.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Trellis
  • Soaker hose
  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Pruning shears
  • Garden gloves


  • Colorade State University Cooperative Extension: Climbing Roses
  • Napa County Master Gardeners: Climbing Roses
Keywords: garden climbing roses, climbing roses, grow climbing roses

About this Author

Amy Madtson resides in southern Oregon and has been writing for Demand Studios since 2008, focusing on health and gardening for websites such as eHow and GardenGuides. Madtson has an Associate of Arts in business from Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington. She holds a childbirth educator certification and a one-year midwifery completion certificate.