This section of roses includes varieties from several often unrelated lines of development. While the act of lumping them all together here is taxonomically incorrect, it facilitates creating a way that you, the reader, can find roses with a common habit: tall roses that are trainable as climbers.
The term "climber" is a sort of "catch-all" that is used to describe any rose that grows tall, and can include such things as the Hybrid Tea, 'Altissimo', as well as the Ramblers such as 'American Pillar, 'New Dawn', 'Dorothy Perkins', and Veilchenblau'. Climbers may be descended from species such as R. wichurana, R. multiflora, R. bracteata, and R. gigantea, all of which have tall, wiry growing habits.
Many of these are once-blooming plants, and as such, they produce their bloom on wood that they made in the previous year. The key here is to avoid fall/winter pruning at all costs! If you cut off any wood in the winter, you will be sacrificing all your blooms in the spring! I hear from many people complaints about their roses which, no matter how hard they prune late in winter, they never get any flowers! Often, it turns out that the rose they speak of is a once-bloomer. All they needed to know is that all pruning of these roses needs to be done in the period immediately after blooming is over, up until about mid-july, depending on where you live.
Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 1996-2003