How To Climb Roses And Vines With A Trellis

By: John Morris

Climbing roses and vines are beautiful and visually appealing. The easiest way to achieve this is to use a trellis. Below are 12 helpful tips to get you started.

1. Twiners

Honey suckle, clematis and morning glories are among the many vines that twine. These plants have one of the following: twining leaves or twining stems. Plants having twining leaves use their leaves like a stem, or a tendril; the leaves are capable of twisting around strings, wires or twigs, but it has to be thin enough so the leaf could curl around. Twining stems however can twist around to whatever they come into contact with.

2. Scramblers

Climbing roses and bougainvillea are the best example for this category. Scramblers have stems that are very long and have thorns. They look like vines, but are unable to climb on their own. They should be supported by an arbor, pagoda or a trellis and be tied unto the structure.

3. Adhesive Pads

The Virginia creeper and the Boston ivy possesses stem tendrils which allow them to stick to any surface by means of their touch sensitive adhesive pads.

4. Clinging Stem Roots.

The stems of such plants cling and stick itself to any surface. These plants stick so well, that they can damage the paint of the wall if you try to remove them. Examples are the

- English ivy
- Irish ivy
- Euonymus

5. Choose what type of vine to plant

Roses need to have at least six hours of sunlight and a well-drained, fertile soil.

6.Plant your rose as soon as possible

Buy climbing roses as bareroot plants. When at this stage, they are dormant and easy to handle as well as to plant. In the early spring or late winter is the season to plant bareroot, when the soil is not frozen anymore and can be worked on. At this time, the roots will have plenty of time to get established before summer.

7. Choose a type of support

A trellis will be a good choice. Roses will grow more flowers if the structural cane is growing horizontally. Select a trellis that you have easy access when pruning time comes. Also, it should be sturdy enough to hold the rose vine in wet as well as in windy weather.

8. Installing the trellis

Ideally, you should install the trellis first before planting the roses. Make sure that the structure is secured well into the ground, as well as it should be strong to handle the weight of the plant when it matures. If installing it against a wall, set it a few feet away from the wall to provide air circulation and easy maintenance.

Plant The Roses

When digging a hole, it should be about eighteen to thirty inches from the base of the trellis. A mixture of compost and superphosphate is then added to the soil.

Attach The Canes

Choose the strongest structural cane and tie them onto the trellis with a loose and stretchy cloth, a panty hose is a good example. Evenly space them and preferably close to the horizontal.


For at least two years, let your climbers grow and do not prune them. Just remove the dead leaves and branches. Once established, you can then prune damaged and overcrowded canes, and be sure to tie in new canes as replacement. Also, during the dormant season, flowering side shoots are to be pruned two or three buds above the structural cane.

9. Selecting a trellis for your garden:


Consider the strength of the trellis to be put up in your garden. Climbing vines are heavy, so the trellis should be very sturdy to withstand the weight of the vine.


The material to be used in building a trellis should be weather proof. Pressure treated wood, galvanized bolts and nails are sturdy enough to endure outdoor climate.


Fans and arches are the popular shapes in trellis forms. Consider though, the look of your garden. If you have a Victorian garden, then an arched trellis would match with it. However, if you have garden with a Japanese theme, then consider too, a trellis with a somewhat Japanese form.


The height of your trellis will also depend on your garden. Before buying a trellis, take the time to measure your desired trellis height.

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