With their stunning beauty and symbolic significance, it’s easy to see why gardeners choose to add roses to their landscape. But, even the most experienced gardeners can find the task of selecting roses a bit daunting. There is a plethora of varieties to choose from that come in a wide array of shapes, colors, heights, fragrance, and more.
Get to know the basic distinguishing features of roses so that you can better narrow down your search for the perfect roses for your home garden. As you begin your search for the best rose to plant for your garden’s needs, there are several factors worth considering. Disease resistance, fragrance, bloom-time, thorniness, rose hips, height, landscape usage, color, and planting zone, and maintenance level are all important aspects to think about before you go shopping.
First, let’s consider where you will be planting your roses. The fun thing about roses is that, depending on the variety that you choose, they can grow in a wide array of planting spaces and fulfill a whole host of garden solutions.
- Hedge: Create a welcoming entrance or backyard hedge by planting standard roses underplanted with perennials or flowering annuals along the length of your driveway or backyard. You can also use the tall Spire roses that produce pickable, hybrid blooms.
- Beds and Borders: Roses add appeal and glamour to flower-filled borders. Varying heights, shapes, and sumptuous blooms make a statement within a perimeter. Standard roses also provide the perfect environment for underplanting, adding height and depth.
- Containers: Plant your roses in containers wherever you want a dash of pizazz. Container roses can be intermixed in gardens or perform very well as stand-alone showstoppers.
- Trellis, Fence, or Arbor: Trellises, arbors, fences, and walls provide structure in gardens but can appear bare. Adding climbing roses to one or more of these features can soften the landscape considerably.
- Groundcover: Groundcover roses are solid performers with a low, spreading habit that is perfect for covering sloping or rocky areas. These low-maintenance, groundcover roses display a carpet of vibrant blooms all summer long with very little maintenance.
Garden roses are generally hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, with some varieties demonstrating greater heat or cold tolerance, from USDA zones 2 through 11. Always cross-check your garden zone with the recommended zone of the roses that you choose.
- Different rose varieties will vary in its level of resistance to diseases such as mildew and black spot. The best way to grow roses successfully is to choose robust, disease-resistant varieties, which give these beautiful bloomers the best chance of thriving in your garden for years to come.
- The David Austin varieties combine the fragrance of old roses with the disease resistance and repeat-blooming quality of modern roses. Add varieties like The Mayflower, Winchester Cathedral, and Graham Thomas for exceptional showstopping varieties.
- For high disease resistance, try the deeply pigmented Black Cherry™ Floribunda Rose, which works well as a low hedge or container plant as well as a border standout. Another quality group fo roses are the old fashioned varieties like the extremely hardy and healthy and often very fragrant, Rosa Apothecary or Rosa Ballerina.
Roses vary in the fragrance level from unscented to very strong scents. Gardeners can have their choice of roses that emit scents like apple, spicy, clover, orris, and even sweet lemon. Try adding the highly fragrant and hardy Rosa Blanc Double de Coubert to your garden this year.
Do you want showy blooms that bloom once and then are done, or do you desire continuous bloomers that repeatedly bloom throughout the season? Some varieties produce their fragrant and showy blooms only once, while others flower over a much more extended period throughout the growing season. It’s worth selecting these repeat-flowering roses because you can reap the rewards of their blooms throughout the season of warm summer days.
Roses even vary in the number of thorns that they have on their stems. For less thorny varieties, consider the Amadis Rambler or the color-changing Blue Magenta climber varieties. The fruity-fragranced Rosa Goldfinch also offers a nearly thornless multicolored rambling rose
Rose Hips are the seed of the fruit of the rose plant, and they are commonly collected and used in teas.
Height and Color
Select rose varieties based on the height of their growth potential compared with where you plan on using the roses in your landscape design. Consider the color of your house and other structures, and existing colors in your garden and select those that complement or contrast on the color wheel.
Some rose plants require a significant amount of pruning and deadheading for the plant to grow more blooms. On the other hand, some varieties are rather self-sustaining, requiring very little maintenance.
Other Factors to Consider:
- When buying roses, always inspect the root system for health. If the roots have been cut back too drastically or if the main stem has a poor graft, it may not thrive once planted.
- Look at the rose plant for insect damage or signs of disease. Inspect any petals that have bloomed and check the stems carefully for blemishes.
- Select types of roses that are low maintenance, hardy, and resistant to disease.
- You can buy roses from your local nursery or open up the door to an enormous variety of roses via mailorder. When ordered, they will ship right to your door.