While most roses thrive on regular watering, these tough beauties need little to no irrigation once their roots are established
Kathleen N. Brenzel
1 of 7Jerry Kirkhart (via Flickr Creative Commons)
A native California shrub, this rose can eventually form large spiny thickets to 4-8 feet tall from suckering roots. Fragrant single flowers open from long, pointed buds; bright red hips appear after flowering.
2 of 7Linda Lamb Peters
‘Lady Banks’ (Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’)
This climber looks delicate, with rich green leaves on thornless branches, and petite blooms. Give it room to spread and a sturdy trellis, though; one old R. banksiae specimen in Tombstone Arizona, which locals call “The Shady Lady,” has a spread of more than 8,000 square feet! Of course, it’s more than 100 years old.
3 of 7tesselaarusa/ flickr creative commons
Flower Carpet roses
Well named, these dense, compact bushes bloom spring through summerr, when they themselves with clusters of small but colorful blooms. ‘Amber’ has soft orange-yellow blooms tinged with peach; ‘Appleblossom’ has soft pastel pink blooms late sprint to fall; ‘Pink Supreme’ has vivid rose pink blooms that pair well with English lavender. All are disease resistant.
4 of 7S. Rae (via Flickr Creative Commons)
R. rugosa ‘Alba’
Single blooms with tufted yellow centers appear mostly in spring on this tough shrub. The branches are prickly and leaves crinkled, but the plant is tough (withstands freeze, wind, drought, and more), and it makes a great hedge. Red-orange hips are a bonus in fall.
5 of 7Thomas J. Story
Another David Austin English rose, ‘Molineux’ grows upright to about 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide, with old-fashioned looking blooms. It’s nearly disease free—excellent in beds, borders, and containers. We’ve draped ours over a split-tail fence, where it blooms most heavily in spring.
6 of 7Linda Lamb Peters
‘Fourth of July’
A vigorous climber, 10 to 14 feet tall, this beauty pumps out big sprays of semi-double flowers variously marked with red and white. Unlike most climbers that bloom only at stem ends, this one blooms along the entire length of its canes. It’s a real show-off, especially in late spring.
7 of 7Thomas J. Story
‘Cl. Cecile Brunner’
This climbing rose can grow as tall as 25 feet. Long-lived and disease resistant, it tolerates everything from poor soil to partial shade, and blooms most heavily in spring, when it covers itself with tiny, lightly scented blooms. Make sure to give it a strong trellis or arbor!