How to: Climbing Roses on Fences


A white picket fence lined with riotously blooming roses presents one of the prettiest landscape pictures imaginable. Training a rose to conform to a fence creates some difficulty. Roses aren't natural climbers and have no vines to attach to the fence. As a result, the gardener must provide support to rose canes to encourage a certain growth habits.

Step 1

Don't attempt to train a newly planted rose bush to a fence. Allow the plant to grow longer canes before attaching it to a fence. Permit some portions of the rose bush to grow naturally to provide bushiness and foliage in the front of the plant.

Step 2

Cut cloth strips 8 to 10 inches long. Add length, as necessary, to the cloth strips for wider fence slats. Allow room for air circulation around the rose for best results. Avoid securing the canes to the fence with wire products, as they can cut and damage canes easily in a light wind.

Step 3

Begin in the back-center portion of the plant by selecting a long cane to secure first. Rose canes don't grow well or produce abundant blooms when growing in a vertical position. Stretch the cane across the fence slats and tie the cloth strip tightly around the fence slat, using a basic criss-cross knot.

Step 4

Create a loop that fits around the center of the rose cane, using the loose ends of the cloth strip. Allow enough play in the cloth strip to allow the branch to grow unobstructed while still providing support to the cane.

Step 5

Gather canes to the left and right of the center cane and attach them to the fence with cloth strips. Proceed to the outward areas of the rose bush to secure the longest canes horizontally to the fence slats. Don't secure every cane. Allow smaller canes to reach longer lengths before training the limbs to the fence. The finished product exhibits an overall fan shape.

Step 6

Fill in the center portion of your makeshift trellis by securing lower canes to the fence to create a uniform look to the plant. Allow plenty of space between the cane and fence section to let airflow completely around the cane.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth strips
  • Scissors


  • Washington State University: Climbing Roses
  • Rose Gardening Made Easy: Roses on Walls and Fences
Keywords: training climbing roses, fence support roses, roses on fences

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.