Three Options For Growing Hardy Rose Bushes

Hardy rose bushes are the stuff of dreams in colder areas of the world.

While those of us who live in USDA zones 4 and colder salivate at the thought of growing some of the delightfully tender (and stunningly gorgeous) new rose introductions, we know that old man winter will have the final say.

There are three options for rose gardeners who want to grow roses and who live in cold climates.

Option 1

The first is to search out the Explorer and Parkland series of roses bred by the rose breeders in Canada. These roses use hardy Russian species as a base to breed with other tough roses and repeat blooming roses to bring us bone-hardy roses that will survive the average Canadian winter with little or no winter protection. While most are largish shrub types, there are a few smaller repeat-bloomers for perennial flower bed use as well as several that can be trained up into climbing roses. And it is as climbers that this family has become famous because there are few other climbers that will survive USDA zone 4 winters without being taken down and buried for flower bud protection.

Option 2

The second is to search and find roses bred by Dr. Griffith Buck in Iowa. While Dr. Buck is dead now, his research into cold hardy and disease resistant plants lives on in the plants he bred. When he started breeding roses, there was little money for disease control or winter protection.

The roses that survived were thus disease resistant (if they weren't they died) and hardy in Iowa winters (again, if they weren't hardy, too bad). The crosses that survived are both hardy and disease resistant and can be found through specialist rose growers.

Option 3

The third is to plant and care for tender roses in the deep planting style. This was the topic of my first book on roses (Tender Roses in Tough Climates) and I've grown many tender roses in USDA zone 4 with absolutely no winter protection. So I didn't need to seek out hardy rose bushes to fill my gardens with fragrant roses all summer long. See the other articles for details.

Online Rose Shopping

A wide variety of rose plant resources from multiple suppliers - do not buy seeds (too good to be true category)

All of Doug's Ebooks including how to grow roses in tough climates

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