12 Best Thornless Climbing Roses for a Pain-Free Garden

You’ve probably heard the saying that every rose has its thorn. But it turns out this isn’t true! You can find thornless and almost thornless roses, including multiple types of thornless climbing roses. These varieties have few or no thorns (which are actually prickers), which makes them a safer garden addition.

Beautiful Types of Thornless Climbing Roses

The Basics of Thornless Climbing Roses

Thornless climbing roses have few or no thorns, which makes them an excellent addition to well-traveled pergolas and arbors. All of these plants have long canes that can trail up walls over arbors, or along fences.


All of the following types of climbing roses have few or no thorns, making them a welcome addition to the garden.

1. Blush Noisette (Rosa ‘Blush Noisette’)

Blush Noisette (Rosa ‘Blush Noisette’) are beautiful types of thornless climbing roses

This is one of the first Noisette roses that was introduced—it’s been around since 1815! It sometimes goes by the name ‘Noisette Carnée’’.

Like most Noisette roses, this variety is a short climber that grows best when provided with a bit of support and training. If you don’t train it to grow up a trellis or arbor, it will take on a trailing bush shape.

The flowers have an ode to old-world romance with large clusters of double blooms. These thornless climbing roses have a moderate fragrance that fills the garden with floral and fruity notes.

It’s important to note that this variety isn’t the best for Northern climates, but it does thrive in the South.

Growing zones:6–10
Sunlight:Full sun to partial shade
Colors:Off-white, light pink, medium pink
Flowering season:Summer and early fall

2. Claire Austin (Rosa ‘Claire Austin’)

Claire Austin (Rosa ‘Claire Austin’)

If you’re looking for a climbing rose with few thorns and beautiful creamy blooms, ‘Claire Austin’ is one of the best options. The canes grow to about 12 feet tall and have very few thorns.

These thornless climbing roses are repeat bloomers, which means multiple rounds of flowers pop up throughout the summer and early fall. And their warm, woodsy fragrance is something you may wish you could bottle up.

Growing zones:5–11
Sunlight:Full sun to partial shade
Colors:Pale yellow buds and cream flowers
Flowering season:Summer and early fall

3. Climbing Iceberg (Rosa ‘Climbing Iceberg’)

Bright white thornless climbing roses

According to the Royal Horticultural Society, the ‘Climbing Iceberg’ rose produced few thorns.

It can reach up to 12 feet tall as well as 12 feet wide, so it’s perfect for adding some beauty to an otherwise empty brick wall or iron arbor. And since it grows quickly, it’s a good choice for drab spaces.

The double flowers are a few inches wide and appear in large clusters. They have a subtle yet sweet scent. 

Growing zones:5–11
Sunlight:Full sun or part shade
Colors:White, sometimes tinged with light pink
Flowering season:Summer and early fall

4. Climbing Pinkie (Rosa ‘Climbing Pinkie’)

Climbing Pinkie’ is a climbing polyantha rose, which means it’s happy to grow as a cascading shrub or a short climber. If you want it to climb up arbors or trellises, you’ll need to support the canes as they learn to climb.

These thornless climbing roses produce loads of light pink, semi-double flowers. The big flush of flowers occurs in the spring, but it may produce another round of flowers later in the year.

‘Climbing Pinkie’ canes reach only ten feet long, so this variety is a good choice if you want a shorter climbing rose.

Growing zones:5–9
Sunlight:Full sun or part shade
Colors:light pink
Flowering season:Spring and summer

5. Golden Showers (Rosa ‘Golden Showers’)

Golden Showers (Rosa ‘Golden Showers’) are beautiful types of thornless climbing roses

Golden Showers’ is a nearly thornless rose, meaning it has just a few small prickers. 

It can grow up to 15 feet tall and grows best when you provide it with an arbor, gazebo, trellis, or wall to climb up. Like most roses, it grows best when provided with at least six hours of light each day.

Its bright yellow semi-double flowers are about three inches wide and appear in large clusters.

Growing zones:5–10
Sunlight:Full sun to partial shade
Colors:yellow
Flowering season:Summer and fall

6. Kathleen Harrop (Rosa ‘Kathleen Harrop’)

Pink thornless climbing roses

This climbing rose is nearly thornless has been around for over a hundred years, and is showcased at some of the best rose gardens worldwide. It’s an offshoot of ‘Zéphirine Drouhin’, but it has light pink rather than dark pink flowers.

These thornless climbing roses produce multiple rounds of flowers during the summer and fall, making them a popular choice for those looking for long-lasting color. The double flowers aren’t only gorgeous—they also emit a strong and sweet fragrance.

