By Matt Gibson
Rose bushes are quite hardy and relatively easy to grow, though there are some varieties that are more demanding than others. Newer rose cultivars are ideal for beginners, as they are bred to resist common diseases and to require less care. Old rose cultivars are stunning but typically more demanding when it comes to care requirements.
As breeders continue to create new hybrids, there is a growing number of varieties that are incredibly easy to cultivate and enjoy in your garden. If you are new to growing roses, you probably want to start with a few varieties that won’t be too challenging to grow.
In this article, we outline everything you need to look for when selecting easy-to-grow rose bushes. Then, we briefly discuss what all goes into providing the proper care for low maintenance roses. Finally, we compiled a list of the 57 rose bush varieties that are among the easiest cultivars to grow. We also include a short description of each variety, including its bloom color, its features, and any specific growing requirements they might have.
Tips on Shopping for Easy-to-Grow Roses
When deciding what easy-to-grow rose variety or varieties to grow, look on the plant tags while shopping in your local nursery or pull out your phone in the store and google the rose varieties that are available there. Look at roses with forms of disease resistance, pest resistance, hardiness that suits the region you live in, such as frost resistance and heat resistance, and drought tolerance.
Newly bred modern rose varieties are bred to possess all kinds of special attributes. Look for varieties that have a long blooming period or multiple blooming periods throughout the season. There are also new rose bush cultivars that self-clean, which means their spent flowers fall off the branch on their own, leaving only the task of picking up the fallen debris to keep your garden clean.
Care For Low-Maintenance Roses
Plant easy-to-grow rose bushes in the spring or fall in a rich, well-draining soil with a neutral pH. Choose a location that meets the sunlight requirements of the specific rose bush variety you are growing. Once your low-maintenance rose bush is planted, you still have to take care of it, though it doesn’t need nearly as much attention as some of the older heirloom rose bushes require. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as no-maintenance roses, so a bit of effort is needed to provide what they need to bloom and thrive.
Once your roses are planted, water the soil around the base of the plant and lay out a two-inch layer of organic mulch to minimize weeds and improve moisture retention. Using a fertilizer that is specifically designed for rose bushes, feed the plant after it completes a bloom cycle by adding fertilizer to a moistened soil just after the flowers fade. Follow the instructions on the label to determine the amount of fertilizer to use. In the summer, stop fertilizing entirely, as the plant is now preparing for dormancy, so you don’t want to encourage it to continue to grow.
Instead of frequent, light waterings, give your rose bush a long deep drink when it needs water, and don’t worry about watering again until the soil is completely dried out on the surface level. Prune back your rose bushes back to about 12 inches in the spring using a sharp, clean pair of bypass pruning shears to encourage new growth. Your bush should grow to around three to four feet in height by the end of the growing season.
The 45 Easiest Roses To Grow
- Mister Lincoln
This hybrid tea rose is also available in a climbing form, and both feature glossy green foliage topped with fragrant, crimson flowers stacked with petals.
- Oh My!
Oh My! is a low maintenance hybrid rose bush that produces velvety red tea style blooms. The bushes reach four feet tall and demand the attention of anyone who passes by. Hardy to USDA zones six through nine.
- Roald Dahl
This new English rose cultivar was named to honor the prolific English author Roald Dahl, famed for his works of children’s stories, namely, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, and The BFG. Roald Dahl roses grow on shrubs that reach four feet in height in zones five through nine. The bushes are decorated with lovely peach-colored blooms.
- Mellow Yellow
Mellow Yellow roses are a soft yellow hybrid tea style roses that grow on four foot tall bushes. Mellow Yellow roses call for very little maintenance and attention, and look absolutely stunning. Hardy to USDA zones seven through nine.
- Cinco De Mayo
Named after the holiday that coordinates with its first blooms. This Floribunda shrub rose reaches heights around four feet in zones seven through nine. Roses from the Cinco De Mayo variety are a lovely rusty reddish-orange.
- Sweet Fragrance
Gardeners in zones 4 to 9 can grow Sweet Fragrance for lots of disease resistant coral-apricot roses that bloom all season long.
Ballerina is best known for blossoming all season long with lots of small, single pink roses with white centers that resemble apple blossoms.
- Grandma’s Blessing
Grandma’s Blessing produces an entire summer’s worth of fragrant, full figured dusty pink blooms for gardeners in zones 5 to 9.
Gardeners in zones four through nine can grow Snowdrift to see voluminous white roses all season long that stand up to disease and are perfect to cut for arrangements.
- Sunrise Sunset
The fuschia blooms with peach centers on this rosebush for gardeners in zones 4 to 9 bloom as a gorgeous groundcover all summer long.
- Paint the Town
This mounding rosebush grows up to 3 feet tall in zones 4 to 9 with a full season of red flowers that resist disease and don’t ask for much from the gardener.
- The Fairy
The Fairy rose bush variety gets its name from its small size, with shrubs that grow to about two feet tall in zones five through nine. Perfect for a fairy garden aesthetic in zones five through nine. The Fairy’s small shrubs produce dainty soft pink blooms.
