Top 10 Best Climbing Roses For Your Garden

Last updated on January 24th, 2022

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We reveal 10 of our favourite climbing roses, 6 of which will grow in semi-shady spots of the garden

If you are looking for the best climbing rose that will climb over a beautiful arching pergola or simply looking for a rose to cover a wall, then you might want to consider one of the following roses. With hundreds of climbing roses available it can be a little daunting trying to find a rose that will grow well in your chosen location.

10 of the best climbing roses

  1. Climbing rose ‘Aloha’
  2. Climbing rose ‘Blue Moon’
  3. Climbing rose ‘Compassion’
  4. climbing rose ‘Ena Harkness’
  5. Climbing rose ‘Handel’
  6. Climbing rose ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’
  7. Climbing rose ‘Madame Gregorie Staechelin’
  8. Climbing rose ‘Penny Lane’
  9. Climbing rose ‘Schoolgirl’
  10. Climbing rose ‘Zephirine Drouhin’

What to consider when choosing and planting a climbing rose

zephirine droughin best climbing rose
Source: Wikipedia – Zephirine Drouhin climbing rose
  • Most roses prefer a lot of sun and in most cases, they need around 5-6 hours of sun to achieve their full potential. However, there are varieties that will grow well against a north facing wall or in light shade. If you are looking for a climbing rose for a north facing wall consider a variety that has proven to grow well in such a position, for example, the ‘Zephirine Drouhin’.
  • Most roses suffer from rust, mildew and blackspot so look for varieties that have a good disease resistance such as the ‘Golden Showers’. It is also a good idea to spray with a fungicide on a regular basis (during the growing season). One example of a good fungicide is Rose Clear to help prevent diseases. Remember, prevention is better than cure.
  • If you are planting your rose against a wall or fence, the soil next to the wall is usually dry, so it is recommended that you plant your rose 30cm (12″) away from the wall and plant it angled towards the wall to avoid planting it into dry soil.
  • Roses are hungry plants and need lots of feed. Add well-rotted manure to the soil and rose fertiliser when planting them to help give the rose the best possible start.
  • No rose likes having wet feet. If your soil is NOT well-drained they are unlikely to thrive. Try adding gravel to the soil to improve drainage and if the soil is clay, add peat or well-rotted compost to break up the clay.

To stand a chance of getting a spectacular display, all the points above need to be taken into consideration. You can choose the most disease-resistant, shading-loving, healthy rose you can find but if you don’t plant and care for it correctly it will never flourish successfully.

Where can I buy quality climbing roses from online?

Buy climbing roses from Thompson & Morgan

Buy climbing roses from

Buy climbing roses from

The Best Climbing Roses

Our top 10 roses have been carefully chosen for their good disease resistance, fragrance and vibrant colours. We consider these to be the main three points that make a rose ‘one the best climbing roses’.

1. Climbing rose ‘Aloha’

Rosa Climbing Rose 'ALOHA' Plant

This climbing rose produces pink flowers from June to October, giving it a long flowering season. It is also known for its strong scent and very good disease resistance. For all these reasons it makes it onto our best climbing rose list. This rose does require full sun so is not recommended for planting on a north facing wall.

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2. Climbing rose ‘Blue Moon’

BLUE MOON climbing rose

This rose is also available as a Hybrid Tea variety as well as a climber. It produces large blue/purple flowers that are produced from June to September and has average disease resistance. This is a fast-growing, nearly thornless rose and grows to approximately 300cm in size.

YouGarden Rose 'Blue Moon' Bare Root
  • One of the original and still the best of the blue shade roses
  • Pastel-mauve blooms with a delightful fragrance
  • Ideal for cutting and bringing into your home
  • Easy to grow, and long-lasting displays, Blue Moon is a garden winner
  • Supplied a premium bare root and plant, ready to plant out

3. Climbing rose ‘Compassion’

COMPASSION - 5.5lt Potted Climbing Garden Rose - Salmon Pink/Apricot Blend, Fragrant, Repeat Flowering

This beautiful stunning rose produces apricot flowers from July and into September and has average disease resistance and a strong scent.

