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Climber or rambler?

Want to cover a fence, wall or pergola? Use natural paint and choose roses. The beautiful deep green foliage and the romantic blooming flowers make a lovely painting in the garden. A froth of roses scrambling over an arbour or smothering a wall, filling the air with a heavenly rich scent, turn a garden into a romantic paradise. Among the many climbing rose varieties in our garden centre, though, you'll find both climbers and ramblers – so what's the difference? Find out at Rushfields, come over to our plant centre in Poynings, Sussex. 

Ramblers or climbers - Rushfields

Difference between climbers and ramblers

  • rambling roses usually flower just once, in a huge and spectacular display, with clusters of smaller flowers.

  • climbers are a little more restrained, but they'll flower throughout summer producing larger individual flowers.

  • ramblers tend to produce lots of whippy young growth from the base: they're generally more 'tangled' looking.

  • climbers are more sculptural, with stiff main branches often forming brown bark, like trunks - and secondary younger green branches.

  • ramblers are pruned by cutting out around a third of the oldest stems each year after flowering right to the base, to encourage plenty of healthy young growth: train horizontally for more flowers.

  • climbers are pruned into an arching horizontal framework of permanent mature branches in winter, cutting back side shoots to two or three buds to encourage plenty of blossoms next year.

Rambler or climber?

If you want to cover a fence, ramblers are easier to train, as ramblers have flexible stems. You can easily bend the stems around a fence, pergola or trellis. Climbers have more stiff stems and are better to train around arches, arbours, obelisks or pillars. Ramblers need more space than climbers, so if you want to plant a rose in a small garden, choose a climber instead of a rambler. There is no better rose, but you can always choose for the better possibility. Our staff can give you advice, ask them in our plant centre in Poynings. 

Please ask the staff in our garden centre in Poynings, Sussex for more information and advice about climbing and rambling roses.

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