Roses are among the most beloved garden flowers. They are appreciated for their variety of styles, sizes, and colours. Climbing roses are particularly valued since they add not only beauty but also height and texture to a garden. Moreover, climbing roses offer an abundance of blooms that create a focal point in any garden. They can be grown on walls, pillars, arches, obelisks, and trellises.
Most varieties have several flowering periods so they can be enjoyed all year long. While there are many varieties to choose from, some are more preferred than others. What makes roses stand out are their unique blooms, their intense fragrances, or their ability to flower from top to ground.
If you would like to grow climbing roses but you don’t know which variety to choose, don’t worry as we are here to help you make the right choice. We have prepared a list of the best climbing roses, complete with growing tips and the main characteristics that set them apart.
1. Don Juan Rose
Most climbing roses are either not fragrant or have a very mild fragrance. This is not the case with the Don Juan rose which has a very intense fragrance. Moreover, this rose is also characterized by an intense crimson shade, which is considered the standard red shade for roses. Its ruffled petals have a velvety texture which adds to its sensual appearance. Not only does the Don Juan rose bush make a gorgeous display of beauty outdoors, but its blooms also look great when cut. This is because it has long stems which can easily be cut.
This rose grows in USDA zones 5-10. It can reach a top height of 420 cm with a maximum spread of 180 cm. It can grow in any type of soil, but it thrives in loamy soil. Enriching the soil with a layer of compost a few months before planting will increase the rose’s chances to grow and thrive. It must be planted in a sunny location where it gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Like all climbing roses, it needs to be planted in a spacious location that allows for trellis or another vertical support. Don Juan rose has moderate watering needs. You can deadhead the spent blooms to encourage a repeated bloom.
2. New Dawn Rose
Climbing roses can be used not only to add verticality to a space but also to hide unpleasant areas, such as an ugly façade. To hide something that you don’t like in your garden, you will need a fast-growing rose, and this is where the New Dawn rose comes to the rescue. This rose can reach a top height of 4.5 m and a top spread of 3 m. Due to its size, it can cover even large areas such a the front of a house. It produces clusters of soft pink flowers. The blooms are medium-sized and have a sweet fragrance. This rose is also known as an avid perpetual bloomer. Its charm is consolidated by its rich, glossy light-green foliage.
The New Dawn climbing rose can grow in any type of soil. It prefers full sunlight, but it can also grow quite well in partial sunlight. It is very easy to grow and it is highly resistant to diseases. The New Dawn climbing rose grows best in USDA zones 5 to 9. It prefers moist but well-drained soil. You can improve your soil’s draining properties by mixing some organic compost into it. Due to its rich foliage, it needs very strong vertical support. If you don’t have a fence or a wall that you want the rose bush to cover, you should erect a lattice, a fence, or an arbour. The structure should be erected before planting the rose so that you don’t disturb its roots. New plants also need more moisture. Water it regularly in the first few months until the shrub establishes its roots and shows visible signs of growing.
3. Golden Showers Rose
If you want to add some sunshine to your garden, the Golden Showers rosa is the right fit for you. It can reach a top height of 180 cm and a top spread of 210 cm. It is a climbing rose, but it can also be pruned to grow as a shrub. This rose is appreciated for its perpetual sweetly fragrant, golden blooms. It blooms continuously from midsummer to early fall. Since it is not as voluminous as other climbing roses, this shrub can be a perfect fit for a smaller garden. Its bright yellow blooms make it ideal for brightening up even a dull garden space.
The Golden Showers rose is best suited for USDA zones 5 to 9. It grows best in full sun exposure, but it can also grow well in partial sunlight. Like most roses, the abundance of its blooms will be affected by the amount of sunlight that it gets. More sun exposure also translates to a higher resistance to diseases. This rose grows best in moist, fertile soil with good draining properties. For rich blooms apply mulch in late winter and apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring and again in early summer.
4. Pippin Rose
As you may know, rose blooms are characterized based on the richness of their blooms (the richness is defined by the number of petals). They range from single to semi-double, double, full, and very full blooms. Rosa Pippin produces full cushion-like blooms. It blooms from June to September, producing masses of pink, sweetly fragranced blooms. It is smaller than other climbing roses, reaching a top height of 2,5 m and a top spread of 1,2 m. Due to its smaller size, it is suitable for smaller garden spaces, and with proper pruning, it can also be grown as a shrub.
Rosa Pippin can be grown in USDA zones 5 to 9. The best time to plant this rose is from September to November. Like most roses, it thrives in full sun, but it can also grow well in dappled shade. For the best results, plant it in moist, free-draining soil. Water it deeply and regularly, directly at its base.
