The Best Climbing Roses Plants

Updated November 22, 2016

Climbing rose bushes are useful for covering fences, walls and arbors with an abundance of fragrant, colourful roses throughout the summer months. If you have a small landscape area, patio or balcony, climbing roses will allow you to grow beautiful roses without taking up a lot of space. Climbing roses often are easier to maintain because they grow higher off the ground, which can alleviate ground-born diseases and promotes air circulation around the plant. When choosing a climbing rose, make sure the variety is hardy for your region, will continue to re-bloom during the season and will bloom the colour you want to complement your landscape and home.


White climbing roses are grown against buildings and walls because white will complement and blend with any permanent colour scheme and gives a feeling of calm and elegance. The white of the roses will lighten and brighten darker areas of your yard and extend the twilight of evening. Introduced in 1850, the "Sombreuil" hybrid tea climbing rose has been a long-time favourite, with ivory white flowers tinged with pink. Other favourite white blooming climbing rose varieties include "City of York," "Sally Holmes" and "Climbing Iceberg."


Pink climbing roses are often grown to enhance a cottage type home or complement an English-style garden. "New Dawn" was introduced in 1930 and has remained a favourite light pink coloured climbing rose for its hardiness and large, subtly fragrant flowers. Darker pink, large roses on almost thornless branches grace the "Zephirine Drouhin" climber. For fences and locations where a smaller pink rose flower is desired, grow the "Fairy Rose" or "Cecile Brunner."


Yellow-coloured climbing roses, like white roses, are often used to brighten and lighten an area of your yard and blend well with the rest of your landscape. The older varieties of yellow rose climbers tend to be most popular because, unlike newer yellow hybrids, they are more disease resistant and hardy. The "Golden Showers" yellow climbing rose won the 1957 All-America Rose Selections award and has been a best seller since for its large flowers and abundant blooming. An old time favourite that was introduced to the United States in 1824 from Scotland, "Yellow Lady Banks Rose" is a hardy, almost thornless rambler climbing rose with smaller flowers.


Red climbing roses are showy and are best grown where you want to accent the location, such as an arbor. There are many varieties of red climbing roses to select from, but the hardiest, disease resistant and most popular are the old fashioned ones. Though a slow grower, "Dublin Bay" has large, vibrant red flowers that continue to bloom throughout the summer. "Altissimo" is a fast growing climber with bright scarlet large flowers, while "Don Juan" offers fragrant velvety crimson ruffled flowers that grow on longer stems, making them ideal as a cut flower.


Variegated roses have petals that contain two or more colours and are quite striking. Rose climbers with variegated flowers can be used to accent and draw attention to an area in your landscape that otherwise may be overlooked. "Rosa Variegata di Bologna" is an Italian variegated climber more than 100 years old, with delightful dark pink and white petals that are often referred to as peppermint. The roses are fragrant, double petalled and will repeat bloom. "Fourth of July" is another popular variegated climbing rose with red and white striped petals. A smaller climbing rose, "Joseph's Coat," is colourfully stunning with repeat blooms in shades and combinations of yellow, pink, orange and red.

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