Climbing Roses - Rambling Roses

Climbing roses do not need much space to enchant the garden with their flowerage

No other types of roses have the ability to transform structural elements such as arches, walls or arbors into a flourishing part of the garden.

I love climbing roses, but there is a small downside: You have to invest work, time and patience to get a fabulous sea of flowers.

Climbing Roses

Climbers are actually large shrub roses, which must be tied to or need a possibility to entwine.

Before you choose your climber, please make sure they will fit to the space and structure you offer to them.

Some climbers have a maximum growing height of 6 feet but others reach a height of 30 feet. That’s why you have to make sure the structure can support your chosen type of rose.

Types Of Climbing Roses

Starting with a new climber, I always first check-out several characteristics of my new flower:

  • Once or repeat-flowering
  • The growth height
  • Color of the blooms
  • Disease and frost resistance

Based on these basic characteristics, we inevitably have to deal with the two most frequent used types of climbing roses: The Ramblers and Climbers.

Rambler Roses

Rambling Rose in a tree

Most of these varieties are once-blooming, have flexible, long canes and are particularly suitable for greening of mature trees and shrubs.

They can entwine up to 30 feet without additional climbing help. Ramblers may be best left to themselves and do not need much pruning.

Ramblers show many small to medium-sized blooms in large, compact clusters and entwine – with a little help – by themselves.

Their long shoots do not lignify but remain soft and pliable. They are still very close to ‘Wild roses’ and therefore usually resistant to diseases.

They are suitable for a natural, enchanted design and impress with a lot of bloomage and little maintenance.

More about stunning and vigorous Ramblers.


climber on Pyramid

Unlike the Ramblers most Climbers are repeat-flowering and it is necessary to train the them as they grow, because they cannot climb vertically on their own. Especially in the early days, they need a little bit help.

They will not grow as high as their rambling relatives, but some types easily grow up to 10 feet and higher. Climbers grow upright and show thicker, stiffer, later lignifying shoots.

Because of the long flowering period and their growing habit, Climbers are the better choice for smaller gardens.

The once-flowering types of climbing roses will grow to 15 feet and higher because they can concentrate their energy to once blooming.

More about spectacular Climbers.

Where To Plant Which Climber?

Compared with their size, climbers don't need much ground-space. However, they can have quite different characteristics and there are still several things to consider to get the best visual results.

Upward with Climbing Aids

Make the bare Bits

Climbers tend to become bare at the base in time. Underplanting with perennials such as catmint, lady’s mantle or hostas will mask this.

Always adjust a climbing rose to a suitable climbing aid. Think about a 30 feet tall Rambler on a 7 feet obelisk – it will not fit in the long run.

Try planting one of the heavily scented varieties such as ‘New Dawn’ or ‘Zephirine Drouhin’, they will do a better job. ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ is also a particularly useful variety for a front door because it has no thorns to catch on clothes.

Climbers are also suitable for growing against pillars, tripods or pyramids. Covered with shorter growing varieties such as ‘Golden Showers’ or a Bourbon rose such as ‘Madame Isaac Pereire’ will make a magnificent picture placed toward the back of the border.

High growing types such as ‘Wedding Day’ are suitable for walls, arbors and pergolas. Ramblers are best accommodated by planting them where they can grow into a tree.

Matching your climbers to the appropriate support will enable them to show their best display.

Where To Go From Here

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