Shade Loving Rose Plants: Growing A Shade Rose Garden

Pink Rose Plant
shade rose
(Image credit: Stefan Schottleitne)

Without sunlight, roses become tall, leggy, unhealthy, and unlikely to bloom. However, planting a partial shade rose garden is very possible if you understand the particular needs of roses. While there are no full shade loving rose plants, you can grow shade tolerant roses. Here are a few helpful tips for growing a semi-shade rose garden.

Planting Roses in Shade

Planting roses in shade won’t work if the plants aren’t exposed to at least a minimal amount of sunlight. Some, like English roses, for instance, will manage with four to five hours of sunlight.

Floribunda roses generally do well in partial shade rose gardens, although they may not produce as many blooms as they would in full sunlight. Climbing roses may receive additional sunlight through the top of the plant.

Semi-shade tolerant roses may produce fewer, smaller blooms. However, the blooms may retain their color longer in semi-shade. Observe your shady garden closely. Make note of which areas receive the most direct sunlight and where the sunlight lasts the longest.

Avoid planting roses in areas where the roots will compete with tree roots. Remember that roses for shade require less water than those grown in full sunlight.

Semi-Shade Loving Rose Plants

Most of the following roses bloom beautifully with six hours of sunlight per day, although some will flower with only four or five hours.

  • ‘Princess Anne’ is an English rose that displays large clusters of dark pink blooms.
  • ‘Golden Showers’ produces large, yellow, semi-double blooms with a sweet, honey-like fragrance.
  • ‘Julia Child’ is a free-flowering floribunda with clusters of buttery gold blooms. 
  • ‘Ballerina’ is a heavily blooming hybrid musk rose with large clusters of small pink and white blooms.
  • ‘French Lace’ is a floribunda rose that produces small clusters of lightly scented, pale apricot to ivory or white blooms.
  • ‘Charles Darwin’ is a bushy English rose that bears large, strongly scented yellow blooms.
  • ‘Excite’ is a hybrid tea rose that bears large, single roses of deep pink.
  • ‘Sophy’s Rose’ is a vigorous rose with flushes of lightly fragrant, reddish purple blooms.
  • ‘Carefree Wonder’ is an adaptable rose that produces generous numbers of single, white edged, pink roses.
Mary H. Dyer

A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.