Climbing and Rambling Roses



This type of rose has a vigorous, pliable and relaxed habit

They flower on the previous season's wood and therefore seldom repeat.

The flowers are borne in clusters and the leaves are generally smaller.

Typical 'Rambling'


These thrive in sun or partial shade, in fertile medium soil that is slightly acid.

They are tolerant of lime, but do better in a slightly acid soil with pH. of 6.5

Add well-rotted manure or compost to improve heavy/clay soils.

They flower on shoots that are produced in the same season, and many of the modern cultivars are repeat flowering.

The flowers are generally larger and more upright.

Flower heads

Climbing roses are generally upright, stiff and rather and unyielding and are not self supporting, so they will require suitable support such as trellis, arches, pergolas or horizontal wires to support them.

If training plants up trellis, arches or pergolas, twist the main shoots gently around the uprights to encourage flowering shoots to form low down.

Example Climbing around
an Arched Trellis

If using wires, set the lowest wire 450mm (18") off the ground and space subsequent wires 300mm (12") apart.

Trellis or a wire support for wall training should have a clearance of at least 50mm (2") between it and the wall.

Depending upon variety they can grow to 3m+ (10ft+) and flower from early summer to first frosts.

To encourage repeat flowering cut back the flowering stems as they finish flowering to a new bud.


Week 13>

Ensure the bed has not become over compacted during the winter, is so, loosen the soil the soil around the base of the plant/s with a border fork and work in Sulphate of Potash at a rate of 30gms (1oz) per sq. metre.

On completion of the above, mulch around the bases of roses, especially those growing against walls, to help conserve moisture around the roots.

Week 20:

As with most roses, aphids and caterpillars can be a problem.

The first clusters aphids can appear on tender new shoots in spring and can seriously hinder, or stop growth.

Spray with a systemic insecticide to the manu­facturer's instructions.

Don't spray when pollinating insects are at work, e.g. bees & hoverflies.

Week 23:

Cut back suckers that spring from the rootstock and sap the strength from the plant/s, cut them back flush with the roots or stem,

Keep beds clear of weeds by careful hoeing.

Week 26:

Apply a granular rose fertiliser at the base of the plant/s or alternatively apply a foliar feed to the leaves.

Feed at any time from now on particularly when plants are in full bloom.

This will encourage another flush of flowers, but discontinue feeding after Week 35 to allow wood to ripen up before winter.

Be on guard for signs of pests and diseases, treat plants if symptoms appear.

Dead head as flowers fade, cut back to an outward facing bud to encourage further flushes of flowers, unless a crop of hips is required for autumn colour.

Week 30:

Propagate by means of heel cuttings or layering.


Select strong, firm non-flowering shoots, cut them off close to the stem of the parent plant to include part of the stem (a heel).

Trim off excess heel (tail) and soft top-growth, dip the cutting into hormone-rooting gel or powder, and insert into pots of sandy compost then place in a cold frame to root.

Alternatively, stand them upright in sand-lined drills in a nursery bed to root.


Select flexible shoots, dig a 150mm(6") deep hole with a hand trowel, peg down the shoot after slicing into the stem for 100mm (4") with a sharp knife, backfill the hole, leaving the tip of shoot exposed.

In heavy ground place a handful of sharp sand in the bottom of the hole prior to backfilling.

Week 35:

Prepare the planting bed at least one month prior to planting out by digging in copious amounts of well-rotted manure or compost.

Lighten heavy clay soils by digging in a copious amount of farmyard manure.

Plan new plantings and prepare new planting site.

Before planting climbing roses, be sure that the supports are secure and substantial enough to carry the flowering branches.

Trellis or a wire support for wall-training should have a clearance of at least 50mm (2") between it and the wall.

Week 38:

To maintain a healthy plant, prune established plants after flowering has finished.

Always wear a stout pair of gardening gloves and use sharp secateurs.

Week 39:

Dead head fading blooms, and supress weeds by hoeing or applying a suitable herbicide.

Watch out for signs of black spot disease and apply a systemic fungicide promptly if symptoms appear.

All infected prunings and fallen leaves should be collected up and burned.

Clear budded rootstock of suckering shoots rising from the roots or ‘standard’ stems, these can usually be recognized by their smaller paler leaves.

Black Spot Symptoms

Week 40:

Plant out at any time between now and April providing weather and soil conditions are suitable.

Excavate the hole/s approx 300mm deep (1ft), 450- 600mm wide (15"-18") wide and 2000mm (7ft) apart.

Break up the soil in the bottom of the planting hole and add some well-rotted manure.

If the plant is to be trained against a wall, make the planting hole at least 300mm (12") away from the bottom of the wall to avoid the dry condi­tions found near building foundations.


Week 43:

Ensure newly planted roses have not suffered from wind-rock damage, firm in as necessary.

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