The play of light and shadow is what makes a garden so attractive. The sunny spots are less of a problem, as many plants feel comfortable there. The partially shaded and shady niches and corners present a major challenge when planting. The skillful selection of the varieties plays a decisive role in the end result. For this reason, roses are out of the question for many hobby gardeners. While it’s true that most strains do best in full sun. But there are also roses for partial shade, which feel comfortable in shady locations and, if properly cared for, thank you with a splendid bloom.
Which roses are suitable for partial shade?
In contrast to other plants that prefer a shady place in the garden, the roses are true sun worshipers who are only partially shade-friendly. This means that they will thrive in partially shaded places, provided the soil is nutrient-rich and permeable. How much sunlight you get in a day is also important. As a rule, 5 to 6 hours of afternoon sun or 4 to 5 hours of morning sun are sufficient for most shade-tolerant rose varieties so that they grow quickly and bloom for a long time. If the sun shines less than 4 hours throughout the day, the roses get sick, grow significantly more slowly and produce fewer flowers.
The choice of planting partners also plays a decisive role. Roses are not particularly adaptable and are quickly displaced by other plants. Therefore, root competition must be avoided at all costs. Roses are especially comfortable with ground cover, annual plants and bulb flowers. Strong roots such as garden trees, shrubs and tall perennials will quickly deprive them of nutrients from the soil and are therefore not suitable as plant partners.
Which roses tolerate partial shade?
Low roses, climbing and rambler roses and roses in pots basically have a better chance of survival than tall perennials or English roses. As a container plant, the roses feel particularly comfortable in shady locations. This is because the soil moisture can be regulated. This avoids waterlogging, which can lead to rot. If the leaves of the plants stay damp overnight, they can wither quickly. Even roses that are shade-tolerant can therefore not tolerate high humidity. So if you plant roses in partial shade, you should choose the location carefully.
- Good air circulation is very important so that the rose can dry quickly after rain.
- Ensure low humidity and, if possible, rain protection (for example by a high fence or a garden wall).
- A nutrient-rich, humus soil is an absolute must. If necessary, you can fertilize the roses once a week during the flowering period.
- Avoid root competition from tall trees.
What roses bloom in the light shade?
Any roses that tolerate partial shade will bloom in summer. Depending on whether the location matches the other conditions, the plant can even bloom all summer long. However, the young plants take longer than usual to fully establish. Depending on the variety, it can take 2 to 3 years for the rose to form its first flowers. During the growing season, the plant needs regular fertilization. Regular watering can also stimulate flower formation.
However, there are also rose varieties that many hobby gardeners mistakenly believe to be shade-friendly. In fact, these rose varieties are true sun children and cannot thrive in partial shade. Such are for example:
- The “Camelot” rose is not suitable for partial shade
- The “Mozart” rose is not suitable for partial shade
Roses for partial shade: varieties that bloom more often
In the following we list rose varieties that bloom more often that do well in partial shade. Most roses bloom twice a year. We have divided them into several groups – roses for pots, low varieties for the flowerbed, rambler roses and ground cover roses.
Roses for tubs in partial shade
Which types of roses are suitable for planting in pots? First and foremost, these are the “Knock Out” roses, which are very blooming. But you can plant almost any low rose variety in a tub. For example:
The “Black Forest” variety is a compact floribunda rose that has double red flowers. It scores with a high level of leaf health and reaches a maximum height of 60 cm in partial shade. The flowering period starts in June and ends in September.
The “Cherry Girl” variety was awarded an ADR rose. It has an intense scent that attracts pollinating insects. Its cherry-red flowers adorn the garden from early summer to autumn.
Low roses for partial shade
The “Ice Meidiland” variety reaches a maximum height of 60 cm. The low rose covers the entire area and is perfect for gardens on slopes that are half the day in partial shade. In order for the rose to thrive better on such a plot of land, the experts recommend terracing. Otherwise, the rose is very easy to care for and has a high level of pest resistance.
The English rose “Fair Bianca” has large, double white flowers that are pleasing to the eye in mid-summer and then in autumn. It is very adaptable and easily tolerates frost and heat. The rose reaches a height of 60 cm.
Ground cover roses for partial shade
The ground cover rose “Ballerina” was bred from the tuft rose. It prefers a humus soil and needs regular fertilization. The ground cover rose forms countless pink-white flowers from June to September. It is particularly suitable as a gap filler in the flowerbed, as a plant partner for hedge plants or for planting stone walls.
