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  • All My Loving™ is a great rose for hot and dry climates. It is a true Hybrid Tea with long cutting stems, shapely flower buds and long-lasting color. Photo by: Weeks Roses.
  • Another good option for hot and dry gardens is Doris Day, a Floribunda rose with old-fashioned blooms and a sweet and spicy fruity aroma. Photo by: Weeks Roses.
  • Tropical Lightning™, a climbing rose, also grows well in warm, arid regions. A fast grower, it reaches mature size and full display in just 3 years. Photo by: Weeks Roses.
  • Violet’s Pride™ is a favorite of gardeners in the cool, wet Pacific Northwest. This prolific blooming rose features dense foliage, resilience from diseases and a sophisticated grapefruit-like scent. Photo by: Weeks Roses.
  • Another great choice for cool and rainy climates, Pretty Lady Rose™ is elegant and strong. It’s compact habit makes it well suited for smaller gardens or pots. Photo by: Weeks Roses.
  • Watercolors Home Run® is a shrub rose that thrives in hot, humid climates. It is naturally disease resistant and produces flowers from spring well into fall. Photo by: Weeks Roses.
  • Children’s Hope™ is a good option for gardens in the Northeast or Midwest that experience cold winters. This shrub rose is a blooming machine with a compact, round shape. Photo by: Weeks Roses.

With the myriad varieties of roses available via garden centers and online retailers, it’s hard to avoid making impulse purchases. If you start with a plan and know your limitations, you are less likely to suffer buyer’s remorse. Here are some tips for making wise selections.

  1. Do your research.
    Local nurseries will generally carry roses that do well in your growing zone. However, if you are ordering bare-root roses online, be sure to research the recommended growing conditions, soil preparation requirements, and planting instructions. The American Rose Society is a great resource for finding named rose varieties best suited to various locations and preferences.
  2. Come up with a plan.
    Decide on the ultimate use for your roses. Will they be used as focal points in the garden, in mass plantings, as border shrubs, or as climbing plants to adorn an arbor or fence? Once you determine the purpose, you can choose the right variety of rose for your space.
  3. Grow what you like.
    Don’t be easily seduced by the gorgeous photos of roses on display in retailers’ catalogs. Make sure any rose you buy meets your list of criteria in terms of color, fragrance, size, care requirements, and other important traits. Adhering to these parameters will also help you narrow down your options.
  4. Look at the tag.
    Roses are graded according to their quality, which should be noted on the tag. The best plants are those designated as Grade No. 1, which means they have three or more healthy canes and a strong root system. Lower grades may be cheaper, but the plants are usually weaker and require greater care in transplanting. Also look for the All-American Rose Selection (AARS) designation given by the American Rose Society. These varieties have been tested in public gardens nationwide and have been judged to be superior in disease resistance, flower production, color, and fragrance.
  5. Order by mail.
    If your local nursery doesn’t offer the rose varieties that suit your fancy, browse the various online mail-order nurseries. There are many reputable retailers that specialize in high-quality bare-root roses (see this list of sources from Weeks Roses). Just remember to order early (by March at the latest), so you’ll receive your roses in time to plant them in spring.


Christian Bedard, research director for Weeks Roses, has listed some of his favorite low-maintenance roses below. All are recent offerings from Weeks Rose, and were bred to be highly disease resistant and require little or no care beyond watering, fertilizing, and light pruning. For more information, visit www.WeeksRoses.com.

Hot and Dry Climates
(So Cal and the Southwest):

  • All My Loving
  • Neil Diamond
  • Doris Day
  • Tropical Lightning
  • Coretta Scott King

Cool and Wet
(Pacific Northwest):

  • Violet’s Pride
  • Sparkle & Shine
  • Pretty Lady Rose
  • Oh My!

Hot and Humid

  • Watercolors Home Run
  • Home Run
  • Julia Child
  • Children’s Hope
  • Easy to Please

Cold Winters
(Northeast and Midwest):

  • Watercolors Home Run
  • Cape Diamond
  • Party Hardy
  • Julia Child
  • Children’s Hope
  • Easy to Please

A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Roses
Types of Roses
14 Best Flowering Shrubs

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