How to Grow Climbing Roses in the East


Climbing roses don't climb in the same way as vines and beans. Instead of clinging to structures, climbing rose varieties grow long stems and canes that produce flowers. Train these stems by tying to a fence, arbor or trellis to create the climbing effect. Some climbing roses will grow as high as 20 feet. Roses grow well in temperate regions, which includes the eastern United States. However, some species are better suited to cooler climates, while some belong in subtropical regions such as Florida.

Step 1

Buy a young climbing rose plant in a container from a garden store. Choose a variety that suits your area. For example, the University of Illinois recommends "Pink Pillar," "Blaze" and "Don Juan." Illinois ranges from USDA Hardiness Zones 4a to 6a, meaning these species will likely grow in many other eastern states with similar zone ranges.

Step 2

Dig a hole large enough to house the rose plant's root-ball. Choose an east-facing area that gets at least six hours of sunlight each day. Make sure you have plenty of space for the growing roses.

Step 3

Mix in organic manure and compost to create a light, nutrient-rich soil. Most rose species are suited to slightly acidic soil with good drainage.

Step 4

Set up your trellis or support wires 3 inches from a supporting wall to allow for air circulation. Alternatively, use a free-standing trellis or arbor positioned close to you rose plant hole.

Step 5

Transplant a container-grown climbing rose to the hole in early spring, after your area's frost-safe date. In eastern states this varies from late April in Maine to late January in Tampa, Florida. Place the plant roots into the hole, taking care not to disturb the delicate roots. Press soil around the main stem when planted.

Step 6

Water the ground around the rose deeply. Check the top 3 inches of the soil with your finger every day or two. Dry soil means you should water the plant again. Damp soil means the rose has enough moisture.

Step 7

Allow to plant to grow for two years before pruning. Fix large or drooping growing stems to the support using string. Leave a space in the loop around the plant to avoid damage. Train the plant to grow in a vase-shape, with stems spreading out wider the higher they climb. Alternatively, train the rose stems along your chosen structure.

Step 8

Prune dead or damaged stems from older climbing rose plants. Trim back canes each spring when the buds begin to form. Leave each stem with three to four bud eyes and take 2/3 off each of the longest canes.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Manure
  • Trellis or support
  • Hose
  • Pruning shears


  • Colorado State University: Climbing Roses
  • Washington State University Extension: Climbing Roses
  • United States National Arboretum: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
  • University of Illinois: It's a Good Thing Roses Are Easier to Enjoy Than They Are to Categorize

Who Can Help

  • Farmer's Almanac: Frost Charts for United States
Keywords: grow climbing rose, growing climbing rose, east climbing roses, east USA roses

About this Author

Based near London, U.K., Peter Mitchell has been a journalist and copywriter for over eight years. Credits include stories for "The Guardian" and the BBC. Mitchell is an experienced player and coach for basketball and soccer teams, and has written articles on nutrition, health and fitness. He has a First Class Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) from Bristol University.