How to Train Climbing Roses

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If you love roses, go vertical and plant a climbing rose.

Step 1: Choose a place for your rose
Choose a location that gets 6 hours of sun daily, has well-draining soil, is sheltered from the wind, and has horizontal room for the rose to grow.

Step 2: Choose a support
Choose a support. Climbing roses are not vines and must be supported by a frame, whether a trellis, an arch or pergola, or wires strung between fences or walls.

Step 3: Install the support
Install the support firmly in its location. Anchor free-standing devices firmly in the ground, a few inches away from a wall.

Step 4: Plant your climbing rose
Plant your rose between 18 and 30 inches from the support. Dig a hole 2 feet deep and twice as wide as the root spread. Place the rose in the hole with the bulging graft union below the soil level in cold-winter areas or slightly above the soil level in warm climates. Then cover it with soil and fertilizer.

Tip
Provide your rose with additional insulation by adding a 1- to 2-inch layer of garden mulch around the base of the plant.

Step 5: Attach the canes to the support
Attach canes to the support with garden ties. Bend them as close to horizontal as possible. If you use a pergola or an arch, spiral the canes around the posts. Tie the canes at 10-inch intervals, and train new growth as it appears.

Step 6: Prune the canes
Prune climbing roses when they are at least two years old by cutting damaged, dead, or overcrowded canes all the way to the base. Then tie new canes to replace them. At the end of flowering season, prune flowering side shoots to two or three buds above the main structural canes.

Tip
During the flowering season, deadhead your wilted flowers to encourage additional bud growth.

Step 7: Enjoy the flower show
Enjoy the flower show with your three-dimensional display of beautiful rosebuds. With proper care, you’ll enjoy your climbing rose for many years.

Did You Know?
Elizabeth Park in Hartford, Connecticut, is the oldest municipal rose garden in the United States. It was established in 1904 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

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