How to Train Climbing Roses

How to Train Climbing Roses

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Fast-growing, scented, and ruffled Climbing Roses set the stage for a romantic backyard getaway or delightful garden soirée with your friends and loved ones! Start setting the stage in your landscape with the huge selection of Climbing Roses for sale at Nature Hills Nursery!

Romantic Rose plants have been grown and bred since Ancient Egypt, and Climbing Roses have been a part of the Rosa genus for as long as Roses have been grown! Climbers can be found in all the major Rose types - These include Hybrid Tea Rose Climbers, Floribundas, Ramblers, and Polyantha Climbing Rose plants.

Climbing Rose bushes have canes that grow much longer and are more flexible than other Shrub Roses. Some ramblers may have a heavy early bloom and then sporadic blooms the rest of the year, while others bloom throughout the summer. Climbing Roses usually grow from 6 to 20 feet tall but be sure to check the Plant Highlights on every product page for specific details like growing zone, sun and moisture needs too.

Climbing Rose Support & Landscape Application

Climbing Roses have long, arching canes that do need support to grow best. They do not have holdfasts or tendrils, and they lack the ability to cling to a trellis or support by themselves. When left to their own devices, they are like brambles and simply tumble and grow over themselves into a dense (and wonderfully trespasser-proof) mounding hedge, or spill and cascade down a slope.

red climbing rose

They need to be tied and trained to grow on their support in an orderly, vertical fashion.

 Usually tied in a fan shape up and over an arbor or trellis. But did you know there are many other ways to grow them?

Train Climbing Roses into a lovely flowering screen to hide your swimming pool or seating areas from prying eyes. Make a retaining wall or exposed foundation disappear under a mound of fragrant flowers. Create an easy-care focal point wall for your outdoor kitchen or outdoor dining. Shade a garden bench or on a balcony with some strategically placed Climbing Roses!

Grow nearly thornless, semi-double, pink flowers with Zephirine Drouhin Climbing Rose bushes in full sun or partial shade. Keep Cupid's Kisses Rose in a pot on your balcony. Allow their petite canes to drape over the railing for an old-world appeal. Add drama with striped smoky orange and cream blooms. Enjoy the spectacular large flowers of Tropical Lightning Rose as a backdrop to your Rose garden or cut flower garden.

For a fantastic vertical accent, train your Climbing Rose on a post or mature tree trunk. Spiral the canes at a 45-degree angle around their support using strong, yet flexible plant ties or even old nylon pantyhose. 

You'll love the flower power of a Climbing Rose grown up and along the top of a chain-link or split rail fence. Festoon several Climbing Roses along a fence using a secured rope or chain attached to the top for them to climb on. 

Train up a series of posts, columns, or spiraling around pillars and post supports of your porch or patio, or even deck stairs. You’ll gain romantic curb appeal that turns heads! Add a trellis system over your front door for a tremendous boost of color. People even install trellises on their roofs for a blooming bower! Consider planting a Clematis vine on the same trellis to intertwine with the Rose for an interesting effect where you can pick contrasting colors or something that is in the same palate.

If you don’t wish to encourage upright growth, use Climbing Roses as a groundcover, or on a slope. Letting their canes cascade and scramble over a mound or Rock Garden. They will grow anywhere they get full sun!

Pruning Your Climbing Rose For The Most Blooms!

Allow the first round of blooms to flower on the oldest canes. Climbing Roses differ in that you will have to maintain some older canes until new shoots come from the ground. Then selectively remove the oldest, fattest stems to the ground after the first round of flowers in June. Prune Roses in spring only to remove damaged canes or dead tips that winter may have nipped back.

Climbing Roses generally produce a flush of blooms on last year's wood, along with new growth from this year. Clear away excess dead foliage from the area so you have an uninhibited view of your canes. pruning white roses

  1. Check for dead, spindly, or diseased branches and cut them out first. Following the cane back to a fat bud just below the problematic area. Sanitize your snips or pruners after each cut!
  2. Select several strong, healthy canes to become the new structural foundation. Structural canes grow thick and have a woody, bark-like appearance versus the fresh green of newer canes. They also have many swollen buds ready to pop.
  3. Remove any crossing and rubbing canes, opening the interior for air circulation and sun
  4. Remove less-productive canes (keep sanitizing between cuts!)
  5. Discard prunings and foliage away from your Roses to prevent the spread of any fungal issues or diseases.
  6. Top off the soil around the base of your Rose with a 3-4 inch thick layer of Arborist mulch chips - but don’t allow the bark to pile up against the canes or over the crown.

Now is also a great time to secure canes to their support!

  • Horizontal branches produce the most flowers, so tie the secondary canes at 90 to 45-degree angles to their support.
  • Use stretchy landscape ties, strips from old t-shirts, or old pantyhose to loop around the cane and your support. Check them yearly to ensure the stems are not strangling.

After Flowering Pruning (Deadheading) training climbing roses

  1. Deadhead blooms just above the first full leaflet (one with 5 leaflets) below the spent blooms.
  2. Then slant a pruning cut just above that leaf. This will stimulate new blooms
  3. Larger Climbing Roses can be sheared to clean up the plant and remove spent blooms

With a bit of yearly attention, you will be treated to an ongoing display of ever-blooming Climbing Rose!

Renewal Pruning

Rejuvenate the structural canes every three years. Because Climbing Roses bloom on last year's canes, you'll want to wait until after the first flush of blooms has finished and then either deadhead or completely remove any of these oldest around June.

The Sky’s the Limit With Climbing Roses!

Explore the options at Nature Hills Nursery for a wonderful selection of Climbing Roses for sale. We baby our expertly grown Roses for years and often have more mature sizes available to give your landscape a head start!

Create the garden of your dreams this year. There is nothing as romantic as an acrobatic Climbing Rose!

Happy Planting!

Want more information on caring for your Climbing Roses? Check out our #ProPlantTips for care, winterizing Roses, and un-wintering Roses, and about Winter Watering!

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