Rambling roses are a beautiful addition to any garden. They come in particularly useful if you want to soften a harsh structure such as a garden pergola, or need to make a garage or shed blend in with the rest of your plot.
Gardening expert Monty Don explains why you need to prune your rambling roses this month.
Writing on his blog, the Gardener's World host begins by saying that it's important to keep dead-heading roses as the petals fade. Why is regular dead-heading so important?
It's because it will encourage repeat-flowering. 'Some roses have now finished all that they are going to do this year,' he writes.
'Most ramblers fall into this category.' As soon as your rambling rose has finished flowering, it's time to prune them, says Monty. Read up on how to grow a rose garden for expert tips and guidance if you're not confident on how to prune.
Some examples of rose varieties that he says will now need to be pruned are ‘Wedding Day’, ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’ or ‘Felicite Perpetue.’ Careful pruning during the non-flowering season of your rambling rose will of course benefit its lifespan, enabling it to flower well each year.
If you're not totally sure if your rose bushes are ramblers or climbers, Monty Don says that ramblers tend to grow more vigorously, with lots of small flowers. Rambling rose blooms will not repeat, unlike climbing roses which will flower repeatedly.
Pruning is especially important in smaller gardens so that unruly rose plants don't take over. So ensure you cut unkempt growth and dead or spindly growth right back to the ground. Tie any newer growth to your trellis or straining wire, or cut them back.
'If training round a vertical support it is best to wind the stems in a spiral,' says Monty. 'The more horizontal the stems can be trained, the more flowers will be produced next year.'
Pruning your rambling rose in July is a key step in creating an attractive plant with a good shape and even coverage. A little bit of careful grooming will ultimately result in a more professional-looking display - and don't panic if you think you've gone too far. It's almost impossible to kill a rose bush by too much pruning.