How to Deadhead Climbing Roses

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Things You'll Need

  • Shears

  • Stepladder

Climbing roses grow much taller along a trellis than a regular rose bush does.

Climbing roses are trained to trellises or espaliers to provide a cascade of blooms and foliage along these structures. While they must be tied and trained, as the rose canes are not technically vines, the effect is similar to that of other decorative vines. Once the climbing roses are done blooming, deadheading keeps them looking attractive and encourages further blooming. Deadheading is the removal of old blossoms, which prevents the climbing rose from setting seed and completing the blooming cycle.


Step 1

Check the rose canes once per week while they are actively blooming for wilting flowers. Remove those that have begun to wither or where the petals have already begun shriveling and falling off.

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Step 2

Cut off the stem that the wilted flower is attached to ¼ inch above the nearest leaves. Cut the stem at a 45 degree angle using a clean pair of shears. New flower buds are produced from the foliage.


Step 3

Work from the bottom up as you deadhead, so that you do not miss any of the spent flowers. Use a stepladder to reach the roses near the top of the climbing rose.

Step 4

Remove all the spent blossoms from the area and dispose of them or add them to the compost pile. Leaving the spent blossoms on the soil around the climbing rose can provide a home for insects or disease organisms that may then infect the roses.


When trimming more than one climbing rose plant sterilize your shears to prevent the spread of disease. Rinse them in a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water.


If your climbing rose is too tall to reach with a stepladder and you use a regular ladder, have someone nearby to support it for you. It is dangerous to use a ladder on your own.


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