Roses are often associated with bright, sunny gardens and full exposure to the sun. However, not all gardens are blessed with ample sunlight, and some may have areas of shade that can be challenging for growing traditional rose varieties.
But fear not, for there are many stunning rose varieties that can thrive in shaded areas, providing a burst of color and beauty to even the darkest corners of your garden.
In this article, we will explore some of the most beautiful rose varieties that are well-suited to shade, and offer tips on how to successfully grow them in your shaded garden.
How To Grow Roses In Shaded Areas
Before we get into the best roses that you can grow in shaded areas, let’s first take a look at how to best grow them so that you can get started with your roses as soon as possible! Let’s get started.
Choose The Right Variety Of Rose
Not all rose varieties are well-suited for shaded areas. Look for shade-tolerant roses that are specifically bred for low-light conditions.
Select the Right Location
Even shade-tolerant roses need some sunlight to grow, so it’s important to choose a spot in your garden that receives at least a few hours of direct sunlight each day.
Morning sunlight is ideal as it helps to dry off any dew or moisture that may have accumulated overnight.
Provide Enough Light
This links to the above point regarding selecting the right location, as that location will need to have adequate sunlight at times and not be completely shaded at all times.
Roses need at least 4-6 hours of sunlight per day to thrive, so make sure the shaded area you choose still receives some direct sunlight.
Choose a spot that gets morning sun, as this is less intense than the afternoon sun and will help to dry the leaves- as previously mentioned- and prevent disease.
Provide Adequate Water
Roses grown in shaded areas may not dry out as quickly as those grown in full sun, but they still require regular watering.
Make sure to water deeply and infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
Add Organic Matter to the Soil
Roses grown in shaded areas may struggle with poor soil quality, so it’s important to amend the soil with organic matter.
This can include the likes of leaf mold, aged manure or compost. By using this organic matter, the soil structure will be improved, as will the fertility and drainage of the rose.
Mulch Around the Base of the Plants
A layer of mulch around the base of your roses can help to retain moisture in the soil and suppress weeds. Use a natural mulch such as shredded bark, straw, or leaves.
Regular pruning is essential for healthy rose growth, especially in shaded areas where plants may become leggy and thin.
Prune your roses in late winter or early spring, removing any dead or damaged wood and shaping the plants as needed.
Roses need regular fertilization to encourage healthy growth and blooming.
Use a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 12-12-12, according to the instructions on the package.
These tips can help you on your way to successfully growing beautiful roses in shaded areas of your garden.
All you need to do is remember to be patient and persistent, and with the right care and attention, your shaded rose garden can thrive and bloom for years to come!
Now that you have a good idea as to how to effectively grow your roses, let’s get into the best types of roses to grow in the shade.
1. Lady Banks Rose (Rosa ‘Banksiae’)
The Lady Banks Rose is a thornless, evergreen climbing rose that is native to China. It is an ideal plant for growing in shaded areas, as it can tolerate low-light conditions and is resistant to pests and diseases.
This rose variety produces masses of small, fragrant, creamy-white, or pale yellow flowers in early spring, which can last for several weeks.
One of the most attractive features of Lady Banks Rose is its vigorous growth habit. It can grow up to 20 feet long, making it an excellent choice for covering walls, arbors, trellises, and pergolas.
It also has a spreading growth habit, with stems that can easily be trained to grow horizontally, making it ideal for covering a fence or creating a living green wall.
Lady Banks Rose is a low-maintenance plant that requires little pruning, but it can become unruly if left unattended.
Prune it in late winter or early spring to maintain its shape and prevent it from growing out of control. You can also remove any dead or damaged wood at this time.
Another benefit of Lady Banks Rose is that it is drought-tolerant once established. However, it still requires regular watering during its first year of growth to establish a strong root system.
Water it deeply and infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
2. Zephirine Drouhin (Rosa ‘Zephirine Drouhin’)
This is a highly sought-after rose variety that is prized for its large, fragrant, and deep pink blooms. This thornless climbing rose is a popular choice for shaded areas, as it can tolerate low-light conditions and is resistant to pests and diseases.
Zephirine Drouhin produces large, double blooms that are deep pink in color and highly fragrant.
The flowers can appear throughout the growing season but are most abundant in the late spring and early summer. The blooms are also attractive to bees and butterflies, making it a great choice for pollinator gardens.
The rose is also a vigorous climber that can grow up to 12 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Its long, flexible canes can be trained to grow on walls, fences, or other structures, making it a great option for vertical gardening.
It can also be grown as a standalone specimen if provided with support.
3. Rose ‘Claire Austin’ (Rosa ‘Claire Austin’)
Rose ‘Claire Austin’ is a beautiful English shrub rose that was introduced by David Austin Roses in 2007. It is named after the daughter of David Austin Senior, the founder of the company.
‘Claire Austin’ produces large, cup-shaped flowers that are creamy-white in color and have a strong, sweet fragrance.
