Growing English Roses as Climbers

English roses can sometimes be used as climbing roses in moderate climates particularly in areas that get significant summer sunshine. Europe does not get the intensity of sunlight received by North America so the stems of these roses tend to get taller here. Here are a few tips for growing these extremely fragrant roses as climbers.

Fan the stems out against a wall or trellis. You will have to tie them to their location as they will not stay there without restraint. No climbing roses twine around supports like a vine does so remember you'll have to tie them up as they grow to keep them in position.

When the stems mature, you can cut them back to different heights if you like. This will encourage flowers at all heights of the rose not just at the tips. By cutting some short and leaving others long, you can train the sideshoots from longer canes into empty areas above cut off canes. Another way of putting this is that you're going to let some of the canes grow longer than others so you'll be growing both climbers and shrub roses on the same plant.

All other rose growing techniques are the same. Prune normally, feed them and winterize them as described in other articles on this website.

The trick to growing English roses as climbers is in the pruning the canes to differing heights and restraining them (training) in position.

rose mardi gras
Rose 'Crown Princess Margareta' Courtesy Wikimedia

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