5. Iceberg Rose
This award-winning rosa is a great choice if you are looking for a fast-growing rose that will bloom in its first year. It produces clusters of medium-sized double blooms. The soft petals are usually white, but they can occasionally be flushed with a pale pink shade. It has a mild fragrance, and it blooms perpetually from early summer until winter, more specifically until the first frost. This rose is also known as the dancing rosa. Its medium-sized blooms are lightweight, and they will gently tremble at the slightest breeze.
This rose can reach a top height of 360 cm and a top spread of 90 cm. It can also be pruned and grown as a shrub in borders and flower beds. As a shrub, it looks best when it is planted in masses. For the best results plant it in rich, fertile soil with good draining properties. It can handle different types of soil, but it grows best in soil that is rich in chalk, clay, and sand. This rose can survive in partial shade, but it will only bloom profusely if it is planted in full sun. It is moderately resistant to diseases, but it is sometimes prone to black spots. Higher sunlight exposure will also ensure a higher resistance to diseases.
6. American Beauty Rose
This rose is not your average climbing rose. It has neither aerial roots nor tendrils. Instead, it has long canes which can be trained to grow on vertical structures. Unlike most roses, this variety only blooms once. However, its sumptuous display of bright pink blooms is worth the wait. It can reach a top height of 4,5 m with an average spread of 2,5 m. A mature plant can bear as many as 1000 blooms. The medium blooms are full, with 26-40 petals gathered in a deep cup. The flowers are moderately fragranced, and they grow in small clusters.
Rosa American Beauty is best suited for sunny locations, but it can tolerate some shade. It grows in USDA zones 5b to 9b. It needs well-drained, sandy to loamy soil. It prefers moderately moist soil. Its watering needs depend on the soil’s heaviness and draining ability. It can also be used for cutting flowers. Since it only blooms once, you don’t need to deadhead it to encourage more blooming. It does need some spring maintenance. Remove dead wood from the canes and shorten the healthy canes by a third to encourage more vigorous growth.
7. Claire Austin Rose
This rose is characterized by large creamy white flowers with shades of lemon. It has a delicious strong fragrance with hints of myrrh, meadow, and vanilla. The full blooms are quite large compared to other roses and they have over 100 petals each. This rose can reach a top height of 240 cm and a top spread of 120 cm. It can be planted anywhere where it has a sturdy vertical space to climb. Most people prefer to plant them in high-traffic areas where their scent can be enjoyed as much as possible. It can also be pruned and grown as a shrub in mixed borders and it makes for great cut flowers. It blooms from early June to late September.
For a vigorous growth and an abundance of flowers, plant this rose in fertile, moist soil with good draining properties. You can plant it in spring or autumn, before the first frost hits. Full sun exposure would be great, but partial shade is also tolerated. This is a perpetual bloomer, so deadhead it as often as possible to encourage more blooms. Once the flowering period is done, prune it properly to encourage more vigorous growth. In late autumn, you can also mulch it with rotted organic matter to help it throughout winter. You can also fertilize it in early spring with a balanced fertilizer to encourage new growth and profuse blooms.
8. Bourbon Rose
If there is one rose that meets all the requirements of a good climbing rose, that is surely the Bourbon rose. It is hardy and disease-resistant. It is also intensely fragrant and blooms continuously throughout summer and autumn. It originates from Reunion island, which was initially known as Ile Bourbon. It can reach a top height of 3,5 m and a top spread of 1,8 m. It features full carmine semi-double blooms (up to 30 petals) which stand on thornless stems. As such, it is great for high-traffic areas, where everybody can enjoy its scent without worrying about prickles.
It is suitable for USDA zones 5a to 9b. What makes this rose outstanding is the fact that it will grow strong and rich in blooms, even if it is planted in shade or poor soil. It can cover any garden structure and it is even suitable for a north-facing wall. It will, however, be happier in a sunny location, rooted in moderately fertile soil with a high concentration of humus. The soil must also be free-draining. Watering frequency depends on climate and soil, but it is best to check it regularly to make sure the soil is moderately moist. As far as maintenance goes, deadheading is essential to encourage reblooms. Moreover, good pruning in late winter or early spring will encourage more vigorous growth.
These are but a few of the many climbing roses that can beautify your garden. Our list of favourites includes mostly hardy perpetual bloomers. The goal is for you to enjoy them for a longer period, without putting too much effort into their maintenance. Like all roses, they are easy to grow, even by beginner gardeners. Nonetheless, it is best to prepare in advance and provide young roses with a sturdy vertical surface before you plant them.
Fragrant and showy, climbing roses are ideal for high-traffic areas. Most of them can handle partial shade, but full sun exposure will deliver more abundant blooms and higher resistance to diseases. If possible, avoid planting roses in places where other roses used to grow. To help your roses grow strong and showy, enrich the soil with well-rotted manure or garden compost. Avoid using chemicals at all costs.