- Mystic Fairy
This everblooming red rosebush features glossy foliage with a dependable hedging habit for those in zones 4 to 9.
- Kiss Me
The pink blooms on this rosebush for those in zones 5 to 9 measure up to four inches wide and are stacked full of petals—not to mention their gorgeous scent.
- Red Eden
This climbing rose bush variety produces bright red flowers on seven to ten foot-tall plant. Red Eden roses are loved because they are attention grabbing beauties. They are also especially attractive to pollinators.
- Yellow Submarine
Enjoy yellow roses that are easy to grow and bloom all season long in zones 5 to 9 with this rosebush that’s extremely easy to grow.
- Double Delight
The double creamy white tea style blooms of the Double Delight variety are decorated with blushes of red. Growing between three and four feet tall, Double Delight is a hybrid tea variety hardy to zones six through nine.
- Graham Thomas
The buttery yellow full blossoms of this shrub-type rose have a sweet honeylike fragrance and turn a slightly darker golden hue at the center.
- Marmalade Skies
This floribunda rose is known for its orange-red blooms that contrast with the darker foliage and have a fruity, sweet smell.
- Little Mischief
The Little Mischief rose cultivar is great for gardeners with limited spaces, as well as those who are new to rose gardening. A perfect fit for containers, the Little Mischief grows up to 24 inches at full maturity. Hardy to zones four through nine, this miniature shrub rose produces deep pink blooms which are adorned with a white eye that fades to hot pink.
The Beach rose variety is a salt tolerant option for rose gardeners who live near the ocean. Beach roses are also tolerant of poor soils, windy conditions, and moderate drought. This variety grows to four to six feet tall with a matching spread. Beach blooms in a loud hot pink with a creamy white interior, which is covered in yellow stamens. If you want to keep their size down, just prune them back. If you have the room, let them grow wild, and only trim when dead wood needs to be removed.
- At Last
The At Last rose variety is a very popular rose in modern gardens. Its popularity has spread due to its classic rose smell, its double blooms, which grow in tea-rose form, and its easy-to-grow temperament. But the perks don’t stop there, as the At Last rose cultivar is also beloved for its long lasting orange and cream blooms that are present throughout the entire summer. At Last roses are also disease resistant, and their growing habit is compact enough to work well in containers. If allowed to grow to full size and planted in the ground, At Last rose bushes will grow to three feet high and wide. Prune back and fertilize in the spring.
This Floribunda rose is available to gardeners in zones five through nine. It produces aromatic creamy white roses that are highlighted with splashes of burgundy, which grow abundantly on its three to four foot tall frame.
- Mother Of Pearl
This rose is popular for its creamy pale apricot blossoms that appear almost nonstop on this rounded grandiflora variety.
- Ebb Tide
The Ebb Tide Floribunda rose is another variety that needs a lot of garden space. In zones six through nine, the ebb tide rose bush can grow up to six to nine feet high. Ebb Tide blooms are dark plum-purple.
- Starry Night
This hedging variety is famous for its clusters of white old-fashioned roses with attention-grabbing golden stamens and a sweet smell.
Bathsheba rose plants can take up quite a bit of room in the garden, as they can grow up to 10 feet tall in zones five through nine. However, if you have the room to spare, you won’t regret planting the Bathsheba variety, as it is known to produce loads of apricot-pink and soft yellow blooms throughout the growing season.
- Julia Child
This hardy floribunda type is known for its full, pale yellow blooms that appear against glossy foliage and feature a scent similar to licorice.
- Carefree Beauty
Carefree Beauty performs well for gardeners of any soil type and produces vivid pink single blooms with a gorgeous fragrance that are resistant to both heat and cold.
- Home Run
This descendant of the Knockout roses offers gardeners in zones 4 through 9 a season full of single red blooms from late spring to fall.
- All The Rage
All the Rage roses reward gardeners in zones 4 through 9 with everblooming single blooms that transform from coral to salmon with a vibrant pink center, then change again as they mature to turn pink.
Firecracker produces a summer’s worth of disease resistant single red blooms with distinctive white centers for gardeners in zones 4 through 9.
- Sally Holmes
Sally Holmes is a climbing rose variety that grows to an average of eight to ten feet. Sally Holmes roses are easy to care for and hardy to zones six through nine. Blooms are creamy white with pink accents.
- Oso Happy Smoothie
Oso Happy Smoothie is a lovely pink single-flowering rose. The Oso Happy bushes have the same size (3 to 4 foot tall with a matching spread), disease-resistance (very resistant and hardy), and care requirements (minimal) The Smoothie cultivar was named because it was believed to produce a thornless bush with smooth canes, but breeders were sadly mistaken, as the Smoothie rose bush is just as thorny as its peers. Pruning is only necessary to remove dead branches, but you can also prune to shape. Pruning is best performed in late winter or early spring.
