Plant the Right Rose

P. Allen Smith shares his favorite rose varieties with suggestions for choosing the right roses for your garden
roses that tolerate shade, roses for small spaces, carefree roses
‘Buff Beauty’ roses tolerate light shade and have fragrant blooms borne in clusters. Photo by Jason Masters

I grow more than 30 varieties of roses, from shrubs to climbers.

Some people tell me that they can’t get roses to grow, and that’s just not true. It’s a matter of selecting the right rose for the situation and making sure the soil conditions are right.

Choose The Right Rose for Your Garden

Carefree Roses

‘MARIE PAVIE’ Fragrant white roses bloom contin­uously throughout the season and are nearly thornless (zones 5–9).
‘NEW DAWN’ This pale­ pink climbing rose blooms in the spring and sporadically in the summer (zones 5–9).
‘OLD BLUSH’ This fragrant heavy bloomer requires little attention, and in the fall it produces a nice display of rose hips (zones 6–9).

Fragrant Roses

‘MILWAUKEE’S CALATRAVA’™ This hybrid rose with pure white double flowers is one of my favorites and will bloom almost continually from spring to winter (zones 5–9).
‘LADY EMMA HAMILTON’ This English rose has an intoxicating scent and adds bold pops of color to the garden with its tangerine blooms that fade to yellow outer petals (zones 5–9).
‘RUSSELL’S COTTAGE’ This old-­fashioned shrub rose blooms once each season, but it will fill the garden with the most enticing aroma. The plant will be full of medium-sized cerise-colored flowers in the spring (zones 5–9).
See our favorite fragrant roses.

Roses that Tolerate Light Shade

‘BUFF BEAUTY’ These fragrant, medium-­sized apricot blooms are borne in clusters (zones 6–9).
‘GRUSS AN AACHEN’ Large pink blooms with hints of yellow appear repeat­edly over the summer (zones 6–9).
‘LAMARQUE’ This pale­ cream Noisette blooms well into December in my garden (zones 7–9).

Roses for Small Spaces

‘WHITE PET’ Fully double, white roses adorn this di­minutive shrub. It’s perfect for containers or other tight spaces where you want to add blooms and fragrance (zones 5–9).
‘CALDWELL PINK’ This rose will reward you with nonstop pink flowers on a compact shrub. It requires little maintenance and will thrive in just about any soil (zones 6–9).
‘CÉCILE BRÜNNER’ She has never let me down! This rose produces a treasure box of miniature hybrid tea­–shaped blooms all summer long. I never have to spray it for black spots or insects, and it thrives in partial shade (zones 5–9).

Roses for Cold Climates

‘ALCHYMIST’ It only blooms once, but the size and profusion of the apricot blooms and its carefree nature make it a rose worth growing (zones 4-9).
‘FANTIN-LATOUR’ Flat, multipetaled pink blooms appear amid dark green foliage. It’s nearly thornless, making it a favorite cut flower (zones 4-9).
‘THE FAIRY’ It produces clusters of petite pink blooms all summer long and is a great rose to plant among your favorite annuals and perennials for a lovely mixed flower border (zones 4-9).

By P. Allen Smith | Photo by Jason Masters

P. Allen Smith, an author, television host, and flower enthusiast, is one of America’s most recognized garden and design experts. Smith uses his Arkansas home, Moss Mountain Farm, as an epicenter for promoting the local food movement, organic gardening, and the preservation of heritage poultry breeds. He created his farm to serve as a place of inspiration, education and conservation, and he offers tours to visitors from around the country. For reservations, visit   

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