How to Train a Climbing Rose

Roses are a beautiful addition to any country garden, whether you choose a bush or a climbing plant. People may steer clear of the climbing variety if they are unsure of how to train it, but there is no reason to be dubious. When you know how to train a climbing rose, it really is simple, and this step-by-step guide can teach you how simple it can be.

The tools you will need:

  • A shovel
  • Trellis
  • Pruners
  • Compost and/or fertiliser
  • Plant ties

Choosing a Support for your Roses

You’ll find that your roses flower better when the cane structures are growing horizontally. When you’re selecting the trellis or support for your climbing rose, you should consider how easy it will be to access the plant for pruning. The support’s strength and its ability to hold the plant in wet and windy conditions is also important.

Installing the support

You must ensure that your trellis is secured well enough to support the weight of a fully grown climbing rose. If you’ve positioned it next to a building or fence, you must allow enough room for air circulation and easy maintenance. You should also try to install the trellis so that it is as sheltered as possible from windy conditions.

Planting your Roses

You should ensure the hole you did is at least twice as wide as the spread of the plant’s roots and around 2 feet deep. You should made a cone over which to drape the roots of the plant if the roots are bare, and adjust the soil level of the hole depending on the climate in your region, lowering it in colder areas.

Once in the soil, you should water the plant thoroughly and deeply, putting compost or fertiliser over the soil and mulching the surface. However, when mulching you should be careful not to get too close to the trunk of the plant.

Attaching the canes to the roses

When it comes to garden canes, the general rule is the sturdier they are, the better. You should attach these to the support of trellis loosely, with a stretchy tie (old tights are perfect!). You should try to spread these as evenly and as close to horizontal as possible.

Maintaining your climbing rose

For two or three years you should leave your climbing rose to grow without pruning it at all; climbers usually grow best in this way. However, if any branches are dead or broken, you can remove these. After this amount of time, you should prune the established plant of any dead, damaged or overcrowded canes right down to the base. You should always replace these canes, however. During the dormant season, you should prune the shoots on the flowering side of the plant to two or three buds above the structural canes.


Do you have any more advice or tips on training a climbing rose? We would love for you to share your ideas in the comments section below!

[Photo Credit:  ukgardenphotos]