- Oso Happy Candy Oh!
Just like the Oso Happy Smoothie variety, Candy Oh rose bushes produce single-flowering roses in masses. It’s vivid red flowers are most attractive when they first unfurl, as their yellow centers shine in the sunlight. The yellow interior of the Candy Oh roses fade as the blooms age, but there are always new brightly colored rosebuds opening up to take their place. Both the Smoothie and Candy Oh! cultivars are hardy to zones 4a through 9b.
- Flower Carpet (Series)
Due to their unique double roots, the Flower Carpet rose series is especially tolerant to a wide range of weather conditions. Due to their hardiness, as well as their low maintenance needs, and prolific blooms, the Flower Carpet Series has become the world’s premier ground cover rose.
- Flower Carpet Pink
Flower Carpet Pink roses produce bright pink blooms in zones five through ten. The Flower Carpet series produces low-growing ground cover rose bushes that grow to heights of 24-32 inches at full maturity.
- Flower Carpet Pink Supreme
Flower Carpet Pink Supreme produces double blooms in a eye-catching hot pink shade with a bright yellow center/ Hardy to zones five through 11.
- Flower Carpet Scarlet
Gardeners in zones five through 11 can grow Flower Carpet Scarlet to see their garden transformed with a carpet of this scarlet groundcover rose in summer and autumn.
- Flower Carpet Coral
Those who grow Flower Carpet Coral in zones 5 through 11 will be rewarded with a profusion of gorgeous, longlasting coral blooms that last from summer through fall and are easy to grow.
- Knock-Out (Series)
The Knock-Out rose series is a collection of the best hassle-free landscape roses you can find. The most disease-resistant roses in the world, plus they also require no deadheading, no spraying, no dusting, and no pruning. Meet a few of our favorite Knock-Out roses.
- Double Knock-Out
The Knock Out rose variety series has become a favorite amongst rose gardeners for their low maintenance needs and their stunning blooms. The Double Knock-Out is a favorite amongst favorites, as it produces stand-out double candy-apple-red blooms on a four foot bush. Grow the Double Knock-Out in the warmer climates of zones eight through nine for best results.
- Rainbow Knock-Out
This single flowered cultivar makes up for its lack of aromatics by producing lots of coral-colored blooms with yellow centers, which pop up repeatedly throughout the season. Rainbow Knock-Out bushes grow to three to four feet tall when mature with a matching base. Under the right growing conditions and in its preferred climate, it may grow even larger. Prune to manage its size in the spring or early in the summer cutting down towards a leaf or to a bud that faces away from the plant’s center. This will keep the bush from growing too center-heavy. Also trim back any branches that are rubbing against each other. Prune away dead branches at any time during the year. Rainbow Knock-Out roses are also popular because of their disease-resistant nature, successfully warding off rust, black spot, and powdery mildew.
- Blushing Knock-Out
Blushing Knock-Out roses, unlike their Rainbow relatives, produce highly-fragrant semi-double blooms in various shades of pink. It has the same height, spread, and productivity as the Rainbow Knock-Out rose bush, and neither require deadheading. In addition to basic size maintenance spring pruning, rejuvenate your Knock Out roses every other year in late winter by cutting back around one third of the oldest branches on the bush. This will help to channel energy into new growth. Feed with a balanced rose fertilizer when booming pauses.
- White Knock-Out
The contrast of the bright white blooms of the White Knock-Out variety stand out nicely against the dark green, nearly black foliage of the three and a half foot rose shrub. It blooms from spring through fall in a compact habit in zones four through 11. Blooms produce a subtle citrus fragrance.
- Sunny Knock-Out
The yellow and cream blooms of the Sunny Knock-Out rose speak for themselves. These bright yellow roses fade to a bright pastel cream shade and form on a slightly upright, bushy habitat. In cooler weather, the bright yellow color remains vibrant for a longer period. The Sunny Knock-Out roses produce a sweet, citrusy fragrance. Hardy to zones four through 11.
- Double Pink Knock-Out
This abundant and continuous bloomer produces double-pink blooms from early spring to first frost. This drought and heat-tolerant shrub is especially stable and long-lasting. Hardy to zones five through eleven.
There are an astounding amount of rose bush varieties available to the modern gardener. There are so many different varieties on the market, actually, that it is a daunting task just to go about narrowing down selections into a more manageable figure, much less make a final decision. We did the hard part for you and narrowed it down to just under 60 different rose bushes. Now, instead of combing through hundreds of different varieties to find a few that you want to try out, you can look over the cream of the crop and pick the best few varieties for your needs without spending hours digging through options and getting overwhelmed.
Now that you have a narrowed-down list of the easiest rose bushes to grow, it should be pretty easy to pick out a few that are perfect for you and your backyard or landscaping area. Instead of combing through countless cultivars and getting lost in an endless sea of rose plants, you can quickly and easily target your favorite colors and look for varieties that are well-suited to the soil in your area, or resistant to a pest that is prevalent in your region.