How To Train Climbing Roses

By La Citta Vita

In May, it is time to consider tying in the new growth that is beginning to form on your climbing or rambling roses. There are various different ways to encourage your roses to take the form that you want them to take. The point of all forms of training for climbing and rambling roses is to encourage horizontal growth. By encouraging horizontal growth you will slow down the sap and this will encourage multiple new flower heads to form. You will avoid a rose that grows straight up and, as it were, lifts her blooming petticoat and shows her ankles and her knees. A climbing or rambling rose that is not trained with bloom only at the top, leaving a display that is bare at the bottom. Though these barer patches at the bottom of the plants can be covered with shrub roses or other planting, training roses is by far the most common option.


Pegging is one of the most common ways to encourage horizontal growth. At this time of year, the supple canes are bent down to the ground and secured with garden staples. Take care to treat the branches as gently as possible so as not to snap them. At the same time, you may wish to prune out any straggly or unhealthy stems, though the main pruning on roses should be left for the end of the year in their dormant phase.

By Martin LopatkaPillaring

Another option is to train your roses to grow round a pillar. Wind the rose round as close to the horizontal as possible from low down, or again, your column may be bare on the lower sections. Roses will need to be tied to their support. When tying, remember that you should always tie plants with something that is softer than they are. Hemp or jute strings are common environmentally friendly options to secure roses to their moorings.

By Linda N.Espaliering

When many people think of training roses, the espalier is the image that generally comes to mind. There are more and less formal espaliering patterns to give you a very regimented or much more informal displays up against a wall or fence. Again, the main objective is to increase the number of flowers by laying stems to the horizontal rather than allowing them to grow straight up. The other benefit of this form is that it can keep the roses back neatly to the edge of a small garden. If left unchecked and given the right growing conditions, some varieties of rose can tend to take over.

Training roses will keep the plants in good health and will help you to keep your garden in good order. Just watch out for those thorns!