Imagine a rose sending its branches loosely up a wall or arch or tumbling over an old stone wall. Trailing roses hit the sweet spot between climbing rose and ground cover. In case you’re not familiar with trailing roses, they’re more similar to rambling roses than climbing ones.
A rambler tends to only flower once, unlike repeat-blooming climbing roses. It has clusters of five blooms and five leaves, as opposed to seven for climbing roses.
Ramblers also often spread more vigorously than climbers, with flexible stems that are as happy draping along the ground as over a trellis or arch.
- Roses that Trail
- How to Plant Roses
- Where to Plant Trailing Roses
- Westerland Rose (Rosa ‘Westerland’)
- Sea Foam Rose (Rosa ‘Sea Foam’)
- Rambling Rector Rose (Rosa ‘Rambling Rector’)
- Albertine Rose (Rosa ‘Albertine’)
- Lady Banks Rose (Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’) – A Sunny Rose that Trails
- Nozomi Rose (Rosa ‘Nozomi’) – A Miniature Rose that Trails
- Ghislaine de Féligonde Rose (Rosa ‘Ghislaine de Féligonde’)
Roses that Trail
As with any rose type, trailing roses come in many colors and sizes. Once you’ve found the trailing rose of your dreams, plant it in your garden as you would for other roses.
How to Plant Roses
Dig a hole as deep as the root ball but slightly wider. Mix bone meal or superphosphate into the removed soil, and compost if it is of poor quality.
Gently remove a container rose from its pot, loosening its roots slightly. For a bare-root rose, soak the roots for 12 hours, then make a mound of removed soil in the hole.
In either case, place the root ball in the hole so the graft union is just below soil level, gently separating the roots. Fill the hole, water, then add more soil. Pat it down, water deeply, and add mulch.
Where to Plant Trailing Roses
In general, roses enjoy full sun and well-drained, fertile, acidic, or neutral loam. Place them somewhere protected from the wind yet not right under a tree.
Ramblers, in particular, need room to expand. Try growing these rose bushes over a trellis, arch, or pergola, or let them spill over the ground.
Westerland Rose (Rosa ‘Westerland’)
This rose has shiny dark-green leaves and clusters of large, strong-smelling, copper-orange or apricot double flowers from summer to fall. The Westerland rose excels in a bed or border or climbing over a wall.
Propagate it using hardwood cuttings in the fall or chip budding in the summer. Place this rose in full sun and somewhat fertile, moist, well-draining soil. It makes an excellent cut flower.
Feed your plant balanced fertilizer and mulch in late winter or early spring, and fertilizer again in early summer. One deep watering a week is enough, or every four to five days in a hot, dry climate.
Sea Foam Rose (Rosa ‘Sea Foam’)
This compact rose produces white double blooms, repeat blooming if you keep up with deadheading. The Sea Foam rose excels as a shrub, climbing over supports or trellises, or as ground cover.
Put it in a site with full sun, fast-draining soil, and good air circulation to prevent black spot. Distribute organic compost and mulch when planting.
Give Sea Foam one deep watering a week. Apply all-purpose fertilizer in early spring when leaves first appear, a second time before the first big blooms, and again in midsummer.
Rambling Rector Rose (Rosa ‘Rambling Rector’)
In late spring or early summer, this rose boasts clusters of fragrant, semi-double white blooms with prominent yellow stamens on its arching stems. It has small red hips in the fall.
Use Rambling Rector to cover an eyesore or wall or scramble through a tree. Propagate it using hardwood cuttings in the fall or chip budding in the summer. It does best in full sun but tolerates some shade.
Plant this rose in fertile, moist, well-draining soil. Water the plant generously until established. Feed it balanced fertilizer in late winter or early spring.
Albertine Rose (Rosa ‘Albertine’)
This vigorous climber has purplish arching stems, glossy dark-green leaves, and fragrant blooms in spring or summer. Its reddish-salmon buds open into pink double flowers that look lovely in a bouquet.
Try the Albertine rose in a bed, border, or container, or climbing over a wall or arbor. Plant it in the fall in full sun and fertile, moist, fast-draining soil.
Give the Albertine rose one deep watering per week if there’s no rain. Feed your rose all-purpose granular fertilizer in the early spring when its leaves start growing, and again when the blooms begin to bud.
Lady Banks Rose (Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’) – A Sunny Rose that Trails
This evergreen climbing rose flaunts thornless branches up to 20 feet long and small single or double, yellow, or white springtime blooms. Try draping it over a trellis, arch, or pergola or putting it near a wall.
Since the Lady Banks rose multiplies quickly, prune it after blooming to keep it under control. Take softwood cuttings during the growing season, transplanting them outdoors in the spring or fall.
Alternatively, take hardwood cuttings during the winter and plant them outside in early spring. Find a site with full sun and well-drained soil. This rose does not need any fertilizer, but water it deeply. It appreciates extra water in hot, dry conditions.
Nozomi Rose (Rosa ‘Nozomi’) – A Miniature Rose that Trails
This miniature rose has many small leaves, very thorny stems, and pearly-pink or white single flowers in late spring and early summer. Nozomi reblooms in the fall if deadheaded. It grows as a low mat or in a container, cascades over walls, or climbs.
Plant a container rose in May or bare-root rose in February. Alternatively, propagate this rose with hardwood cuttings in the fall or chip budding during summer. Nozomi thrives in full sun and fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil.
Apply balanced fertilizer and mulch in late winter or early spring, and more fertilizer in the summer. Give it approximately one inch of water per week. The Nozomi rose appreciates compost to improve water retention.
Ghislaine de Féligonde Rose (Rosa ‘Ghislaine de Féligonde’)
This compact, thornless rambler has light-green leaves, decorative autumn hips, and clusters of repeat blooms between early summer and fall. Its small double blooms start apricot, then turn buff and have yellow stamens.
Plant Ghislaine de Féligonde against a trellis or wall or as a shrub. Propagate it using hardwood cuttings in the fall or chip budding in the summer.
Grow it in full sun and fertile, moist, well-draining soil. Water your rose regularly and feed it balanced fertilizer and mulch in late winter or early spring.
Do you have a fence or bare patch of ground that you’ve been hoping to cover? Or, maybe you’ve always wanted to put in a trellis or arch.
Trailing roses are ideal for any of these situations. Large and sprawling or more contained, they come in colors ranging from white to apricot and more.
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