Growing Climbing Roses

Climbing roses are not considered true vines because they don't grow their own support structures to hold onto surfaces. Also know as pillars, ramblers, trailing roses, they are the ideal ornament to grace any archway or fence. A rather majestic statement that you were gifted with a green thumb.

All climbing roses can be loosely attached to a structure or wind through a trellis, arbor, fence or almost any stone wall. Climbing roses that are trained to grow laterally rather than vertically often produce more blooms. Vertically trained, they will produce short spurs along their main stem or cane which will produce blooms. Climbers need about four to seven hours of direct unfiltered sunlight a day; even plants that are said to do well in
part shade still need about four to five hours of direct sunlight per day.

Climbing roses need planning as the height and length they will grow to, must be considered. Some species can grow to be around thirty feet in height. Others can grow only to seven. Supporting these heights and weight should be well planned in advance. Additionally, consider which type of climbing rose is going to suit your garden. Some varieties are ever-bloomers all throughout the season. Others are spring bloomers - they only bloom briefly.

A real plus with climbing roses is that they require very little pruning. You can relax for the first two years. If your climbers were pruned every year they would produce fewer blossoms anyway, definitely counterproductive. Every three or four years pruning consists of removing small canes and old or less vigorous canes at the base of the plant. At once vigorous canes are encouraged to grow and to become long and flexible; much easier when training them through and onto structures.

No rose planting is truly complete without including climbing roses into the mix. They add grace and nostalgia to any garden. Remember that patience is required as they take a while to get established and start blooming. Their beauty and fragrance are well worth the wait.


Esther B. Smith, author
If you detest pruning, grow climbers -- they do not need your special nippers every fall, but they do take some time to really look like they are climbing. .