A white rose can be a show in itself or it can visually intensify the colors of other roses in the garden. Depending on the category of rose the gardener chooses, white roses can climb a trellis, form a hedge or be part of a cutting garden. As is the case with most roses, white roses need fungicides, pesticides, fertilizers and extra water to perform well. To make a maintenance program simpler, choose white roses that are disease and insect resistant.
A white shrub rose first introduced in 1964, the "Sea Foam" rose is designated as an Earth-Kind rose by Texas A&M University Extension Service in its rose trial program, indicating that "Sea Foam" is especially disease resistant and its fertilizer and water needs are less than those of other rose varieties. "Sea Foam" grows about 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide and has double non-fragrant white blossoms. This rose has flushes of bloom throughout the season and is hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9.
'White Dawn' Climber
The "White Dawn" climbing rose was a mid-20th century introduction and has proven itself in the decades since that time. This rose has a length of 8 to 12 feet and features clusters of large, semi-double, white flowers that are fragrant. Avoid pruning for the first two years after planting, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden. "White Dawn" requires the periodic application of a fungicide, a pesticide and fertilizer to keep the rose looking its best. Prune the spent flowers to encourage more flowering. "White Dawn" is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9.
"Moondance" is a white floribunda rose chosen as a 2007 award winner for its disease resistance, hardiness and color by All-America Rose Selections (AARS), an organization that tests roses. "Moondance" as well as other floribunda roses have flowers like the hybrid tea roses, but with several blossoms clustered on the stem. This rose has a spicy fragrance and is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9.
The 1996 All-America Rose Selection winner, "Mt. Hood" is an ivory-white grandiflora rose with a medium fragrance. "Mt. Hood" and other grandiflora roses have the large blossoms of a hybrid tea rose, but shorter stems, hinting at their hybrid tea and floribunda parentage. "Mt. Hood" grows to 5 feet, blooms most of the season with spent flower removal and is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9.
AARS describes the hybrid tea rose "Whisper" as a "stunning" white rose, honoring this variety an award in 2003. "Whisper" is also quite disease resistant, according to the AARS. The blossoms are 5 inches wide on tall stems and have a light fragrance, This rose grows in warmer climates and is only cold-hardy to USDA zone 6.
A white miniature rose growing only 18 inches, "Gourmet Popcorn" has semi-double flowers and is fragrant. According to Help Me Find, a gardening website devoted to roses, clematis and peonies, "Gourmet Popcorn" is disease resistant. This rose is not an all-season bloomer, but may have an occasional reblooming period. Garden centers may sell this rose under the names "WEOpop" or "Summer Snow." "Gourmet Popcorn" is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9.
Introduced in Germany in 1989, "Snow Owl" is a white hybrid form of the Rosa rugosa or beach rose. "Snow Owl" has all the toughness of its parent, has double flowers and is fragrant. This rose has a flush of bloom in late spring and an occasional period of bloom later in the season. Also known as the "White Pavement" rose, "Snow Owl" is extremely cold-hardy to USDA zone 3.