Growing Climbing Roses

Welcome to the section on growing climbing roses. 

The first thing we should clarify for those wanting to learn about rose growing is that this kind of rose does not behave like a climbing vine. A vine scrambles up and holds itself in place. 

With roses, it is necessary to not only build trellis supports, but also to physically restrain the rose against those supports. Some roses with long arching canes will grow up into supports but for the most part, you’ll have to tie your climbing roses to the support you provide. 

Let me suggest you use a thick or wide supporting tie as thin string will tend to cut into the bark creating other problems. Thick twine or plastic holding clips work adequately and do not damage bark or growing shoots. 

Rules for Growing climbing Roses

The rules for growing climbing roses are pretty much the same as for any other kind of rose. 

You want to ensure they do not suffer from water stress as the first symptom of water stress is a reduction in the number and quality of blooms produced. 

You do want to use significant amounts of compost in the spring to both feed your rose and establish the microorganisms that will both protect and feed the rose throughout the summer. Generally, I throw three to four shovels of compost around the base of each climbing rose; I do not work it in but allow the earthworms to do accomplish this little garden chore for me. A task they willingly perform and enrich the garden soil even further in the process. 

You do want to use compost tea on a regular basis throughout the summer to both feed roses and possibly provide an extra measure of disease protection. 


Deadheading your climbing roses is also a useful exercise although with tall climbers this gardening practice is more practiced in the theoretical than in the practical sense. In other words, with a big climber – don’t worry about it unless you have little else to worry about. 

Other comments and tips on growing climbing roses would include: 

A primer on how to prune climbing roses The illustrations are mine (I'm a gardener and not an artist but you'll get the picture) and they are simplified for ease of understanding. 

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