Horticulture Magazine

15 Best Climbing Roses For Shady Garden Areas

red roses climbing a wall

Climbing roses come in a wide variety of colours and can help to create a fantastic look wherever they’re used.

Climbing roses are extremely popular in the UK and can be seen adorning the walls of countless homes across the country.

Although they’re very often used on walls, you can also have them in your garden, on pillars, fences, gates, patios and elsewhere.

There are many varieties of climbing roses but not all of them do well in shade.

A beautiful arch of red and pink roses

If you’re looking for climbing roses that you can use where they’re not exposed to direct sunlight, then you should find the information below of great use.

Without further ado, let’s look at some of the best climbing roses for shaded areas –

1) The Generous Gardener

single generous gardener rose in light pink

One of the more popular varieties of climbing rose, the Generous Gardener has beautiful pink petals that open to reveal an array of stamens.

This rose doesn’t just look great though, it’s very practical too thanks to being resistant to disease and its ability to do well in shade.

2) Mortimer Sackler

large mortimer sackler bush with pink roses

This is another great climbing rose to use in shaded areas.

It’s not dissimilar in appearance to the Generous Gardener due to its pink petals, but it still has a distinct appearance of its own and looks great when used alone or with other roses.

3) New Dawn

new dawn roses climbing up an outdoor wooden frame

New Dawn is a favourite with many gardeners and for good reason.

Not only does it look great, with its distinctive pearl pink petals, but it also has a very pleasing scent.

It’s also resistant to disease and can cope well in shade and in poorer soils.

4) Emily Gray

peach coloured Emily Gray roses

Another rose that does well in shaded areas is Emily Gray.

It’s an incredibly beautiful looking rose, with golden petals and yellow stamens.

It’s very healthy, especially when compared to other yellow ramblers and can tolerate shade very well.

It’s worth noting that Emily Gray only flowers in the summer but when in full bloom, it’s one of the most beautiful climbing roses there is.

5) Rambling Rector

rambling rector roses in bright white

This fast-growing rose would be perfect for larger gardens since it can grow to 30ft and above.

Its white petals and yellow centre create a very distinctive look and although it only flowers during the summer, it’s still a great choice of climbing rose for shaded areas.

6) Teasing Georgia

teasing georgia roses in light orange

This yellow rose is incredibly beautiful, with its tightly packed petals in the centre and paler petals around the sides.

It has a great scent and would be perfect on a north wall due to its ability to cope with shade and overall hardiness.

7) Zephirine Drouhin

a mass of Zephirine Drouhin roses

The deep pink shade of this rose makes it a great choice if you’re looking to add some vibrant colour to your garden.

It flowers from July until September and is one of the most reliable climbing roses.

It’s also the only one in this list without thorns.

8) Claire Austin

claire austin rose bush in shade

9) Alberic Barbier

alberic barbier roses that have climbed garden beams

10) James Galway

james galway rosebush in shady contions

11) Phyllis Bide

phyllis bide roses climbing a north facing wall

12) Kew Rambler

kew rambler roses in pink on a garden trellis

13) Paul Noel

paul noel climbing plant

14) The Pilgrim

three roses in focus of 'The Pilgrim' variety

15) Veilchenblau

Veilchenblau roses in purple and white with orange stamen

Growing Tips for Climbing Roses

Although climbing roses can grow in a variety of conditions, there are steps to follow if you want them to be at their healthiest.

Firstly, you should always plant them in soil that’s well-fertilized and in good condition.

It’s also a good idea to plant them in areas that get decent exposure to the sun but with a decent amount of shelter too.

If you’re using one of the varieties mentioned above, then you won’t need to worry as much about them getting sunlight.  

You’ll also need to water the roses quite regularly, especially in the first season after they’ve been planted and during dry spells in the summer.

It’s a good idea to plant climbing roses in late winter or early spring since this will give the roots time to get established before the drier weather in the summer.

If you plant them in late winter, then make sure the soil isn’t frozen when you put them down.

Climbing roses with some beautiful tints of yellow and pink
Climbing roses with some beautiful tints of yellow and pink


The most important thing when planting climbing roses is to ensure you dig the hole wide enough so it can accommodate all the roots.

You should also make the soil at the bottom of the hole loose so that roots will be able to grow into it more easily.

Once you’ve dug the hole you should carefully place the plant and lightly pack the soil around it and water it well.


As for pruning, you’ll mostly need to do this in the first couple of years as the roses are still establishing themselves.

After this, you’ll need to do some light pruning in late winter or early spring.

When pruning, you should cut back the lateral canes to encourage growth but never prune the canes at the base. You should also get rid of any dead leaves around the roses as this will encourage growth too.

You’ll need to water climbing roses regularly if you want them to flourish. It’s best to water them in the morning. Be sure not to overwater them though, as saturated soil can easily lead to fungal diseases.

It’s also a good idea to feed roses with organic fertilizer, with early spring being the best time to do this. You should consider adding some mulch in the late autumn too since this will provide some much-needed insulation during the winter.

Pests & Diseases

Although climbing roses are quite resistant to disease, especially compared to a lot of other plants, they can still develop problems such as powdery mildew and black spot.

A good way to keep your roses free from disease is to remove any dead leaves from around where they’re planted.

You should also make sure that the soil you plant roses in isn’t overly saturated.

Aphids are also attracted to climbing roses. They can often be dealt with by simply washing the roses with a strong jet of water. You can also use insecticides in more serious cases.

Problems caused by pests and diseases are always best dealt with early before they have a chance to become more serious, so you should regularly check your plants for any signs of disease.

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