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Rosy Shade

Rose Varieties for Growing in Partial Shade


Rose Eden Climber™ 'Meiviolin'

Rose Eden Climber™ 'Meiviolin'

Courtesy of Star Roses

You probably don't think about roses for a shade garden. However, if your garden doesn't quite get the 5-6 hours of full sun usually recommended for growing roses, you may still be able to grow select varieties of roses. No rose will thrive and bloom without some sun, but there are roses that will do just fine with a little shade.

According to Steve Hutton, President at the Conard-Pyle Company, introducers of Star Roses. “In general the roses that flower the most, like floribundas and shrub roses, will do better in the shade...Anything less than six hours of sun will sacrifice some blooms. But, if you pick a rose that has prolific flowers with big blooms you will have a perfectly happy plant." And pale petaled beauties that can look washed out in bright sunshine seem to glow in partial shade.

No rose will be happy and bloom in full shade, but here are some top rosarian picks for great roses able to perform in partial shade.

Anthony Meilland™ 'Meitalbaz'

Anthony Meilland is a deep, rich shade of yellow that doesn't fade and will glow in shade. A pleasant, mild fragrance and a second bloom in late summer add to its appeal. Anthony Meilland is a bushy, mounded plant ideal for borders, hedges and in the landscape in mass plantings. Zones 6 - 9

Ballerina (Hybrid Musk, 1937)

Dainty, five petaled blooms of pink and white grow in clusters on this beloved hybrid musk shrub, a class noted for their disease resistance, fragrance and shade tolerance. Ballerina can bloom well into the fall and has the bonus of attractive hips. Ballerina can also be trained as a beautiful small climber, to six feet. Zones 5 - 10

Carefree Wonder™ 'Meipitac'

Carefree lives up to its name, adapting to almost any conditions. While the blossoms are exceptional in appearance, the shear quantity of blossoms makes the bush a delight in the garden. Carefree Wonder is a repeat bloomer with single blooms of pink with white edges. Zones 4 - 9

F. J. Grootendorst

It's hard to beat the hybrid Rugosas for toughness and dependability. F. J. Grootendorst is a classic carefree growers. Clusters of double, bright red blossoms are offset by small puckered leathery leaves. Makes a great specimen plant, easily growing as tall as 6 feet. Zones 5 - 9

Fair Bianca® ‘Ausca’

David Austin scored again with this English rose. Fair Bianca has densely petaled pure white blooms with a spicy scent. A compact 3 feet tall bush, Fair Bianca packs all of the great features of David Austin roses: pest resistance, cold hardiness and heat tolerance. Bloom heavily in mid-summer and then sporadically through fall. Zones 4 - 9

Gruss an Aachen

This compact floribunda is covered with buds that open as clusters of salmon pink double flowers and fade to creamy white. Bloom profusely over a long period and doesn't seem to mind partial shade at all. A favorite since its 1909 introduction, Gruss an Aachen grows to about 2 feet wide by 3 feet tall, making it a nice choice for a border or hedge. Zones 5 - 9

Ice Meidiland® 'Meivahyn'

Ice Meidiland is billed as "The perfect rose for busy people". It is one of the new, easy care ground cover roses. The first ground cover roses tended to be real sprawlers, but the latest crop is more well behaved and also more pest resistant. Beautiful white pompom shaped blossoms are shaded with a soft pink. Zones 5 - 9


Iceberg roses have long been the standard to which other floribundas are measured. Iceberg was inducted into the World Federation of Rose Societies Hall of Fame in 1983 and remains a garden classic today. It live up to the category floribunda with lots of icy-white buds that open into double rose blossoms. Zones 5 - 9

10 More Great Roses for Partial Shade - Including Climbers!

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