Romantic Rambling Roses
This Program Services
presentation created by
Jolene Adams
What is a Rambling Rose?
a rose with long, rambling canes?
a member of a specific class of roses?
a member of a historic group of roses?
a member of a group of roses with specific
• a member of a group of roses with similar
growth habits?
Rambler Characteristics
• Ramblers bloom once a year for
approximately 3 - 6 weeks
• Pliable, long canes
• Abundant new canes yearly
• Hardy, vigorous growth
• Clusters of blooms all along the canes
Bloom characteristics
• Clusters of blooms along the length of
the cane
• Bloom on previous year’s growth
• Most have a nodding or drooping effect
• Visual appeal when hanging from trees,
arches, pergolas
Differences between climbers
and ramblers
• Often sports of modern
• Many have H. gigantea
• Large, thick, inflexible
• Climbing habit
• Mostly remontant
• Most are multiflora or
wichurana hybrids
• Long, thin, flexible
• Many new canes every
• Mounding habit
• Mostly once blooming
There are three groups of
Rambling Roses
• Multiflora ramblers
• Wichurana ramblers
• “Other” ramblers
The origins of the multiflora
Multiflora Ramblers get their name from their
dominant breeding parent Rosa multiflora, a species
rose from the orient. Known for its rampant vigor,
long arching, pliable canes and fragrance.
R. multiflora can be identified as one of the main
parents in the lineage of almost all ramblers in some
way or another.
R. multiflora ‘carnea’
Multiflora Ramblers
Charles Turner, an English rose breeder, hybridized
the first of this group, Crimson Rambler, a rose with
large, double red blooms. Crimson Rambler was
bred in 1893. It set off a fervor of breeding that
continued for the next thirty years only to be replaced
with the modern, repeat blooming, large flowered
climbers we know today.
Turner’s Crimson Rambler
Rambling Rector
Phyllis Bide
Ghislaine de Feligonde
The origins of the wichurana
In the early 20th century, an American
hybridizer, Michael Walsh, crossed some
old garden roses with Rosa multiflora
and another species rose, Rosa
wichurana, leading to the creation of
another rambler group.
R. wichurana
Dorothy Perkins
Alberic Barbier
Origins of the “other” ramblers:
hybrids of:
Anemone (laevigata hybrid)
Kew Rambler (soulieana hybrid)
Paul’s Himalayan Musk
(brunonii hybrid)
Kiftsgate (filipes hybrid)
Mermaid (bracteata hybrid)
Pruning in general
• Immediately after flowering, cut out most of the older
wood that has flowered in previous years close to
ground level. If there is not much older wood, remove
about one in three of the older stems.
• Remove the three 'Ds': dead, dying or diseased
• Tie in the new growth to enable it to flower next year.
Prune back the tips of new shoots to encourage
flowering the following year.
• Shorten the side shoots by about a third and tie them
Pruning multiflora ramblers
Multiflora ramblers can grow new canes
from anywhere on the old canes, as well
as from the base of the plant. After
flowering, remove any dead, diseased, or
spindly growth.
Tie new canes if practical, otherwise
allow the bush to mound.
Pruning wichurana ramblers
Wichurana ramblers flower on one year
old shoots produced from the base of
the plant. When planting new bare root
plants, prune the canes to 9 to 15
inches. Train the vigorous new growth
horizontally on a support. There will be
no flowers the first season, but profuse
flowering the next.
Pruning wichurana ramblers
Strong young basal shoots will
develop during the spring and fall.
These ramblers can be renewed each
year by removing the older flowering
canes at the base of the bush after
they complete their blooming cycle,
leaving only the new basal canes.
Pruning “other” ramblers
The ‘other’ ramblers are roses that are
extremely vigorous, capable of growing 20 feet
in one season. Examples are 'Kiftsgate,'
'Francis E. Lester,' 'Wedding Day' and 'Paul's
Himalayan Musk.' These roses are best used
as a ground cover or to grow up into trees. Very
little pruning is necessary, except when a plant
begins to overwhelm a tree. Pruning can be
done to reduce the length of the canes or whole
branches can be removed at the base.
Current ARS classifications
Hybrid multiflora
Hybrid wichurana
Large-flowered Climbers
“Other” hybrids
Be sure to check the Handbook or
Modern Roses before exhibiting
Where to find them
Ashdown Roses,
Heirloom Roses,
The Uncommon Rose,
Roses Unlimited,
High Country Roses,
Sequoia Nursery,
Vintage Gardens,
Rogue Valley Roses,
• Pickering,
• Mendocino Heirloom Roses,
• Hortico,
Power Point programs on roses are available for
download from the ARS website, ‘members only
They are offered to our members for use by a local or
district rose society or an ARS Judging or Consulting
Rosarian school.
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