Since ‘Kathleen Harrop’ canes can grow up to 15 feet tall, it works well growing over an arbor, trellis, or other type of supportive structure.

Growing zones:6–10
Sunlight:Full sun to partial shade
Colors:light pink
Flowering season:Summer and fall

7. Madame Alfred Carriére (Rosa ‘Madame Alfred Carriére) 

Madame Alfred Carriére (Rosa ‘Madame Alfred Carriére) are beautiful types of thornless climbing roses

While all climbing roses produce long canes, ‘Madame Alfred Carriére’ is one the taller varieties out there. It produces canes that can grow up to 25 feet long, and these canes are covered with very few thorns.

These thornless climbing roses are continuous bloomers that produce multiple rounds of double-petal flowers in the summer and fall. These flowers have a strong fragrance that’s a mix of floral and fruity.

Growing zones:5–11
Sunlight:Full sun to partial shade
Colors:Creamy white with hints of pink
Flowering season:Summer and fall

8. Mary Delany® (Rosa ‘Mary Delany’)

This double-petaled climbing rose is an almost thornless variety bred by David Austin. They are known for being one of the best types of disease resistant roses, as well as their long flowering season.

The medium-sized flowers appear in large sprays, which creates an explosion of pink in the garden. Its flowers have ruffled inner petals and a slightly fruity fragrance.

These plants can grow up to 12 feet tall and work well against walls, arbors, and pergolas.

Growing zones:4–11
Sunlight:full sun to partial shade
Colors:light pink
Flowering season:late spring through early fall

9. Veilchenblau (Rosa ‘Veilchenblau’)

Veilchenblau in bloom

While ‘Veilchenblau’ is technically a rambling rose, it can still climb up walls and over arbors. The canes can reach over ten feet tall as long as the plants are healthy.

What really sets this variety of thornless climbing roses apart are its stunning flowers. Although the bright purple blooms are small, they appear in larger clusters that give the appearance of larger blooms. Plus, the white centers and yellow stamens create a beautiful contrast.

One downside of ‘Veilchenblau’ is that it only produces one flush of flowers in the summer.

Growing zones:6–10
Sunlight:Full sun or part shade
Colors:purple with yellow stamens
Flowering season:mid-summer

10. White Lady Banks (Rosa banksiae ‘Alba Plena’)

White Lady Banks in full bloom during the summer

All types of Lady Banks roses are known for rapidly growing canes that can reach over 40 feet long. They’re also completely thornless.

‘Alba Plena’ has miniature white flowers with double blooms. The ruffled petals almost appear like they’re made out of layers of crinkled tissue paper.

While many climbing roses are continuous bloomers, White Lady Banks blooms just once. You can expect a month of flowers during the spring or early summer.

Growing zones:6–10
Sunlight:Full sun or part shade
Colors:white
Flowering season:late spring to early summer

11. Yellow Lady Banks (Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’)

Yellow Lady Banks are bright yellow flowering climbing thornless roses

Yellow Lady Banks produces oodles and oodles of pale yellow flowers. Although these flowers are small, their double petals and abundance of blooms mean the plants will be awash in yellow.

These plants are rapid growers and can reach up to 20 feet long. Therefore, they’re perfect for tall walls or arbors.

Yellow Lady Banks has no prickers making it completely thornless.

Growing zones:6–10
Sunlight:Full sun or part shade
Colors:pale yellow
Flowering season:late spring to early summer

12. Zéphirine Drouhin (Rosa ‘Zéphirine Drouhin’)

Zéphirine Drouhin (Rosa 'Zéphirine Drouhin’) in full bloom

This thornless variety produces a continuous display of rich pink roses throughout the late spring and summer. The flowers have a classic rose fragrance with a touch of fruitiness. 

This variety is considered a medium climber, and its canes typically reach about 15 feet long. 

Although this variety is beautiful, it is more susceptible to fungal and bacterial diseases than some other climbing roses.

Growing zones:5–11
Sunlight:Full sun or part shade
Colors:deep pink
Flowering season:spring and summer

Wrapping Up

If you want to plant climbing roses in your garden but don’t want to deal with the hassle (and pain) of thorns, you have options. Any of the dozen thornless climbing roses listed above will work well climbing against walls, over arbors, or up gazebos.

Contributing Editor | briana@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

Briana holds a B.S. in Plant Sciences from Penn State University. She manages a small market garden where she grows vegetables and herbs. She also enjoys growing flowers and houseplants at home.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *