The rambler roses are still a very young breed, at the beginning of the 19th century, breeders succeeded for the first time in crossing the varieties Rosa multiflora and Rosa wichuraiana into the domestic rose varieties. The Rosa multiflora was imported from China at that time, it is as many-flowered as its name suggests, the Rosa wichuraiana contributed its particularly long-growing and particularly flexible shoots.

This combination resulted in a group of climbing roses that rarely need a climbing frame, but with their incredibly soft and flexible shoots “wander” automatically on trees and “roam” on rough house walls up to a height of 10 meters. In addition, they spoil us with an abundant bloom, which in memory of the wild rose ancestors are not huge, but appear in whole clusters.

The best location for rambler roses

Like other roses, rambler roses have very specific requirements when it comes to their location:

  • The wild ancestors of the Ramblers settled mainly at the edges of the forest, so Ramblers are not as sun-kissed as other roses.
  • They can even be planted with their roots in the shade, if the shoots can grow into the warm rays of the sun somewhere in the upper area.
  • Any sunny place is fine for them, but only if there is enough air movement so that the roses do not suffer on hot sunny days.
  • Good ventilation is generally important for roses; any moisture on the leaves should dry off as quickly as possible.
  • Therefore, a rambler rose should never be planted in a sheltered corner in the shadow of several walls.
  • Even if a tree is shielded too much by hedges, so that standing heat forms under it, the rambler rose should not just grow on this tree.
  • If the rambler rose is to top a tree, it should also have a fairly light crown itself, which lets enough light and air through to the rose.
  • There should be enough soil around the location; a rambler rose will probably not feel so comfortable in a small pavement crack.

You should really care about the location, even a windmill test won’t hurt – if you really like the location, you have probably done most to keep your rose thriving without disease.

Prepare earth

The right soil is fundamental for the ramblers, who are supposed to develop a lot of plant matter upwards. This is how a good rose earth is composed:

  • The rose soil must provide the roses with enough nutrients, so first of all contain sufficient humus.
  • Problems can arise here if you have taken over soil that has been treated with mineral fertilizers for years. This fertilizer will eventually impoverish the earth.
  • Then it is advisable to make a green manure first before planting a climbing rose that has bloomed several times and is more demanding on the soil than almost any other plant.
  • Normal garden soil is prepared for rose planting by incorporating ripe compost.
  • Sour soil, which previously housed bog plants, has to be brought back to a normal to basic pH value with lime.
  • In any case, compacted soil should be loosened well. Any soil for roses is good if a little sand and clay powder is incorporated.
  • The water permeability should be checked. When the water is standing still, a rose will quickly be attacked by fungus.
  • The soil should be regularly enriched with compost so that there are always enough trace elements available.
  • If there was a rose in the same place that suffered from fungi or nematodes, you should only plant a new rose here when you change the soil.
  • If that is too troublesome for you and the rose can wait a little longer, you can also renovate the soil with a green manure.
  • In cases of doubt, a soil analysis will tell you whether your soil is ready for a rose. You can find out from the local environmental agency who will do this soil analysis for you.

Plant rambler roses

The planting distance between the individual roses depends a little on the location. If the roses are to grow a whole shed in optimal soil, they may be planted a little closer than in a location where you still doubt a little about its suitability. The usual distance is around one meter. However, if you have acquired a very vigorous rambler rose, it is better to leave a little more space. Because the ramblers are likely to sprawl more than you can imagine. In a location that it really likes, a rambler rose can develop shoots several meters in length every year …

You should dig the planting holes generously so that you can put the roses in without damaging the roots. The roses are prepared with a water bath, at least overnight, then placed in the soil and watered again before filling. So that the filled soil settles, you sprinkle it with water, if necessary you can give in soil.

It is best to plant your new roses in autumn, this is possible until November if the earth is not frozen. However, if you live in one of the colder regions, you should plant the roses in good time. When the roses are planted, you can now pile up the winter protection. Soil moisture is abundant in autumn and is thus maintained until the beginning of winter. Your rose now has enough time to take root in the ground before starting to produce shoots and flowers in spring.

