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Last updated on January 21st, 2020
Rambling roses are a great variety if you want to quickly cover a fence, a garden structure, or a wall. These roses produce shoots that are covered in green leaves and a collection of beautiful flowers. Thankfully, these particular plants do not require a great deal of pruning in order to stay in good shape. In fact, you only have to trim them about once a year in order to achieve a beautiful floral display.
When to prune your rambling roses
The speed with which your roses grow will directly result in a collection of tangled stems and poor flowering, an environment conducive to a lack of air flow and subsequent diseases. To that end, proper pruning can help to circumvent all of these issues but it should be done at the end of summer or the beginning of autumn in order to boost the potential development for the following year and improve circulation of air and produce a better display of flowers.
How to prune a rambling rose
When you are ready to start pruning follow these steps:
- Using very sharp gardening shears, remove any thin, disease, or dead stems. If the stems are to thick you can always cut them off with loppers.
- Take out any branches that are outgrowing the space you have allotted or branches that are currently ruining the general shape of your plant.
- You can always prune the plant in order to improve its overall shape by removing approximately one-third of the older stems and if you do this make sure that you remove them flush with the ground to the base.
- Any new shoots should be tied with garden twine so that they can flower next season and any sappy growth should be pruned back in order to encourage a good display of flowers the following season.
- You can also cut back any side shoots by about a third after flowering.
Renovating an overgrown rambling rose
If you have a rambling rose that is overgrown you can prune it back into submission.
- Start by removing any dead or weak or diseased shoots.
- Cutaway older woody branches all the way to the ground but make sure you still have 4 or 5 vigorous, young stems left. Secure those remaining stems to your support structure.
- Saw off any dead stumps all the way to the base so that they are not in the way, with thick branches we recommend using a pruning saw such as one of the ones we recently reviewed.
- Shorten any side shoots on the branches you have left and prune back the tips to approximately one half of its size in order to encourage more branching, but no more than 1/2.
- Spread some mulch and fertiliser to help give your pruned plant of boost ready for spring.
If you are looking for different rambling rose varieties to try, consider these:
- Albertine, which produces coppery-pink flowers and offers a very sweet perfume.
- Felicite et Perpetue, which produces clusters of white flowers all along the stems.
- Rambling rector, which offers semi-double flowers that are creamy in colour.
- American pillar, which produces red flowers that have a white centre.
Whichever of the varieties you choose remember that pruning every year needs to be done at the proper time of year which for the rambling variety needs to be at the end of summer or late Autumn. Sometimes rambling varieties are confused with climbing roses. The best way to differentiate is to take notice of when your plant produces flowers. Climbing roses flower repeatedly throughout the summer but rambling varieties will only produce flowers once typically in the month of June so if you only get flowers in June, you can use these pruning methods.
If you are renovating your plant it is always best to do it during the proper time of year so that you can encourage vigorous growth the following spring. You will know if you pruned at an inopportune time of year because it will typically result in what is called rose blindness. That is when your rose fails to produce any flowers.