I have a mature climbing rose. It's about 5 years old, so I think it has probably reached its maximum size. It's a little over 6 feet (~2 meters) high and about 2 feet (.6 meters) at its widest point.

I'd like to plant a young rose of the same basic variety next to it, as close as possible. The preferred spot is to the right of the current one as you look at it, in the space before the fence post, which is about a foot away from the widest part of the existing plant. The leaves and flowers can spread as far as that fence post, or a few inches beyond, but the base must end at or before it.

Would that be too close? If so, what's the minimum amount of space I should leave between them? I don't mind if the foliage overlaps. In fact, I'd prefer it that way. I'm just concerned about crowded root space, especially for the younger one, which I haven't purchased yet, but is about 1½ feet (.5 meters) tall, and still quite narrow at the base.

Unfortunately, I don't know the variety of this rose, so I'm hoping the pictures will help. I'd have to go back to the store to check the variety of the new one. I didn't want to buy it without getting some advice, and since it's at a department store, rather than a nursery, I couldn't find someone with good knowledge of its growth habit. Actually, I'd love to cover more of that ugly fence, but assume that means a bushier plant with a bigger root ball, which I didn't think would fit.

Kevinsky's answer made me wonder if the companion plant really has to be a rose at all. I'm open to something else, if it meets the criteria.

The pictures are from before it's in full bloom. It's usually prettier than this, with lots of flowers all the way to the top!! (Yes, I'm aware of the holes in the leaves! I thought I should either ask about those separately, or do some research on the site, where I'm sure I'll find some good diagnostic and treatment information.)

Whole plant Flower full face Side of flower with leaves

  • 1
    What variety is the rose that you already have planted, and what's the variety of the rose you're thinking of adding?
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 10:37
  • Good questions, Bamboo. I should have had more details in the question in the first place. Unfortunately, I don't think I helped very much! Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 22:48
  • No way has your existing rose reached its mature size, in fact it's not doing too well for a climber that's been in 5 years. I'm going to have to do an answer every though you've accepted an answer already, to much to say....
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 23:22

2 Answers 2


The closer they are the more competition and the more pruning work for you. I have roses and clematis planted together within six inches of each other in two areas and it works fine if both are in good health and have a similar growth rate.

This setup did not work well with a Porcelain berry and a rose that were six feet apart. The Porcelain berry grew right over the rose and attracted Japanese beetles that ate them both.

When two plants are within six inches of each other and both climb or grow up you have to be constantly monitoring to keep them both in check. It is more maintenance.

  • No, I have rose and clematis planted six inches apart
    – kevinskio
    Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 10:26

I know you've accepted an answer already, and I don't disagree with that answer at all, but just wanted to add something. If your rose has been planted five years and it's meant to be a climber, it's not doing too well, or at least, not looking like a climbing rose should. Climbing roses usually have long, strong whippy stems which need tying onto supports, bending them a bit horizontally, and that's not what I'm seeing in your pics. They vary in height and width enormously, some being capable of covering a house wall top to bottom and side to side, others are more suited to growing up a pillar, and I can't tell which variety you have. If it's actually a climber, then you should expect it to get larger, and I wouldn't recommend planting another rose within five or six feet of it, especially another climbing variety. The other consideration with roses is the possibility of so called'rose sickness', which can occur if roses are removed and new ones planted in the same place; planting another rose very close to an existing one that's been planted for five years might mean the new rose suffers from this affliction because of its proximity to the roots of the other rose.

You could plant a hybrid clematis to grow up the fence, possibly to the left of the rose if you can find enough space to dig a hole to plant it, but you'd need a suitable support attached to the fence such as clematis mesh for it to cling to.

  • Thank you and @kevinsky for the advice. For this year, I just put some potted annuals nearby, and will leave everything else until the spring. Maybe it wasn't meant to be a climber and just sent up a sad-looking shoot which has remained stagnant for a few years! Even the width of the plant hasn't grown much, though, so possibly, as you may have insinuated, it's not healthy overall. That's a subject for a different question, though! :) Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 20:59

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