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The Don Juan Rose

Don Juan – you may have heard of this seductive fictional character known for his charming and charismatic ways with women. A true romancer. The same can be said for the Don Juan Rose. Known for impressive blooms and a tantalizing fragrance, these showstopping roses are sure to impress, perhaps even seduce, you.

Interested? Keep reading to see why you’re going to want these irresistible roses in your garden. 

Closeup of a single crimson red climbing rose bloom.

History of Don Juan Climbing Roses

Michele Malandrone, an Italian rose breeder, introduced the Don Juan Rose in 1958. Not much is known about why, exactly, Michele chose the name. The fictional Italian character, Don Juan, has long been a symbol for seduction and illicit romance. It may be that the rose, with its deep red petals and strong floral scent, was the kind of rose Malandrone imagined the legendary ladies’ man would have used to woo his lovers.   

Don Juan Roses growing along a fence next to a sidewalk.
Don Juan roses make an impact in any landscape setting.

Characteristics of the Don Juan Climbing Roses

Don Juan Roses are incredibly popular for a multitude of reasons. These roses produce large crimson red blooms with velvety ruffled petals and are one of few climbing roses that have a fragrance when bloomed. The aroma is described as fruity and woody, the perfect floral scent. 

These blooms are around 4 to 5 inches, and the shrubs can grow approximately 8 to 10 feet tall. These climbers need space to spread out, at least 3 to 6 feet, but their dark glossy green leaves may take up even more space if you let them. 

Closeup of a single red Don Juan rose bloom.

Plant Care 

The Don Juan Rose is known for its elegant beauty but also for being low maintenance. The most novice of gardeners can grow these without a hitch! 

Support Structure

Before planting your rose shrub remember the Don Juan Rose is a climbing rose and needs a structure to grab ahold of to grow. An arbor, trellis, fence, or wall works excellent! 

Closeup of a Don Juan Rose growing against a white trellis.

Sunlight 

Plant these roses in an area that receives full sun, around 6 to 8 hours a day. 

Soil

Climbing roses like the Don Juan can adapt to many types of soils but prefer loamy soil. After planting your rose shrub, add some organic mulch to the base to prevent unwanted weeds and help maintain the moisture content. 

Water

When watering any climbing rose, it is best to avoid getting water on the petals and leaves of the shrub. Water the base of the shrub often and thoroughly, ensuring the top five inches of soil is moist at all times. 

Person watering a newly planted rose.

Fertilizer 

The best way to fertilize the Don Juan climbing rose is with a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer after the last frost of the season. After that, fertilize every four weeks with a water-soluble nitrogen-based fertilizer per the pack instructions. 

Pruning

You do not prune the Don Juan Rose for the first two years after planting. Climbing roses need time for their canes to grow before producing flowers. After that time, prune the bottom canes at the base of the shrub to encourage new growth. 

Remember always to clip off the dead or dying blooms to encourage new buds to form. If you want to read more about pruning climbing roses, read our article

A red climbing rose.

Disease

When caring for roses, one thing to know is that they are susceptible to different types of disease. With the Don Juan, one common complaint is powdery mildew. Knowing the best ways to care for your plant and spot any common diseases right away prevent these from damaging your beautiful blooms. 

Planting Don Juan Climbing Roses  

After selecting the best location to plant your Don Juan Roses, dig a hole twice the size of the root structure of the plant, approximately 9 to 10 inches deep and 1 foot away from your support structure. 

Place your Don Juan roses into the prepared hole and fill with organic flower potting soil firmly pressing down around the shrub’s roots. 

Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer before spreading two inches of organic mulch around the base. Leave approximately 4 inches of soil clear around the bottom of the shrub so that no mulch is touching the canes.

Provide enough water to saturate the soil but not enough to leave standing puddles.

Woman removing a rose from a nursery container to plant in the garden.

Blooming Period

Don Juan Roses bloom from spring to the first frost, making them a great rose shrub to add to your garden. Being a repeat bloomer, make sure to clip off the spent roses to stimulate the growth of new blooms. 

Bouquets and Decor

The Don Juan makes stunning bouquets with their deep red petals and long stems. They are a romantic rose and perfect for that special someone in your life. They look gorgeous in vases and would be ideal table decor that brings bring an elegant scent into your home. 

An informal arrangement with red and pink roses.

Where to Buy Don Juan Climbing Roses 

When purchasing a Don Juan Climbing Rose shrub, you can buy them online at Nature Hills Nursery. Being such a highly sought-after rose variety, you can easily find them at local garden centers and other plant nurseries. 

FAQ

I am a beginner gardener, are Don Juan Climbing Roses good for my skill set?

Absolutely! One of the best things about any climbing rose is they do not require much maintenance at all. The Don Juan is perfect for beginners and experienced gardeners! 

How large of a trellis do I need to purchase for my Don Juan Climbing Roses?

These shrubs can grow anywhere from 8 to 10 feet tall, so purchase a trellis or any structure at least 10 feet high so it has adequate room to reach its full height! 

I am looking for something to add color to my landscape. Are Don Juan roses good for this purpose?

Don Juan roses are showstoppers that add tons of color to your landscape all season long and make a bold statement anywhere you plant them.

Wrapping up the Don Juan Climbing Rose

Don Juan roses.

Don Juan roses are perfect for beginners as well as advanced gardeners. They bring beautiful color to any landscape, have a gorgeous flower shape, and a lovely enticing fragrance. When looking for a climbing rose the Don Juan is top tier.

Have you fallen in love with the Don Juan rose? If so, tell us all about your love affair with this rose in the comments section below! Interested in other rose varieties? Check out more of our rose blogs