How To: Train A Climbing Rose

Climbing roses grow two kinds of shoots. The main shoot is structural whereas the flowering shoots are for flowering. It is essential for the main shoot(s) to be tied to a support to keep the flowers off the  ground. 

Roses require 6+ hours of sun in the growing season and good soil for optimum growth. 

1. Install The Support And Trellis

Anchor the support posts in the ground or attach them to another strong structure such as a fence. The roses can become heavy when wet and blown around. The trellis should be placed and attached firmly against the posts. It is best to keep a small air gap between fences or walls and the trellis to ensure good circulation. 

2. Plant The Roses

The hole for the roses should be 1.5-2 times as wide as the root ball. The depth needs to be at least two feet deep. This may seem like a lot but as the plant becomes more developed, the roots will need all the nutrients they can get. 

The center of the hole needs to be 20-30 inches away from the trellis. In cold climates, plant the graft union 2-6 inches below the soil and in warm climates 1-3 inches above the soil. 

3. Watering And Fertilising

Water the plant very well! Spread compost or manure and phosphorus rich fertiliser around the base of the plant and water again. Mulching the base of the plant is optional but can help maintain the moisture in the soil. 

4. Attach The Shoots

Locate and select the strongest structural shoots and tie them to the trellis or support. It is important not to tie them too tight. By placing the shoots horizontally, it will promote more fresh growth. 

The climber can go unpruned for two-three years before needing pruning. 
Remove dead, diseased or damaged shoots.