Water rambler roses

Once your rambler has survived its growing season well watered, it will become more frugal in terms of watering. Additional water is only required if it remains really dry for a long time, which is best applied first thing in the morning when it is hot. You can also water in the evening. Then, however, you will need a little more water if the floor is still heated.

Like other roses, the rambler roses are never poured on the leaves; that would be an invitation for mushrooms.

The fertilizer for the ramblers

With correct soil preparation, the nutritional requirements of the rambler roses in the year of planting are covered. So she does not get fertilizer again until next spring when budding begins. Then the same applies to the rambler rose as to all roses: the more leaf mass they form, the higher the need for nutrients, which is quite enormous for the rambler roses.

If you want little work with the fertilizer, it is best to use organic fertilizer. So a well-mixed compost. If you really want to pamper your roses, maybe add a few more horn shavings, and roses should love the charcoal after grilling too. With these organic substances, you don’t need to be too careful about the amount. The roses can help themselves here, as the nutrients are only digested in the soil. The roses get the last fertilizer at the end of July, otherwise the new shoots will not lignify enough by winter and could freeze to death.

Climbing aids for the rambler roses?

Rambler roses do not actually need any climbing aids, they wind their way up a tree or a house wall with their long shoots all by themselves. Wherever the structures allow, the ramblers will hook themselves with their often very hard spikes. However, there are materials that limit the ability of roses to adhere. A rambler rose also needs a climbing aid if it is to grow over a perfectly smooth house wall.

The different varieties of rambler roses

Some well-known ancient varieties that bloom once a season:

  • “Félicité et Perpétue” from 1828 is almost an antique, but it is still convincing today with the flowers growing in rosettes, their fragrance and their good winter hardiness down to around minus 30 degrees.
  • “American Pillar” from 1902 is hardy, frost hardy and easy to care for.
  • As early as 1909, the magical lavender-colored blooming “violet blue” was bred, which blooms in early summer, also grows well in partial shade and is known to be very robust.
  • The “Lykkefund”, bred in 1930 and native to Denmark, is very hardy. It blooms from yellowish pink to creamy white, has a very pleasant smell and is adorned with dark green and shiny foliage.
  • “Bobbie James” was not bred, but was discovered in a garden in 1961. The rose, which blooms white in July, is correspondingly robust; with its strong spines it can conquer large trees.

These varieties of rambler roses pamper you with flowers several times a year:

  • The yellow to orange-salmon-colored blooming “Ghislaine de Féligonde” from 1916 can climb, but it can also be grown as a shrub rose. It blooms several times a year with clear breaks in between, is healthy and quite frost hardy.
  • The “New Dawn”, bred in 1930, was chosen as the world rose, which shows its large, white to pink-tinged flowers several times and in clusters, is extremely easy to care for, suitable for partial shade and robust.
  • It was not until 1986 that the “Super Excelsa” was bred, which blooms profusely and in a striking pink. It transforms every surface into a “cloud in pink”, needs help on its climbing grounds and is considered fungus-resistant.
  • “Super Dorothy” comes from the same year, whose slightly lighter flower looks a bit like a punk version of the Excelsa. It is considered robust and largely resistant to fungi and blooms well into October.

Pruning rambler roses

When it comes to pruning, it basically depends on whether your Rambler blooms once or several times in a row in a season.

The varieties that bloom once bloom on older shoots. So they should be preserved as much as possible if you want to enjoy abundant flowering. Therefore you cut them as little as possible, just thin out old shoots and remove dead wood. This maintenance cut can best be done immediately after flowering, the withering heads are also removed. However, if a rose grows over your head, you can definitely cut it in height. This rejuvenation will only stimulate the rose to grow stronger.

The rambler roses, which bloom more often, do indeed bloom on the new wood, and these new shoots would be all the more abundant if you cut back the multiple bloomers vigorously. But since it is precisely the unusually long shoots that make up a good part of the special appeal of these roses with ramblers, you can encourage the young roses by pruning the branches, but then let them grow. She only gets her maintenance pruning in spring, when damaged shoots are removed, and you can. Otherwise the side shoots are allowed to grow. You can remove dead flowers to make room for replenishment.

Ramblers are offered in many varieties. You are sure to find the rambler rose that is hardy for the forest in your region without much winter protection. Also resists all locally known rose diseases and turns a piece of your garden into a dream of roses.

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