Climbing & Rambling Roses

  • Climbers repeat flower whereas Rambling roses flower only once a year, around June.
  • Prune ramblers in late summer, after flowering.  You can also prune in winter. Once in an established space, remove one third of the main stems at their bases each year, starting with the oldest.  Shorten all side shoots by two thirds and cut back leading shoots by a few buds to encourage more branching.
  • Prune climbers while dormant, from December to February, when you have a clear view of the stems and framework once leaves have fallen.  Cut out ay dead, or damaged wood.  Tie in new stems to supports to form a framework.


Summer Tasks 

Deadhead climbers regularly to encourage re-flowering.  But single-flowered species and many ramblers will not re-flower; don’t deadhead these if you want rose hips for winter interest.

Prune out dead wood.  Ramblers should be pruned straight after flowering.

Tie-in climbers

Cut out suckers.


Extending the life of cut roses

  • cut flowers in the early morning
  • cut stems diagonally – the longest possible diagonal to expose the maximum amount of tissue to the water in the vase
  • plunge newly cut roses immediately into a container of tepid water
  • remove leaves & thorns that would be under water
  • scrape a little bark from the bottom of stems (1-1 1/2 inches) of the stems and then plunge up to their necks in a deep container of water.  Leave them to draw up water in a cool place for several hours before arranging them,
  • use a clean vase; copper vases are best as copper discourages micro-organisms that can foul the water.
  • add sugar to the water for energy; aspirin or bleach to prevent decay; and vinegar to assist water uptake and bring down pH.
  • keep flower vases away from heat and direct sunlight.