The blooms are borne in clusters on strong, upright stems, making them ideal for cutting and bringing indoors. The foliage is a dark green color and is very disease resistant.
This rose is known for its excellent garden performance, as it blooms continuously throughout the season and is very hardy, withstanding harsh winter conditions.
It grows to a height of about 4 feet and a width of about 3 feet, making it a good choice for borders, hedges, or as a specimen plant.
Rose ‘Claire Austin’ can tolerate some shade and still grow and flower, although the number of blooms may be reduced.
If you are planning to plant ‘Claire Austin’ in a shady spot, make sure it still receives at least 4-6 hours of sunlight per day.
You can also improve the growing conditions by amending the soil with organic matter, such as compost, to help it retain moisture and nutrients. Make sure the soil is well-draining, as roses do not like to sit in waterlogged soil.
As well as that, some afternoon shade during the hottest part of the day can help to protect the plant from stress and sunburn. You can do this by planting it near a tall tree or placing a shade cloth over it during the hottest part of the day.
4. Hansa (Rosa ‘Hansa’)
Rosa ‘Hansa’ is a hardy, old garden rose that is also commonly known as the “Hansa” rose or the “Hansa” shrub. It is a cross between Rosa rugosa and Rosa nitida, and it was first introduced in Germany in 1905.
‘Hansa’ is a vigorous, upright shrub that typically grows to be 4-6 feet tall and wide. It has dark green, glossy foliage that provides an attractive backdrop for its large, semi-double blooms.
The flowers are deep pink-purple in color and have a sweet and stong fragrance. They bloom in early summer and continue to bloom sporadically throughout the growing season.
One of the notable characteristics of the ‘Hansa’ rose is its excellent disease resistance, making it a low-maintenance choice for gardeners.
While Rosa ‘Hansa’ prefers full sun, it can tolerate some shade, especially in hot climates. In fact, in areas with extremely hot summers, some afternoon shade can actually be beneficial to the plant, helping to protect it from scorching.
If you are planting Rosa ‘Hansa’ in a shaded area, it’s important to choose a spot that still gets a few hours of direct sunlight each day, as the plant needs some sun to produce its best blooms.
Make sure that the soil is well-draining and not too wet, as Rosa ‘Hansa’ can be susceptible to root rot.
If the shaded area has poor soil, it may be beneficial to amend it with organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure to help improve soil quality and drainage.
5. The Fairy (Rosa ‘The Fairy’)
The Fairy rose is a popular, low-growing shrub rose that is known for its profuse, small pink flowers and excellent disease resistance. It was first introduced in the United States in 1932 and has remained a popular choice for gardens ever since.
The Fairy rose typically grows to a height of 2-3 feet and a width of 3-4 feet. It produces clusters of small, double, pink flowers that bloom continuously throughout the summer and into the fall.
The flowers have a light, sweet fragrance and are very attractive to bees and other pollinators.
This rose is very hardy and disease resistant, making it an excellent choice for beginners or for those who want a low-maintenance rose. It prefers full sun but can tolerate some shade and is adaptable to a variety of soil types.
The Fairy rose is often used as a border plant, groundcover, or as a specimen plant in a mixed border. It can also be grown in containers and is an excellent choice for small gardens or those with limited space.
The Fairy rose is a low-growing shrub rose that can be used as a groundcover or border plant in a shaded area. It is adaptable to a variety of soil types and is generally easy to care for.
To promote healthy growth and blooming, water The Fairy rose regularly and fertilize it with a balanced fertilizer.
Prune the plant regularly to remove any dead, damaged, or diseased wood, as well as any crossing branches that may be blocking light.
Overall, while The Fairy rose prefers full sun, it can still thrive in a partially shaded area with the right care and attention.
6. Queen of Sweden (Rosa ‘Queen of Sweden’)
Queen of Sweden is a beautiful English shrub rose that was introduced by David Austin in 2004. It was named to honor the Swedish royal family, and it’s one of the most popular roses in the David Austin collection.
This rose produces large, cupped blooms that are a soft, delicate pink with a hint of apricot in the center. The flowers are highly fragrant and have a myrrh-like scent with notes of fruit and honey. They bloom in flushes throughout the summer and into the fall.
The foliage of Queen of Sweden is a soft, mid-green color, and it’s highly disease-resistant. The plant grows to a height of around 4 feet and has a rounded, bushy shape. It’s a repeat-bloomer, which means it will produce flowers throughout the growing season.
Queen of Sweden is a versatile rose that is well-suited to a variety of garden styles. It can be used in cottage gardens, mixed borders, or as a specimen plant.
Its soft pink color makes it a good choice for romantic or pastel-colored garden themes, and its sweet fragrance is sure to attract bees and other pollinators to your garden.
When planted in a shaded area, the Queen of Sweden rose may require some additional pruning to maintain its shape and prevent overcrowding.
