Climbing roses for shade – 8 Rose Varieties that grow well on a North Facing Wall

Last updated on January 24th, 2022

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Climbing roses for shade and North facing walls

Climbing roses, when planted in the right place, make a fantastic display whether climbing up an old cottage wall or over a pergola. However, one question that often comes up is ‘Which climbing roses can be grown in shade?

It is assumed by most people that climbing roses are hard to grow and difficult to maintain, but with a little advice, this does not have to be the case.

One of the most important aspects is ‘planting the right rose in the right place’. Get this vital part wrong and your rose will not flourish, so when planting a rose in a shady spot, which is usually a north-facing wall, it is important to choose a variety that grows well in this shady location.

Roses you can plant on a north facing wall

Source: Wikipedia – Zephirine Drouhin climbing rose

The top 8 roses for shade and North facing walls

Here are 8 of the best roses that have proven to grow well in shade or against a north facing wall. But best of all, these eight roses are also fragrant.

1. Zephirine Drouhin – This rose is a very popular variety and grows well up pergolas, pillars, arches and north facing walls. It has dark pink flowers and can be a little susceptible to mildew so spraying with a fungicide in spring is highly recommended.

2. Alberic Barbier – This rose is a climber/rambler. The difference being that climbers usually flower over longer periods and sometimes twice over the summer whereas ramblers usually only flower once.  The Alberic Barbier produces creamy-white flowers in June-July and has a good disease resistance.

3. Madame Alfred Carriere – This beautiful climber produces creamy-white flowers that can be 10cm in diameter. These roses flower from July until September. It also has an RHS Award of Garden Merit.

4. Golden Showers – The large blooms of golden yellow flowers will add a touch of colour to your garden and are well known for growing well in shadier areas of the garden. It has a slight scent and an average disease resistance.

5. Iceberg – This is probably one of the best-selling climbing roses available and produces white to cream coloured flowers. They have very few thorns making them ideal for arches near doorways. This rose will flower well into Autumn if you remove old and faded flowers during the summer.

6. Danse de Feu – This rose produces vibrant clusters of scarlet double flowers and has an average disease resistance so spraying with a fungicide is advised as soon as leaf growth shoots in spring.

7. New Dawn – A vigorous rose that produces pearly pink flowers.

8. Albertine – This rambler produces salmon-pink flowers, has a strong scent and is a very vigorous climber.

Growing and planting tips

Now that you know which rose you can plant in the shady part of your garden, here are some tips for giving your rose the best chance of flourishing in its new position:

  • Most climbing roses are planted against a wall or fence, plant approximately 12″ (30cm) away from the wall as the soil next to a wall tends to be dry. Planting away from the wall at a 90 degree angle is the best way to avoid planting the rose in dry soil.
  • Roses are hungry plants, dig in some well-rotted farm manure before planting.
  • Soak roots for 2-3 hours before planting and water regularly for the first 12 months after planting.
  • Roses need well-drained soil, try digging in mulch and gravel before planting to improve drainage if needed.

Other rose articles you may be interested in:

If you want to learn how to take rose cuttings, have a read of our article here.

Check out our top 10 best climbing roses here.

For more information on when to plants roses check out our article here.

For a guide on how to plant bare-root roses, have a look here.

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