Rose Types

Cold Climate Roses 

The first step towards building a rose garden is to discover and take into account the climate zone (or growing zone) you live in. Sure, maybe you have a lovely sunny yard but if you don't know the annual temperature variance in your growing zone it will potentially lead you to making the wrong choices for your plantings. Both the hot and clod extremes of your growing zone determines the kind of plants that you will be able to grow. Most experienced gardeners will be able to give you a great deal of information about your growing zone, and share with you anecdotal accounts of what plants grow best for their garden, but the most specific resource you can use to figure out your growing zone is the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map .

Getting Familiar With Your Zone

The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is indispensable. This map covers all 50 states and is divided into 11 different climate zones. This map can be the perfect reference to ascertain the climate zone you're located in.  
Almost all plants that you buy come with growth instructions and generally these comprehensively state the conditions necessary for those plants to thrive, regardless of the kind of plant you get (vegetables, flowers or landscaping plants). It's a good idea to look up the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map before you buy your plants so that you don't end up wasting money ordering or purchasing unsuitable plants. (Here's a link to the Canada Plant Hardiness Resource as well.)

Hardiness and Roses

Hybrid TeaHybrid Teas, very popular among rose lovers, are well known to be susceptible to cold. They don't have the winter protection characteristic of other varieties and should be grown in a warm climate (growing zone 5 to 9). Even if grown in a zone 5 or zone 6 climate, extra mulch for winter protection is highly recommended. If you attempt to grow hybrid teas in a colder climate zone than 6, you do run the risk of losing your roses over the winter months, even with the tenderest care and with additional winter protection.

Many roses can be grown in growing zones 5 through 9. No matter the rose, if you live in zone 6 or lower, do take especial precautions about where you decide to plant - do so with winter protection in mind, such as natural windbreaks or proximity to the home for a bit of natural insulation. These help create what are known as microclimates - little pockets of warmer places within the larger context of the main growing zone. 

Do you live in a colder zone, or an area that seems to be difficult on your roses? Take heart, there are some varieties that are specifically geared toward the harsh colder winter climates in zones 2 through 4.

If you are in an area which is known for its harsh and cold winter, then the first resource you should look at is your local nursery. The local nursery or garden center will have the best advice and selection of roses that are proven to grow in your area. It's simply common sense to plant cold climate roses because anything else will be unable to survive the frost and the winter chill. 

Cold climate roses have other several advantages:

  • They are low maintenance flowers
  • They can be easily tended by novices
  • They can survive the harshness of a cold winter
  • They are often immune to the diseases and bacteria that other varieties are susceptible to

A brief list of cold climate roses is given below:

  • Alba
  • Centrifolias
  • Gallica
  • Griffith Buck
  • Rugosas - known for many specimens hardy to zone 2
  • Shrub roses
  • Species roses and
  • Modern roses

This list will start to guide you to the varieties that can grow in a harsh winter climate. You can try looking for them at your local garden center or online.