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Thread: Rambler roses - how to prune?

  1. #1
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    I have several old-fashioned rambler roses that came with my house... who knows how old they are; I've lived here for 20 years and they were obviously mature even that long ago. They are growing along the back wall of the garage - about four of them - and they pretty much have swallowed the entire wall, all the way up to the roof. You'd never know it, but there are four trellises behind them. The roses, though, have reached out about four feet from the wall. I've procrastinated on pruning them (again) because it's, well, a rather unpleasant and prickly job.

    Anybody else out there growing rambler roses? How do YOU deal with their... uh... exuberant growth? Do you prune them every year?

  2. #2
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    love to see a photo of them

  3. #3
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    They're not so beautiful right now...

    When they bloom, they form a virtual wall of hot pink, then they fade a bit lighter. But being ramblers, they only bloom but once a year.

    Their bloom time overlaps with a brilliant royal blue Japanese iris that I've planted in front of them, and that color is echoed pretty closely by the Jackmani violet-purple clematis that is on a trellis nearby. Then there are perennial sweetpeas that try to climb up on all this... and then the sweet autumn clematis that tries to outdo one of the roses and...

    If you're sensing garden chaos here, you're absolutely right.

  4. #4
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    that would be a hard job to thin out as you would get stuck all the time

    we had an old rose bush that we tore out when we moved to this house was too big and along the fence line

  5. #5
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    I'm thinking of just taking it ALL out except for the five or so new canes per plant. I'll sacrifice most of the blooms for next year, of course, but at least the daylilies and iris will have a chance to get some light again.

    I have some wonderful long leather gloves to wear for this task, so it's not a totally awful job. But it will probably take a couple of days to get it done. Too hot right now to do it all in one stretch!

  6. #6
    Super Member icon17's Avatar
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    You know I have a wild type rose and last fall just cut the *&*!!! out of it and boy do'es it look good! I really think you could do the same thing and they will be just great. They are alot harder to kill than most people think.

  7. #7
    Super Member sewmuchmore's Avatar
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    You can cut it back to the ground and they grow back. I have a rambler and when DH can move around it he cuts away.

  8. #8
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    Some things bloom on New wood. Others bloom on Old Wood. try cutting it back and see what happens

  9. #9
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    We have butchered them, and they come back every year LOL
    As long as you leave some stock above the ground, you really cannot hurt them any. :D:D:D

  10. #10
    Super Member I go To The Sea To Breathe's Avatar
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    my husband weed wacks and mows them down and they come right back the next year a little bit tamer. Mine are yellow. I call them my thorn bushes that has roses.

  11. #11
    Power Poster sharon b's Avatar
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    If they are what I have they are a PITA :hunf: And mine lay on the ground and then reroot coming up here and there :shock: I butchered mine last week ! I just use the pruners and cut small areas at a time until I get it cut back. Wish I could fins a way to stop it from traveling all over the place :?

  12. #12
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    I prune back & shape my rose bushes every year. I learned a long time ago to not let plants take over more space than I want them to. Pruning will not stop next year's blooms & actually keeps them healthier as they need air circulation to avoid diseases in high humidity.

  13. #13
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I think I need that kind of rose. I always tried growing rose bushes here, and they never make it thrugh a Winter!

  14. #14
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    I always looked for clumps of 5 leaves to prune back to, so they will branch.Sounds like you have a big job ahead.

  15. #15
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    mine are on a rail around the sunporch....after they bloom I trim them way back...they are a mess to clean up with all pedals rotting underneath but they bloom so much better the following summer. it is a prickly job but I have canvas gloves and wear long sleeves...

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