GardenZeus Recommendations for Climbing Rose Varieties in California Zone 15

GardenZeus Recommendations for Climbing Rose Varieties in California Zone 15

Climbers are characterized by their growth habit, producing long arching canes that can be attached to fences, walls trellises and other structures. They come in a wide range of flower colors, sizes and other characteristics. All of the below are repeat blooming but differ in many other important respects. Gardeners should be aware that unlike other climbing plants, such as pole beans, roses designated as climbers lack tendrils or any other natural means of attaching themselves to support; rather, these roses rely on the hand of the gardener for attachment.


Dainty Bess, Cl. (Climber Hybrid Tea, Cl., 1925). Long slim buds open to 4 inch single dusty pink blossoms of five petals surrounding maroon stamens bloom in clusters. Exceptionally long lasting flowers both on the plant and in bouquets. Ensure spent flowers are removed to encourage rebloom.  Grows to 12 feet. Slight fragrance. Disease resistant.

The Wedgewood Rose (Shrub, 2009). Medium to large soft pink fully double cupped flowers with blush reverse. Growth is vigorous and forms a large shrub in England but in Southern California, it is grown as a climber. Plant grows to over 10 feet. Lovely clove fragrance. Almost completely disease free.

Eden (Large-Flowered Climber, 1985) Large old fashioned fully double 4.5 inch cupped blooms are a blend of soft pinks fading to creams at the edges. Blossoms bow down and are lovely to look up at on an arbor. Blooms on new and old wood. Plant grows to over 10 feet. Slightly fragrant. Excellent disease resistance.

Purple Splash™ (Large-Flowered Climber, 2009).  Large semi-single open purple and white striped petals with large stamens yellow bloom in clusters. Vigorous plant to 13 feet. Great on wall, fence or trellis. Good as cut flower. Does well in the dry heat and dry air, but colors are more vibrant in cooler weather. Repeat blooming. Mild fragrance. Good disease resistance.

Lavender Crush™ (Shrub, 2016). This lovely, new shrub rose can be trained as a climber in Southern California’s mild climate.  Medium-sized, old-fashioned flowers with lavender edges and cream reverses bloom in clusters on a plant that grows to 6 feet. Strong fragrance. Disease resistant.

Sombreuil (Large-Flowered Climber, unknown circa 1880) Exquisite creamy white flat quartered rosettes. Shade tolerant; prefers full morning light. Does not appreciate a hot afternoon wall as the flowers will burn.  Thorny. Usually reaches at least 6 feet, but can grow up to 13 feet, making it a popular option for a hedge rose.  Moderate tea or honeysuckle. Average disease resistance.

Altissimo® (Large-Flowered Climber, 1966). This vigorous plant boasts large true red velvet single flowers with ruffled petals and yellow stamens. Ideal on a wall facing the sun, but also tolerant of partial shade. Easy to grow and train. Grows to 13 feet. Little to no scent. Very disease resistant.

Fourth of July (Large–Flowered Climber, 1999).  Velvety red and white large semi double striped blooms. Free flowering with big sprays of long lasting flowers. Tolerates both heat and cold. Vigorous plant grows fast to 10-14 feet or more. Light fruity scent. Excellent disease resistance.

Polka™ (Large-Flowered Climber, 1991). Large many pedaled ruffled, old fashioned 5 inch blooms are a blend of apricot, peach, and salmon. Hot weather fades color to peachy-yellow tones. Plant grows to 10 feet. Spicy strong old rose fragrance. Disease free.

Golden Celebration™ (Shrub, 1992).  Large cup shaped, full rich sold apricot to gold flowers. Usually borne in clusters. Grown as shrub in most climates, it makes a 10 foot climber in your area. Repeats. Heavenly fragrance of tea, citrus, wine and berries. Foliage is resistant to mildew and blackspot.

Good Day Sunshine™ (Large-Flowered Climber, 2016) is a new addition to the yellow climbing rose category, with deep-yellow, medium-sized flowers on a plant that grows to 6 feet. Repeat blooming. Mild fragrance. Good disease resistance.

Rainbow’s End, Cl.™ (Climber, Miniature, 1998). Climbing version of the popular miniature rose. Small flowers open deep yellow, become tinged with red when grown in full sun, and fade toward pink with age. Plants produce flower displays in various color stages all at the same time. Plant grows to 12 feet. Reliable repeat bloomer. Light fragrance. Excellent disease resistance.

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