Rosa Climbing Rose 'Compassion' Plant
  • Colour:- Pink/apricot
  • Fragrance :- Very scented
  • Grown with care by the Amazon Plant Specialist
  • Please unpack as soon as possible after delivery

4. Climbing rose ‘Ena Harkness’

Climbing Rose Rose 'Ena Harkness' in a 3.5 litre Pot

This vigorous rose produces strongly scented bright crimson-red flowers, is disease resistant and grows to around 450cm.

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5. Climbing rose ‘Handel’

Rosa Climbing Rose 'HANDEL' Plant

This scented rose produces a white flower with a cream edge. It is a vigorous rose that is repeat-flowering and has good disease resistance. This rose grows to around 350cm.

6. Climbing rose ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’

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This virtually thornless rose produces fragrant blooms of creamy white flowers from July to September and sometimes into October. This rose does have good disease resistance.

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7. Climbing rose ‘Madame Gregorie Staechelin’

Madame Alfred carriere

These roses flower from June to July. They don’t flower for as long as some of the other roses on our list but they do produce the most amazing large pink flowers that are around 5″ wide. This rose grows to approximately 500cm tall giving it good coverage and has average disease resistance.

8. Climbing rose ‘Penny Lane’

Penny Lane - 5.5lt Potted Climbing Rose - Pink to Champagne/Apricot Tones

Another pink rose to make it onto our list, its good disease resistance combined with its strong scent make it a good choice. Flowers from June through to October and grows to around 360cm tall.

Rosa Climbing Rose 'Penny Lane' Plant
  • Colour:- Soft apricot
  • Fragrance :- Very scented
  • Grown with care by the Amazon Plant Specialist
  • Please unpack as soon as possible after delivery

9. Climbing rose ‘School Girl


This scented rose produces fragrant apricot-orange flowers from June until September and has good disease resistance.

Rosa Climbing Rose 'Schoolgirl' Containerised
  • Colour:- Apricot orange
  • Fragrance :- Slight scent
  • Grown with care by the Amazon Plant Specialist
  • Please unpack as soon as possible after delivery

10. Climbing rose ‘Zephirine Drouhin’

ZEPHIRINE DROUHIN - 5.5lt Potted Climbing Garden Rose - Fragrant, Deep Pink, Repeat Flowering Blooms - Thornless

This is another thornless rose that could not be left off our list. This strongly scented rose produces dark pink flowers from June to September and is ideal for climbing next to doors and over pergolas.

If you are looking for the best rose for a north facing wall or shady spot then we recommend one of the following varieties:

  1. Zephirine Drouhin
  2. Madame Alfred Carriere
  3. Golden Showers
  4. Iceberg
  5. Danse de Feu
  6. New Dawn

The above roses are ideally suited for more shady spots of the garden but to learn more about them, please read our article ‘Top 8 Roses for shade & north facing walls

If you want to learn more about how to take rose cuttings, you can have a look at our article here.

You can learn how to plant bare-root roses in our guide here.

Last update on 2024-02-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at


  1. Beryl Slinn

    Can i grow climbing roses in pots ? I have two in the ground already and they only seem to flower at the top and have woody stems . What am i doing wrong ? I want some that flower top to bottom .

  2. John

    Hello, you can grow roses in pots but this is not why you only have flowers at the top. Roses mostly flower on new growth so if the stems below are very woody it will probably flower poorly as you describe. Ideally, you want to prune roses every year to keep them within a structure or framework. You could cut them right back but this may be a little drastic, what I would do is presuming there are two or three main structural stems, to cut the oldest, brownest, most gnarled and least productive one down to ground level this winter, remove or rationalise some of the rest, but leave the youngest of the old growth in situ and prune it as you do normally.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Derrick Sheppard

    Hi John,
    I am looking for an easy care highly fragrant climbing rose. Compassion seems ideal for these features plus it’s beautiful elegant shaped flowers.
    When will you have more in stock? And will it be ok in a well drained fertile bed that gets sun in morning and shade in afternoon?
    Best wishes

  4. John

    Hi Derrick, we don’t actually sell the plants. Your best bet would be to buy bare-rooted from October onwards online. eBay a great place to buy bare root roses and I would personally look on there. You could buy from a specialist but you pay a premium and if I’m honest they will likely be no better. sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon should be fine.

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