The Best Shrub Roses

Developed in recent years for winter hardiness, disease resistance and low maintenance needs, shrub roses make a beautiful addition to any outside area. Blooms may be smaller in size than their hybrid relatives, but make up the difference in repeat flowers and a spicy fragrance. Stunning as single plants, shrub roses also make exquisite ornamental hedges when planted in rows.

Ambridge Rose

Unique apricot-colored blooms accompany the sweet smell of the Ambridge Rose (Rosa 'AUSwonder'). This old-fashioned looking shrub rose reaches a size of 3 to 3.5 feet tall. Small clusters of double flowers repeat summer through fall. These medium-sized roses require full sun and make stunning arrangements when coupled with other apricot-hued flowers. Ambridge Rose adds interest to borders and flower beds alike.

Carefree Wonder

Carefree Wonder (Rosa 'MELpitac') grows to a size of 3 to 4 feet high. The medium pink flowers stand out above medium green, semi-glossy foliage. This vigorous grower produces blooms from mid-season until frost. The 26 petals of the semi-double flowers emit a light, sweet fragrance in both clusters and single blooms. Carefree Wonder is especially striking when planted in groups or as hedges.

Dainty Bess

Dainty Bess (Rosa 'Dainty Bess') will tolerate more than its name implies. This graceful rose grows even in the poorest soil conditions. Ruffled, flat single flowers display a delicate shell-pink color. Clusters of exquisite flowers rise above sparse, dark green leaves. This shrub rose blooms early and repeats throughout summer. Plants grow upright to a height of 4 feet.

Henry Hudson

Pink-tinted white blooms unlock from dark red buds on the Henry Hudson (Rosa 'Henry Hudson'). Moderately scented, semi-double flowers repeat throughout the growing season. Smaller in size when compared to other shrub rose varieties, plants reach a maximum height of 2.5 feet making it an ideal addition to flower beds. A member of the rugosa class, Henry Hudson is disease resistance and extremely cold hardy.


Light yellow flowers stand out among the pale green foliage of the Windrush (Rosa 'AUSrush'). These large, fragrant flowers will repeat during the season with deadheading of spent blooms. Larger than some shrubs, this plant spreads to 4 feet wide by 4 feet tall. This English variety rose flowers freely on strong branches, making it an excellent choice for cut arrangements.

Keywords: best shrub roses, shrub rose varieties, choosing shrub roses

About this Author

Angela Nelson is a virtual assistant and freelance writer. She has been publishing online articles since 2008 for GardenGuides, eHow and Answerbag. Nelson has a passion for small business and flower gardening, which is portrayed in her writing.