7. Cécile Brünner (Rosa ‘Cécile Brünner’)
Cécile Brünner is a beautiful climbing rose that is also known as the “Mignon” rose. It was first introduced in 1881 by the French rose breeder, M. Pernet-Ducher.
This rose produces clusters of small, double-pink blooms that are highly fragrant and have a tea rose scent. The flowers bloom in flushes throughout the growing season, from late spring to early fall. The foliage is a medium green color and is disease-resistant.
Cécile Brünner is a climber that can grow up to 20 feet tall and 8 feet wide. This rose is also very adaptable and can thrive in a variety of growing conditions, including coastal regions and hot, dry climates.
Cécile Brünner is a popular choice for trellises, arbors, and fences, where its long canes can be trained to climb and drape over structures. It’s also a good choice for growing as a freestanding shrub or as a groundcover.
This rose is well-suited to cottage gardens, informal landscapes, and mixed borders, where it can add a touch of romantic charm with its delicate blooms and sweet fragrance.
Cécile Brünner roses prefer full sun to partial shade, but they can tolerate some shade.
If you’re growing Cécile Brünner roses in a location with less than six hours of direct sunlight per day, it’s important to make sure they receive enough air circulation and are planted in well-draining soil to prevent disease.
Too much shade can also result in fewer blooms and weaker growth. However, Cécile Brünner is a very adaptable rose and can thrive in a variety of growing conditions, including some shade, as long as it receives adequate moisture and nutrients.
8. Rosa Glauca (Rosa rubrifolia)
Rosa glauca, also known as Rosa rubrifolia, is a species of rose that is native to central and Southern Europe. It’s a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide.
The leaves of this rose are unique, with a blue-green color and a reddish-purple tint on the undersides, which makes them stand out in the garden.
In the spring, Rosa glauca produces small, pink flowers that are followed by ornamental red hips in the fall.
While the blooms of this rose are not particularly showy, the foliage and hips make up for it with their unique beauty. The hips of this rose are also edible and can be used to make teas and jellies.
Rosa glauca is a tough and hardy rose that can tolerate a range of growing conditions, including full sun to partial shade and a variety of soil types. It’s also highly disease-resistant and requires minimal maintenance.
This rose is a great choice for adding texture and interest to mixed borders, cottage gardens, or naturalistic landscapes. It can also be grown as a hedge or used to create a naturalized area.
Too much shade can result in weaker growth and fewer flowers, but as a hardy plant, Rosa glauca can still thrive in some shade as long as it receives enough moisture and nutrients.
9. Rose ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’ (Rosa ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’)
Rose ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’ is yet another vigorous, climbing rose that can grow up to 30 feet long, making it an excellent choice for covering walls, fences, and arbors. It’s also known for its sweet and intense fragrance, which can fill the surrounding air.
This rose produces small, pale pink flowers in large clusters, which appear in late spring and early summer.
The flowers are followed by small, bright red hips, which add ornamental value to the plant in the fall. The foliage is a medium green color and has a slightly glossy appearance.
It’s a very hardy plant that can tolerate a range of growing conditions, including windy and exposed locations. This hardy nature allows the plant to grow well, even in the shade, so long as the moisture and nutrients within the soil is sufficient.
It’s also highly disease-resistant and requires minimal maintenance, making it an easy plant to grow.
10. Blush Noisette Rose (Rosa ‘Blush Noisette’)
The Blush Noisette rose is a beautiful climbing rose that produces clusters of small, delicate, blush-pink flowers with a sweet fragrance. This rose variety is a member of the Noisette rose group, which originated in the early 19th century in Charleston, South Carolina.
The Blush Noisette rose typically grows up to 10-12 feet in height and 6-8 feet in width. It is a repeat bloomer, producing blooms from late spring to fall.
The flowers are borne in large clusters and have a soft pink color that fades to a lighter blush as they mature. They are very fragrant and attract pollinators like bees and butterflies.
This rose is disease resistant and tolerant of heat and humidity, making it a great choice for southern gardens. It prefers full sun but can tolerate some shade and is adaptable to a variety of soil types.
The Blush Noisette rose is a strong climber that can be trained to grow up trellises, arbors, and walls. It can also be grown as a freestanding shrub or used as a groundcover.
It is a great choice for adding vertical interest to a garden or for creating a romantic and fragrant arbor.
Due to this climbing nature, the Blush Noisette may require some additional training and support to grow up and over structures to reach the sun if planted in the shade.
If you love roses but have limited sunlight in your garden, there are still several shade-tolerant varieties that you can grow. These roses not only tolerate shade but also offer beautiful blooms, fragrances, and disease resistance.
When planting roses in a shaded area, it’s important to choose the right variety, provide enough sunlight, improve the soil, mulch, water regularly, prune regularly, and fertilize.
By following these tips and selecting the right rose variety, you can successfully grow beautiful and healthy roses in shaded areas.
Remember, while roses may require some extra care and attention when grown in partial shade, they are well worth the effort for the beauty and fragrance they bring to your garden.