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Easiest Roses to Grow in New England

Easiest Roses to Grow in New England
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Learn about the three easiest roses to grow in New England, all of which are hardy enough to survive—and even thrive—in our harsh climate.

Easiest Roses to Grow
Photo/Art by Brenda Darroch
Rosa Rugosas thrive in New England’s unpredictable climate.

Growing roses in New England can be tricky due to the varied and often unpredictable weather that this region is known for. Roses that are strong and planted properly, however, can be surprisingly low maintenance once they are established. I’ll share the three easiest roses to grow in New England, all of which are hardy enough to survive — and even thrive — in our sometimes harsh climate. I’ll also give simple instructions for getting these bushes off to a healthy start for many years of future enjoyment to come.

Rosa Rugosa
Also known as beach roses, these fast growing bushes spread quickly and are covered with continually blooming pink or white flowers. They thrive in almost all soil types—from sandy beaches to road side fences. Once planted these roses require very little attention, making them one of the easiest roses to grow anywhere.

Climbing Roses
A trellis hanging heavy with fragrant roses is a breathtaking and romantic sight, and one that has been seen in new England gardens for centuries. There are dozens of climbing roses to choose from. Consult your local nursery for available proven winner options.

Tea Roses
Originally hybrids from China, these roses have evolved and have been successfully cultivated in North Eastern gardens for many years, though they may require special framed protection in the winter. They are larger than most climbing roses and are very fragrant. Traditionally found in shades of pink and yellow they are also available in white and red.

Instructions to Plant Roses

  • Tools and supplies to Plant a Rose Bush
  • Shovel
  • Bucket
  • Hose or watering can
  • Spade
  • Rose bush
  • Bone meal
  • Aged cow manure
  • Peat
  • Clean soil
  • Mulch

Recipe to add to the ground soil for healthy roses: Mix together equal amounts (approximately 1/2 cup of each for a medium to large size bush-less for smaller plantings) of peat, composted cow manure, bone meal and clean soil.

Easiest Roses to Grow
Photo/Art by Shelley Wigglesworth
A trellis hanging heavy with fragrant roses is a breathtaking and romantic sight.

How to Plant Roses

  1. Prepare ahead of time a mixture of equal amounts (approximately 1/2 cup of each for a medium to large size bush-less for smaller plantings) of peat, composted cow manure, bone meal and clean soil.
  2. Choose a sunny location and dig a hole that is double the width and depth of the root ball.
  3. Gently remove the rose plant from the container and loosen the root ball.
  4. Place the rose plant in the hole so the entire root ball is evenly standing under ground. The top of the root ball should be flush to the top of the ground.
  5. Sprinkle the mixture of bone meal, soil, manure and peat into the hole around the shrub and fill the remaining space with clean, rich soil. Cover the top of the root ball with approximately 2 inches of soil, being careful to ensure that the stem or stalk of the plant is not covered with dirt.
  6. Spread a few inches of mulch around the plant and water thoroughly every few days.
  7. To increase and encourage new rose bud growth, snip off weak, faded and past peak blooms as they appear.
  8. In the fall be sure to mulch deeply and wrap fragile shrubs in burlap or cover with a wooden pitched box to protect from heavy snow and ice-unless of course it is a Rosa Rugosa— commonly known as the beach rose. These bushes are hardy and can survive just about anything.

If you’re looking for varieties that will thrive in your zone, you can’t go wrong with these three easy roses. Try it out and let me know how it goes. And share your favorite roses to grow in New England!

More on roses:
Foolproof Roses | Winter-Hardy Varieties
Roses | Advice from Gardener Suzy Verrier
A Rose Glossary

Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley (Fleming) Wigglesworth is an award-winning freelance journalist from Maine specializing in maritime topics and the commercial fishing industry. She is also a certified Maine Master Gardener who writes gardening articles on a regular basis for Yankee Magazine. Her work can be found in the following publications: The York County Coast Star, Portsmouth Herald, Bangor Daily News, Yankee Magazine (online), National Fisherman Magazine, Commercial Fisheries News, Tourist News, Points East Magazine, Coastal Angler and The Maine Lobstermen's Association’s “Landings.” Follow Shelley on Facebook.
Updated Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

5 Responses to Easiest Roses to Grow in New England

  1. Martha Thompson May 29, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    My daughter took some climbing roses from her grandma’s yard on Cape Cod and planted them
    along her wall in Plano, Texas. They are especially beautiful falling into her pool area in full bloom this June of 2013.

    • Shelley Wigglesworth December 2, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

      Thanks for sharing Martha-if you are able to post a photo next season that would be great!

  2. Angelina Chute August 27, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

    There are so many roses that are easy to grow in New England and planting correctly is so important as you suggest. One tip I would like to add is when planting a grafted rose in New England, make sure the bud union is below soil level. How far below depends on the hardiness zone you are in. Here in Rhode Island we plant the bud union 2 inches below soil level. In colder areas plant deeper.

  3. Gail April 27, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

    Will beach roses survive in an area that flood tide comes up?

  4. Shelley Wigglesworth April 27, 2016 at 3:30 pm #

    Beach roses are very tolerant. Where I live in Maine, beach roses that grow right where the sand line stops are exposed to flood tides from the ocean periodically and it does not seem to do any harm. Constant exposure may have adverse effects, but periodic, flood tides do not seem to harm the beach roses. Great question! Thank you!

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