How to Train a Climbing Rose Bush

A climbing rose bush, with trails of beautiful blooms, makes for a stunning garden focal point.

Getting to that point, however, doesn’t come without some effort on your part. Left to their own devices, climbing roses will still bloom — but they won’t climb. Instead, they tend to become awkward-looking shrubs.

Fortunately, training a climbing rose bush isn’t all that difficult. Follow these steps, and you’ll have the dramatic display of roses you desire.
How to train a climbing rose bush

Choose a Planting Site

As with any other outdoor plant, climbing roses need the right growing conditions to thrive. Choose a site with plenty of sunshine – most varieties need at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.

Install a Support Structure

Roses won’t climb unless they have a structure for vertical support. Their long structural canes need to be attached to or woven into some sort of framework, such as a trellis, arbor or fence. Choose a structure that’s strong enough to handle the weight of a mature plant, and make sure it’s firmly anchored in the ground.

Plant the Climbing Rose

Amend the soil, if necessary, and dig a hole for planting in the center of the support structure. The hole should be about two feet deep and twice as wide as the roots of the rose bush. Place the plant, add more soil and water deeply. To finish, spread compost and add a layer of mulch.

Attach the Canes to the Structure

Find the sturdiest structural canes and loosely attach them to the support structure. Use flexible ties, such as strips of pantyhose or stretchy cloth, as ridged ties could cut into the canes as they grow.

Maintain the Rose Bush

After the first year, begin training the structural canes to grow horizontally – this encourages the development of more side shoots, which leads to more blooms. As the canes become longer, use more ties to provide support and guide their growth. Once the climbing rose is about three years old, start pruning each spring.

Are you ready to beautify your landscape with a climbing rose bush? The friendly and knowledgeable staff at Millcreek Gardens can recommend rose varieties suited to the growing conditions in your part of northern Utah.

Along with an array of gorgeous and healthy plants, Millcreek Gardens has all of the gardening supplies you need – and we’re always happy to offer tips and advice to our fellow Salt Lake City area gardeners.

For more information on how to train a climbing rose bush, or to shop for the must-have gardening supplies, stop by Millcreek Gardens today.