Climbing Rose Care


Climbing roses add romance, fragrance and beauty to any garden, and they come in a wide variety of colors and shapes. Climbing roses are hybrids developed from shrub roses, tea roses and other popular species. Each variety has its own specific care requirements, but there are basic care needs that all climbing roses share. If those needs are met, these attractive and hardy flowers will bloom all summer long.


Plant climbing roses in full sun. A minimum of six hours a day is required for optimum growth, but eight or even 12 hours is preferred by most varieties. Morning sun followed by afternoon dappled or filtered shade is best, as the intense afternoon sun can sometimes scorch the leaves of some climbing rose varieties. Avoid planting climbing roses near trees or other plants that have deep roots, as the roses will have to complete with these plants for valuable nutrients. Most importantly, give the climbing rose a lot of room to grow. These roses can get quite tall and wide--upwards of 30 feet in some varieties--and need to have air circulation to thrive. Giving the rose room to breathe will also help prevent fungal diseases from developing.


Climbing roses prefer soil that is rich in nutrients, loamy and well-draining. Slightly acidic soil is best, according to horticulturists at Washington State University. Give your climbing rose the best start possible by working organic mulch into the soil to a depth of 12 inches before planting it.


Water your climbing rose when the top 2 or 3 inches of soil becomes dry. Simply insert your finger into the ground near the base of the plant to check the moisture level. Water deeply but thoroughly. A soaking hose or drip hose is best. Roses enjoy moist, but not soggy, soil. Do not over-saturate the ground, and never water from above, as this can wet the foliage and lead to fungal growth. To retain moisture and prevent weed growth, add a 3-inch layer of wood chips around the base of the climbing rose, but do not let the wood touch the plant itself.


Fertilize your climbing rose cautiously. Over-fertilization can lead to root damage. Use a water-soluble, slow-release fertilizer made specifically for roses. Water the plant thoroughly before fertilizing. Apply the fertilizer in early spring, and again after the climbing rose blooms for the first time. Do not fertilize again until the next spring.


Climbing roses need support. They are bred to produce long, heavy canes. Use a sturdy trellis or arbor to support your climbing rose. Train the canes onto the support structure and secure them with string or twine. The foliage and blooms will eventually hide the support in most cases.

Keywords: climbing rose care, culture of Rosa species, growing rose bushes

About this Author

April Sanders has been an educator since 1998. Nine years later she began writing curriculum. She currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social psychology and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education.