The Beauty of a Vigorous Growing Rambling Rose

The smooth shoots of a rambling rose wrapped around an old apple tree are about as good as it gets.

First and foremost: A rambling rose is a climbing rose, but with distinctly differences that sets a Rambler apart from a climbing rose.

The major difference is when and how they flower. Most of the Ramblers usually flower once a year in summer, while a climbing rose will repeat-flower almost all summer.

Needless to say that there are exceptions. Let’s have a closer look to distinguish between a Climber and a Rambler.

Differences between a Climbing and a Rambling Rose

Why should we classify these types of roses? The answer is, they have different maintenance regimes. Besides the above-mentioned flower cycle, another simple way to tell the difference is to take a quick look at the foliage:

Rambling roses have seven leaflets while Climbing roses usually have five leaflets, as you easily can figure out on the following pictures.

Climber with 5 leafletsClimber with 5 leaflets
Rambling Rose with 7 leaveletsRambler with 7 leaflets

The more flexible stems is another distinguishing characteristic of the Rambler. The pliable canes are perfect for training over trellis, arches or wrapped around a tree, whereas Climbing roses tend to grow upright with more rigid stems.

Always check the vigorous growth of some rambling roses before you consider to buy a new type. They sometimes can grow up to a height of 40 feet.

I love the clusters, the abundance of flowers on my Ramblers, although most of them only flower once a year, they look fabulous. However, climbing roses do not grow in clusters, but the repeat flowering gives me joy all over the growing season.

Types of Rambling Roses

Sempervirens Ramblers

These types of Ramblers keep their foliage during the wintertime, therefore sometimes they are known as ‘evergreen ramblers’.

The half-filled blossoms vigorously grow in clusters and are known as healthy flowers.

Rosa 'Adelaide d' Orleans'

Pink to white spherical blooms, flowers in clusters, clothed in dark green foliage, the rose blooms once but abundant, 3 m

Felicite et Perpetue

Creamy white, pink merging, small densely filled little rose, one of the best Rambler, fewer spines, once but abundantly flowering, beautiful in trees,  7 m

Super Excelsa

Robust and healthy rose, dark-carmine-pink, small, filled blossoms in large clusters. Repeat-flowering with very healthy foliage. Growth height 250-300cm


Small, filled, cupped flowers in hanging clusters, cream and purple. Lush foliage. A good little Rambler.

Malvern Hills

Small densely filled soft yellow blossoms flowering in large clusters, shiny, healthy foliage with delicious fragrance, beautifully flowering all summer long, 3 m

Wichurana Ramblers (Rosa Wichuraiana)

Named after Max Ernst Wichura, a German botanist who lived in the 19th century. A rampant growing but a very beautiful type of rose. Some sorts are well known with an award winning background.

The genetic material of Rosa Wichuraiana can be found in many Rambler Roses.

New Dawn

Medium, strong double flowers in soft whitish pink. The strong growing plant is slightly overhanging and blossoms until fall. As repeat-flowering Rambler with healthy foliage, New Dawn also grows well in trees.

Dorothy Perkins

Delicate salmon pink flat filled, a lush cluster of flowers, healthy growth, good post-blossom, infamous type as well as a pendant Rose, 5 m

Alberic Barbier

Relatively large cream refined shaped flowers which are decorated in a cream-white, bright yellow, peach with a pale pink, it blooms until fall for a long time. Shiny almost evergreen foliage, broad growth, 4 m

Multiflora Ramblers (Rosa Polyantha)

Bobbie James

Named after the garden expert Robert James, creamy white blooms, flourishing very vigorous in large umbels in summer, foliage lush and healthy. Developing countless orange rose hips in fall, suitable for trees up to 4 m

American Pillar

Carmine single flowers with bright eyes, splendid shrubs on walls and fences, strong growth, I have seen the rose on a wall, 4 meters wide and 4 meters high, covered with flowers, magnificently


In England this was recently the fashion Rose par excellence, purple-violet with yellow eye, blooming once but overabundant, Multiflora Hybrid, 3 m Odin

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