Growing John Cabot Explorer Rose in the Home Rose Garden

John Cabot is one of the most popular of the Explorer roses in that it is hardy and can be used as a climbing rose as well as a shrub rose.

Bred from a R. kordesii and an unnamed seedling, this is one of the most popular of the Explorer series.

Easily hardy into a Canadian zone 4 (approx USDA 3) this rose was bred by Dr. F. Svedja in Ottawa, Canada (where it is perfectly hardy) in 1978.

John Cabot Foliage & Color

The foliage is a glossy green and quite black-spot resistant and powdery mildew resistant in most gardens. Canes will grow arching and have been known to reach 9 feet in length.

The rose color starts as a medium red and fades out to a deeper pink as the flower matures. The flower is approximately 2 inches across and has 40 petals.

While some catalogs will tell you ‘John Cabot’ blooms all summer, in my experience it has a heavy flush of bloom in June and then sporadically blooms the rest of the summer. It is magnificent in late June and has enough flowers in several different flushes to remind you of its glory time.

Book cover tender roses


Fragrance is light but it does exist. It will not perfume a garden but a bouquet will perfume a still room.

Choice For Climbing Rose

This is the rose of choice if you are looking for a rose to grow as a climber in a very cold climate. Pruning directions are here.

explorer rose john cabot

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