The “star flor” rose is particularly suitable for partial shade. The ground cover rose not only scores with its delicate white flowers, but also exudes a sweet scent that attracts bees and bumblebees into the garden. The plant becomes around 60 cm high, is hardy and has a bushy habit. It is particularly suitable as a substitute for lawn in shady areas or for greening shady embankments.
High stem roses for partial shade
The “Knock Out” roses with a standard stem are very popular. With good reason: they are perhaps the easiest breed to care for. They defy dry ground, also tolerate partial shade well and bloom twice a year – once at the beginning of summer and once at the end of summer. They have a compact habit, but can reach heights of up to 1.20 meters. In the garden, they are mainly used as an accent in the flowerbed or in shady corners and niches.
The smaller version, the “Petite Knock Out” variety, grows up to 60 cm high and produces abundant red flowers.
Flower roses for partial shade
The floribunda rose “Anthony Meilland” forms double, dark yellow flowers that will make the bed glow in the partial shade. It is very floriferous and has an upright, bushy habit. It is therefore perfect as a bed border, for underplanting hedges and as a floribunda rose. In full sun it grows one meter high, in partial shade it grows into a 60 cm high shrub.
With its creamy white flowers, the floribunda rose “Greetings to Aachen” is a real eye-catcher in the home garden. It has an upright, bushy habit and is around 80 cm high. The variety tolerates pruning and is therefore suitable as underplanting for hedges. As a soloist, she sets accents in the flowerbed.
Climbing roses and rambler roses for partial shade
The climbing rose “Compassion” produces pink double flowers from June to the end of October. The plant prefers humus-rich, loose and moderately moist soil and is suitable for use as a solitary plant or for planting rose arches in the shade (for example in front of a garden wall or a house wall). It reaches a maximum height of 250 cm.
The “Giardina” rose also thrives in partial shade, where it diffuses its typical fruity, sweet scent. The variety scores with a very long flowering time, which extends from summer to autumn. It is disease-resistant and is rarely attacked by pests. The blooming climbing rose prefers a fresh, deep soil with good drainage.
Shrub and bush roses for partial shade
The “Carefree Wonder” variety is, as the name suggests, very easy to care for and adaptable. Both the leafy green and the filigree flowers automatically attract attention. The rose variety can easily cope with a location in partial shade and only needs 5 hours of direct sunlight a day.
The “Radazz” variety is very disease resistant and requires very little care. It can tolerate both drought and waterlogging well. In contrast to other types of roses, it can even cope with high levels of humidity. In addition, the shrub rose is very blooming and can set accents in the flowerbed or spice up bald spots in the garden as a solitary plant. It will be 1.5 meters high.
English roses for partial shade
The term “English roses” is used primarily to describe new varieties of old roses and modern hybrids. They bring a romantic touch from bygone times into the garden.
The variety “Pilgrim” tolerates partial shade without any problems. Four hours of direct sunlight a day are enough for the rose to feel comfortable. She thanks you with magnificent, white, double flowers and a strong scent.
The “Crown Princes Margareta” variety has orange flowers and a fruity scent. It has slightly overhanging shoots and is suitable both as a climbing plant and as a shrub. With good care, the rose can reach a height of over three meters.
Companion for roses in partial shade
So that the roses show their best side, the plant partners in the flowerbed also play a decisive role. Which plants are the perfect companions for roses in partial shade?
1. Roses in the tub can be combined as desired with other shade-loving plants. In this case, there are no limits to your own creativity, as there is no competition for roots between the plants.
2. Low varieties of roses can be combined with irises or delphiniums.
3. The lady’s mantle is the perfect companion too Ground cover roses. It has similar demands in terms of soil and location.
4. Roses with a standard stem come into their own together with geraniums.
5. Flower roses and phlox form a delightful duo in the flowerbed.
6. For climbing roses offers itself to clematis. Certain ornamental grasses such as the palm frond sedge or the Japanese sedge are also suitable for a location in partial shade.
7. Shrub and bush roses harmonize particularly well with purple bells, hostas and finger bushes.
8. English roses can be effectively staged with hostas.
Are the roses true sun worshipers? That’s not true. There is a wide variety of strains to choose from these days, including some that thrive in partial shade. Important prerequisites for a long flowering period include a moderately moist, nutrient-rich soil, low humidity, a good draft and the right planting partners.