Pruning Rambling Roses


The easiest way to distinguish between a rambling rose and a climbing rose is their flowering habit.

A climbing rose will repeat-flower almost all summer whereas a rambling rose will only flower once.

But as with climbing roses, failure to prune them can result in a tangled mess of branches with very few flowers.

Typical Rambling formation

Prune in late autumn after the flowers have faded or the hips have reddened.

Alternatively leave until after leaf fall.

Pruning when not in leaf makes it easier to see what needs pruning, moving, tying in etc.

Rambling roses subject to their age may need different forms of pruning namely;


After planting, prune stems back to 400mm (16") then carefully fan them out up their support then tie them in where they make contact with the support.

If necessary, remove any dead, damaged or twiggy growth.


Thin and shorten excessive growth by removing a third of the oldest stems entirely, then shorten side shoots by about up to two thirds

If space is restricted, prune out all stems that have flowered and tie in the new ones to replace them.


Renovation can be carried out at any time between late autumn and late winter.

Remove all dead, diseased, dying and weak shoots.

Cut out all but five or six old woody branches to the ground, and tie the remaining branches into the framework.

Shorten side shoots by one third to a half, to encourage branching.

Do not leave dead stumps at the base of the plant, rain can collect here and encourage rot.

If this is difficult to achieve ensure that any stumps left have been cut to leave a sloping finish to encourage rainwater to run off them.

On completion clear away all debris.

In spring as the plant sets forth new growth, fork in a general rose fetiliser and spread a 50mm (2") organic mulch around the base of the plant.

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