Discover the differences between a climbing rose and a rambling rose, to see which one suits your garden best.
The main difference between rambling roses and climbers is that rambling roses usually flower once, whereas climbing roses usually repeat flower throughout summer and autumn , but there are exceptions. If you want your garden to be smothered in roses , choose a rambler, as repeat flowering climbers only give you measured flushes of flower and never make quite the same impact.
The ideal combination is a flowering rambler planted , close to a repeat-flowering climber. Then allow one of the gentle late-summer viticella clematis to twine through the roses. This way you will have flowers for a longer period of time.
How to prune rambling roses
You prune rambling roses when you train them by simply cutting out some of the old stems at the base. These are replaced by new strong branches. The branches should be fanned out from the base, if the rose is against a fence . The stems can then be looped along to the top edge of the fence. Ramblers are very disease tolerant, as many are close to species of roses. Also, once-only roses don’t need deadheading and some will produce a crop of hips.
Some great rambling roses
A shiny, coppery foliage and clusters of small apricot roses that fade to cream.
With deep green leaves and loose clusters of late white flowers. These are particularly good in semi-shade.
These have faded purplish flowers that are stunning against grey-tinged stone.
Paul’s Himalayan Musk
These have clusters of the palest pink flowers. They are too vigorous for fences and better planted around a tree.
A repeat flowering rambler with small apricot to yellow flowers. It is a restrained grower, perfect for a pillar.
How to care for climbing roses
Climbing roses are usually pruned in winter and they need a more sympathetic regime. All repeat-flowering roses need to be dead headed to encourage more flowers.
How to train climbing roses
The best time to train climbing roses is in the autumn when the shiny new stems can still be bent and turned without breaking. Choose strong stems and using thick gloves and goggles, curl the stems round a stake or pillar or loop them along the top of the fence. Slightly reduce the main leaders and prune back the side shoots to six inches.
The Rambling Rose has several unique qualities which sets it apart from the Climbing Rose. Ramblers are distinctly different from the Climbing Rose, in that they have blooms in clusters of seven and the Climbers have clusters of five. Their leaves are in groups of seven and the climbers have groups of five.
The other difference is that the Ramblers will only flower once for example the Banksia Rose, whereas the Climbers will flower repeatedly, for example the Madame Alfred Carriere.
However, two ramblers do flower repeatedly namely the Malvern Hills and the Snow Goose.
Ramblers also have very few thorns compared to Climbers.
Rambling Roses have stems called canes, which are more flexible than the Climbers, so they are much easier to train on a trellis, over an archway, or even across the ground as a beautiful ground cover. They are also generally more vigorous than Climbers. They would do better climbing up a tree than over a fence or pergola. Always check the height if you are considering a new rambler for your garden. Some will grow to 40 feet or more.