How To “Peg” Climbing Roses and Create Your Own Rose Arbor

Celebrate National Red Rose Day by growing your own roses.

In honor of National Red Rose Day, garden expert, Shirley demonstrates how to “peg” climbing roses and create your own rose arbor.

The red rose became a symbol of love in Greek and Roman mythology. here are many different shades of red: there are blue reds, orange reds, and magenta reds. Red roses such as the classic long stem roses grow from hybrid tea rose plants. Yhere are many forms of roses for every taste.

One of my favorite rose types are climbing roses and I have a technique that will “force” your climbing roses to create the maximum amount of flowers possible!

Climbing vines produce more blooms when “pegged” in an arch or horizontally. “Pegging” a climbing rose is simply bending rose canes towards the ground in an arch or fountain shape and securing it to the ground or to another lower cane.

The goal of pegging a climbing rose is to force the plant to create more roses along the bent stem to create a more compact profile to save space in the garden.

A bent rose cane releases growth hormones along the bend and throughout the whole length of the cane forcing more flowers to grow. When a climbing rose is trained to grow straight up against a wall or column, the growth hormone that produces flowers is concentrated at the end of the canes. This is why many climbing roses only have flowers at the top of the stems.

Pegging a rose is easy but use protective rose gloves to avoid being pricked by a thorn.

  • Release the stems (canes) of the climbing rose from the wood stake.
  • Select as many long, healthy, pliable canes to peg, (as few as 6 to 8 canes is fine). Remove any stubby or unhealthy canes.
  • Play with the stems to see what direction they will bend best. Some rose canes are easily bent down creating a “half heart” shape, while others can be bent over in the opposite direction, over the plant!
  • Determine if the cane will stay bent by securing it to the ground using a landscape pin. Another option is bending the cane over and securing it to another cane at the base of the plant using flexible garden ties.
  • Sometimes, you can intertwine a long cane and a medium length cane, and the thorns will hook them together and to the base of another cane! No ties necessary!
  • When bending your canes, you can create a fountain, or cascading effect with canes forming a circle around the plant. Try creating an orb shape with canes bending over each other in all directions.

Pegging is as much plant science, multiplying the amount of flowers that can be produced as it is an art form! Create a unique and beautifully shaped climbing rose plant with these basic instructions.

Visit Shirley’s blog at to see more of her work.

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