Rose (Climbing) Growing Guide

Rosa species and hybrids

Rose (Climbing)

Crop Rotation Group



Fertile, well-drained soil enriched with compost or other organic matter.


Full sun.

Frost tolerant

Cold hardiness varies with cultivar, with the most cold-tolerant varieties hardy to -29°C (-20°F).


Topdress the root zone with a balanced organic fertiliser in early spring and again in midsummer.


Single Plants: 1.80m (5' 10") each way (minimum)
Rows: 1.80m (5' 10") with 1.80m (5' 10") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Install a sturdy trellis before planting a climbing rose. Set out bare root or container-grown plants in spring, soon after the soil begins to warm. Container-grown plants can be set out into early summer. Dig a hole twice as large as the root ball of the plant. Mix in plenty of compost as you refill the hole, along with a balanced organic fertiliser. Follow label directions on how much to use. Water well, and mulch over the root zone with an organic mulch. After the plant is situated, prune off any broken canes. If growing in containers, use one plant per pot, using the largest container you can manage. Station the pot against the wall or pillar that will support the plant before planting a climbing rose.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Climbing roses are cultivars with long canes and a naturally upright habit, two characteristics that make them easy to train to a wall or trellis. Many bloom heavily in early summer, with more blossoms following later in the season. Rambling roses (such as ‘The Fairy’ or ‘Lady Banks’) are different in that they can grow extremely long canes, to 6m (20 feet), and bloom all at once in early summer. Climbing roses bring a vertical dimension to the garden, whether they are trained to grow against a wall, fence, or upright pillar. Cultivars vary in the length of their canes, fragrance, bloom season, and disease resistance. With good care a climbing rose can live for 30 years, so take your time choosing and planting a climbing rose. Climbing roses generally need less pruning compared to bush-type roses. At the end of winter, prune out dead, diseased or broken branches, and make any needed trellis repairs. As the canes grow in summer, attach them to their trellis with soft string or plant tape.


Like other roses, climbing roses make excellent flowers for cut arrangements.


The fungal disease called rose black spot is common in all roses, along with powdery mildew in some areas. Some newer varieties offer good resistance to these and other diseases. Hungry deer are a challenge in some areas.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

< Back to All Plants

Pests which Affect Rose (Climbing)