Climbing Roses – Your Complete Guide

We really hope that you love the products that we recommend. Just so you know, GardenShedReviews may collect a share of sales or be compensated through the links on this page, but we think it’s a fair trade for the long hours of research that we put in.

Often deemed a transformational shrub by gardeners in the UK, Climbing Roses allow you to spruce up any boundary, reinforce privacy, and conceal any teared-up wall; while still producing heavy blooms.

With climbing roses, you could achieve three of the most-coveted features on any gardener’s wish list:

  • A soothing environment-friendly fragrance
  • Persistent growth throughout the year
  • Diverse flowers and healthy foliage

Skim through this piece, as we give an all-inclusive analysis of Climbing Roses.

Climbing Roses do not climb automatically!

People often confuse climbing roses with vines- which are less stiff and can actually climb automatically when planted anywhere and in any manner.

On the other hand, climbing roses demand a lot of training and care in order to bloom successfully. In the end, they achieve a far better outlook than ordinary roses.

You may have heard about rambling roses as well. They grow more rapidly than climbing roses but they only flower once a year. We highly recommend the latter, especially if you aim to keep your compound lively and colourful for the better part of the year. 

Choosing the right Climbing Rose

Whilst all climbing roses have what it takes to make your home a better place, not all can meet your needs. Each variety has its special adaptation. So before anything else, you need to consider the following factors:

  • The amount of growing space you are willing to set apart
  • The type of soil available in your region
  • Amount of sunlight available
  • Preferred colour and rate of growth

Understanding what you really need goes a long way. The last thing you want is spending so much time growing, only to have climbing roses that don’t conform to your needs.

Types of Climbing rose

With the numerous types of climbing roses (over 150 species), it would be hard to choose one that suits

you. Hopefully, our few recommendations below will give you a few preferences and help you decide.

The Pilgrim

Arguably, this English Rose has the most unique blooms. Upon maturity, the buds reveal soft yellow petalled-cups that eventually form large rosettes. If you prefer a mild fragrance in your surroundings, the Pilgrim provides a subtle combination of Tea and myrrh.

It thrives under full sun exposure, well-drained soils, grows in an upright position, but calls for much training. Overall, it is great Summer and Autumn bloom.


Many rosarians have often cited Iceberg as the most elegant climbing rose. Due to its vigorous rate of growth, you would mistake it for a rambling rose. It grows up to 15 feet, and with proper maintenance, it can profusely flower extremely large blooms repeatedly.

For gardeners who wish to be a bit extra, this would be ideal. The rampant climber has a mild scent, is fluffy white in nature, and blossoms in moderately warm areas.

Fourth of July

Introduced in the late ‘90s, the fourth of July has a spicy scent (sweet rose and fresh cut apple) and is the perfect choice for any organic flower gardener. Its red and white striped blooms are enticing from a distance, and it can serve as a focal point in any garden.

It grows up to 14 feet tall, and its repeated clusters of bloom will have you in your backyard most of the time. Overall, it demands a lot of water supply and constant air circulation.   

Rose compassion

The compassion is known for its disease-resistant nature characterized by sophisticated salmon-pink flowers. It is an outstanding choice for borders and beds but is best suited for climbing.

Growing up to 15 feet tall and 8 feet wide, its glossy foliage and 40 plus petals make a mind-blowing display. Like other roses, it should be planted in fertile soils and under full sun.

Aside from the four discussed in brief, other climbing roses that could suit you include:

  • The Dublin Bay
  • Alchymist
  • Lady Hillingdon
  • Royal Sunset

Growth conditions and cultivation

Choosing the right climbing rose is just the beginning. How you grow and nurture them ultimately determines the end result. On the whole, most of these cultivars prefer loamy, well-drained soil. But the most important bit is the full sun; that’s why choosing a correct spot is as important as getting the right rose.

Climbing roses thrive best with stable, well-fed roots. Before anything, ensure to eliminate any other competition such as stones and weeds.

Roses are highly susceptible to diseases when replanted. If you have to use a space that had climbing roses before, make sure to use soil from other parts of the garden, and reinforce with compost. For best results, follow these additional tips:

  • When planting against a wall, ensure to leave a space of 40-60cm to give the roots some space to grow
  • The ideal hole for planting should be twice as wide as the plant itself, and 5 inches deeper. This applies to any evergreen shrubs
  • The best way to plant is by using cuttings. You can buy them from any online store such as David Austin Roses, and enjoy gardening,
  • Leave some space between each climbing rose to allow air circulation.
  • You can exploit their full potential by adding accessories such as Clematis, Pergolas, and Ipomoea.

Maintenance strategies


As mentioned earlier, you have to nurture and direct your climbing rose based on what you need. Training is essential because climbing roses become heavier as they mature, so they need something sturdy for support.

The best way to keep them in place is by guiding them horizontally. This way, the shoots will be stimulated to spread vertically. After identifying the object or structure you need the roses to grow against, tie it to the stem using a trellis or horizontal wire.

You have to be careful; tie the knot tight enough to prevent it from being thrown around by the wind, but not too tight to cause stunted growth.


Winter is the best time to prune these beautiful bloomers and the trimming should be done at a 45-degree angle. Because of their vigorous growth, leaving the climbing roses unkempt could lead to fungal diseases and flower rot.

Though pruning is done once during winter, don’t hesitate to cut off any old or dried up branches to allow fresh shoots. Again, it should only be done just above the bud. Trimming too much could render your rose useless.  

Pest and disease control

All types of roses are prone to Mildew, blackspots and other pests. Don’t wait around to see symptoms. If you plan to be serious with your climbing roses, the first course of action should be ensuring your plants are fed well and providing healthy mulch.

Fortunately, roses have their specific fertilizer that contains more phosphorous to promote flower development. It is advisable to avoid ordinary fertilizer since it has high levels of nitrogen that enhance leaf growth only.

One of the best pest prevention measures not known to many is planting garlic close to the roses. This keeps aphids away and increases the soil nutrients.


What is the best time to plant climbing roses?

The best time to plant any type of rose is during Spring; immediately after the last frost. This is to give it ample time to burrow into the well-drained soil. Alternatively, you could also plant them during the fall. Always remember to time the sunny periods, depending on your locality.

What is the best way to get rid of rust on climbing roses?

Rust is not common in climbing roses, but if it happens, it is associated with black and orange spores on the stem undersides. The only recommended treatment is fungicide. For prevention purposes, ensure your roses are well fed, and completely strong when Summer is approaching.


Having climbing roses in your home could be the perfect way to welcome visitors, and ensure they leave with a great impression. Additionally, their productive beautiful blooms could create a good atmosphere for meditation and relaxation, not forgetting the sweet fragrance they produce.

With these insights, we hope you now have what it takes to grow and nurture climbing roses.  

(Visited 202 times, 1 visits today)
About Francesca Fitton 108 Articles
I have a passion for gardening and being outdoors. I blog about plant care, technology and tools that I love to use outside and invite you along to watch.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.