Fragrant Roses

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Roses in Shade

Roses that Bloom in the Shade

Most roses need five to six hours of sun to prosper and bloom and there are indeed very few roses that tolerate or even enjoy being in partial shade.
No known variety will thrive in full shade. There are some miniatures and a few climbing and shrub roses that are fairly shade tolerant and will adjust to partial shade.

Roses are natural sun lovers and no matter what variety you choose, most will produce less bloom even in partial shade. However, it is possible to select roses that do okay in the shade, and that do not noticeably lose any blooms. Those that can be adapted will produce larger and more lush bloom and foliage. Pale colored roses actually look better in the shade because shading helps them fully display their colors, where they would appear somewhat faded looking in full sun.

Here are some suitable varieties if you want to try to grow roses in partial shade:

Rosa 'Ballerina'

Ballerina is a variety of a hybrid musk rose producing single, very dainty five petaled flowers which grow in clusters. The flowers are pink and white, and held erect and above the foliage, creating a beautiful display.

As with all musk roses, Ballerina has a distinct and delightful fragrance. Because it is naturally disease resistant and tolerant of partial shade, this is a variety that is relatively easy to care for. It will bloom well into the autumn, creating a long blooming season and will then produce vividly colored attractive hips.

It can be trained as a climber, but looks better in its natural shrub form. Ballerina is a versatile easy to grow rose and makes an excellent subject for growing in part shade.

Knock-Out Rose

Rosa 'Radrazz', otherwise known as Knock-Out Rose is the award winning rose variety that is the most shade tolerant of any rose variety.

The bright, cherry red blossoms are in a perpetual state of growth and production. The mildly fragrant bloom starts in early spring and continues the cycle through the summer, autumn, and even into winter.

Not only is the Knock-Out tolerant of partial shade, it is also disease and drought resistant. Resistance to blackspot makes it a good subject for areas of high humidity. This versatile rose is a superior choice for beginners and pros alike as it practically guarantees success.


Playboy is perhaps the most spectacular of the shade tolerant roses. It produces glossy foliage which sets of the bloom to perfection. The semi-double flowers are fairly large. Bloom color starts out in shades of yellow and then progresses to orange and finally reaches a deep red color as it ages and fades.

Playboy has a very dramatic appearance and is beautiful at all stages as well as disease resistant. Being fairly easy to grow makes it a good choice for your part-shade garden and is especially suitable for a border or as a hedge.

Rosa 'Zephirine Drouhin'

Zephirine Drouhin is a well known old fashioned climbing rose with the added attraction of having thornless canes.

The rich dark green foliage contrasts beautifully with brightly colored pink blossoms which are borne in profusion even in partial shade. This is a great rose for training over an arbor or trellis where it's clouds of intensely fragrant flowers can be admired from spring through fall.

No matter which of the above rose varieties you select, you are sure to succeed with very little effort and experience the pleasure of fragrant roses, even in partial shade.

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