9 Great Varieties of Climbing Roses

More than just another flowering vine, a mature climbing rose can change the look of your entire landscape. The sight of an arbor or trellis loaded with fragrant rose blossoms is the defining feature of many cottage gardens and may even serve as a gathering spot for garden parties and other special events.

To call a rose a "climber" is somewhat misleading, as these plants do not have tendrils or suckers that instinctively seek to cling to a trellis or wall. More appropriately, they're best described as very tall roses with extra long canes that can easily be secured to a trellis or other structure. While the thorny canes can hook themselves onto vertical supports, you generally need to tie the canes up the way you want.

The cultural needs for climbing roses are similar to those of other types of hybrid roses. They require rich but very well-draining soil, preferably with a neutral to slightly acidic pH. Like most plants with profuse flowers, they require regular feeding. A fertilizer formulated for roses should be applied about every four weeks.

Here are nine gorgeous varieties of climbing roses to consider for your garden, including several award winners.

Gardening Tip

Most roses thrive in full sun, but some varieties bloom best when they receive a daily break from the hot summer sun. Since you're growing them for the flowers, this is not an area to compromise; make sure the rose you pick is well-suited to its location.

  • 01 of 09

    Danse De Feu (Rosa 'Danse De Feu')

    Danse de Feu rose with fuchsia blooms

    Abigail Rex / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    As a climbing floribunda rose, Danse de Feu combines the hardiness of polyantha roses with the free-flowering nature of hybrid tea roses. Rather than the single flower per stem you see on many rose types, this variety blooms in clusters, which means you can easily harvest several blossoms without lessening the display in your garden. A moderate grower, Danse de Feu will reach its maximum height in about five years. With regular fertilizing, this variety will rebloom sporadically throughout the summer and into autumn. 

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Growing Zones: 6–9
    • Height: 9–13 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full, Partial
  • 02 of 09

    Souvenir Du Docteur Jamain (Rosa 'Souvenir du Docteur')

    Purple blooms on the Souvenir du Docteur Jamain rose

    Abigail Rex / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    Ranging from deep burgundy to plum in color, the old-fashioned blooms of this heirloom are rightly sought out by those who still value the merits of antique roses. Possessing the characteristic fragrance of many old roses, the Souvenir du Docteur Jamain not only tolerates some shade but requires it to keep the blossoms from browning in the hot summer sun. This hybrid perpetual will bloom throughout the season but will deliver its best performance if you administer regular fungicidal treatments to keep black spot and mildew at bay. They're easy to keep in check and are suitable for a small trellis, but you can even prune it into a shrub if desired. 

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Growing Zones: 6–9
    • Height: 6–8 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Partial
  • 03 of 09

    Fourth Of July (Rosa 'Fourth of July')

    Fourth of July rose with pink and white blooms

    Michael Davis / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    When Fourth of July climbing rose was introduced in 1999, its candy cane coloring, disease resistance, and spicy scent caused a sensation. Why not pair this large-flowered climber with the heavenly blue morning glory on your trellis for a patriotic show? This rose is perfect for organic flower gardeners, as it never needs spraying. 

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5–10
    • Height: 10–14 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full
  • 04 of 09

    Alchymist (Rosa 'Alchymist')

    Alchymist rose with white and peach flowers

    Abigail Rex / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    A very high petal count and a medley of sunrise hues make the Alchymist worth seeking out for larger gardens. The 1956 German introduction will bloom only once in your garden, but its strong fragrance will linger in your memory. Hardier than many climbing roses, this variety will survive winter temperatures down to minus 30 degrees. It can be grown as a shrub as well as a climber.

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4–9
    • Height: 10–12 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full
    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Clarence House (Rosa 'Clarence House')

    Clarence House rose with white blossoms

    Anne Green-Armytage / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    The creamy blooms of Clarence House grow harmoniously with clematis Princess Diana on a rustic pole. This modern climber was bred by English horticulturist Peter Beales and was given to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother on Aug. 4, 2000, to celebrate her 100th birthday. Gardeners can expect a heavy flush of blooms in June, a period of rest in the hottest weeks of the summer, and repeat blooming when cooler fall weather arrives. Clarence House grows well in many soil types, including acidic, alkaline, and heavy clay. 

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5–9
    • Height: 10–12 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full
  • 06 of 09

    May Queen (Rosa 'May Queen')

    May Queen rose with pink blossoms

    Ron Evans / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    As fluffy as your favorite peony, the pink flowers of the May Queen appear once a year in late spring, as the name suggests. This climber is vigorous enough to compete with tree roots, allowing you to grow it into the branches of your favorite tree, where it will blend into the foliage when blooming is finished. This is a very long rambler that will require a tall trellis or fence to display to its best effect.

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5–9
    • Height: 15–25 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full
  • 07 of 09

    Dublin Bay (Rosa 'Dublin Bay')

    Dublin Bay rose with red flowers

    Andrew Lawson/Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

    When only clear red blooms will do, grow this climber in a sunny spot. Blooming on both new and old wood, the Dublin Bay's flowers will fill the canes from top to bottom. The semi-double flowers are lightly fragrant, and the dark green foliage is generally disease-free, unlike the similar Don Juan variety.

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5–10
    • Height: 8–12 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full
  • 08 of 09

    Eden (Rosa 'Eden')

    Eden rose with light pink blooms

    Maria Mosolova / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    Although hybridized in 1997, this French repeat-bloomer more closely resembles an antique rose due to its fully double, cupped blooms. Pastel pink, cream, and yellow blossoms appear throughout the season, even in partially shaded gardens. In case you need more convincing, the American Rose Society awarded Eden a score of 9.1, which places it in the top 1 percent of outstanding roses.

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5–9
    • Height: 6–10 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full
    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Warm Welcome (Rosa 'Warm Welcome')

    Warm Welcome rose with orange-red blooms

    Colin Varndell / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    Looking for a climbing rose that won't overwhelm your mailbox garden? Warm Welcome is a miniature climber that offers reliable repeat blooming. Also good for containers on the patio garden, you may see this plant listed under the alternative name Chewizz. If you prefer roses trained as standards (tree roses), this is a suitable variety.

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Growing Zones: 6–9
    • Height: 5–7 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full