Climbing roses are rose bushes which send out branches called "canes" from 8 to 20 feet in length. They are enjoyed for the romantic look they give a house or any landscape. Climbing roses need to be grown on support systems such as trees, fences, or a trellis. They can also be supported on wires strung against a wall. There are many varieties of climbing roses such as old-fashioned with big, loose blooms, the very fragrant varieties, and the dainty miniatures.
Climbing roses require support because they do not attach themselves to walls or trellis. Create a wall support by attaching bolts and running sturdy wire horizontally between them. Wood trellis in many shapes will also accommodate the long cane growth. You will often see beautiful climbing roses on fences and low walls where they can spread out to 15 to 30 feet in width. Check varieties carefully for width and height growth.
The "Cecile Brunner" rose grows upward of 20 to 25 feet, blooms profusely in small pink flowers, and is very weather hardy. Another popular climbing rose is "Golden Showers" which gives 6 inch yellow blooms with a fragrance that combines licorice and tea. For a double-bloomed white rose choose "Lace Cascade." "Rose Red Eden" is a classic 3 inch pedaled rose with old-fashioned rose fragrance, and it is a repeat bloomer as well.
Basic Rose Care
Roses need to be soaked deeply once a week as they get established, fed nutrients regularly, and have their faded blooms removed regularly. With climbing roses this may be more difficult, so just concentrate on the lower branches. The normal soil needs of roses are a good garden loam which is not too sandy or claylike. Add organic compost regularly around the base of the plant, and mulch to control weeds.
It may take several years to train your climbing rose over a walkway trellis or other structure. Allow them to grow freely with no pruning for two to three years to begin to develop long enough canes to shape. At that time you can take individual canes and begin to weave them through the support structure. Bending the long canes horizontally encourages blooming branches to grow straight up for a dramatic look.
After establishing good growth for two to three years by not pruning, your rose bushes will need shaping each year. Always remove "suckers," which are shoots that grow out from the lower trunk near the ground. Think of your climbing rose as having two main parts; the structural canes and the flowering shoots that grow from them. After two to three years begin to cut back the structural canes every year to 3 to 4 inches.