I’m always dreaming of the day I get my forever home complete with a full rose garden, but right now all I have is a patio space! It’s great for growing potted plants in though, so I’ve been wondering – what roses grow best in pots, in shade?
When choosing which roses grow best in pots in shade, most people opt for roses that are under 5ft tall for ease of movement and care. You can choose your best potted rose variety based on scent, hardiness, color, and amount of blooms. For example, roses like Emily Bronte and Harlow Carr have a powerful scent. The varieties Princess Anne and Roald Dahl have abundant blooms, while potted roses such as The Mayflower are hardy and require less sunshine than the standard 6-8 hours per day. If you remember to care for your potted roses just like you would a rose in the garden, with proper feeding, watering, and pruning, your potted rose will thrive even in a shady spot.
Quick Rose Variety Checklist!
If you want to know which roses grow best in pots in the shade that smell amazing, choose:
- Eustacia Vye
- Emily Brontë
- Harlow Carr
- Port Sunlight
- Wedding Day
For abundant flowering, the best potted roses to choose are
- Kew Gardens
- Princess Anne
- Roald Dahl
- Scarborough Fair
- Adélaïde D’Orléans
These potted roses are tough and hardy and will grow even with minimal sunlight:
- Olivia Rose Austin
- Susan Williams-Ellis
- The Mayflower
- Dame Judi Dench
These potted roses are the best for colour, plant:
- Princess Alexandra of Kent
- Lichfield Angel
- Silas Marner
- R. filipes “Kiftsgate”
- Wisley 2008
Fragrant Roses that Grow Best in Pots in Shade
While it is in the Best for Fragrance category, what is this rose not the best for? You could swear a rose like this needs full Sun and ideal conditions. However, it just so happens, it is great for potting and great for shade!
Eustacia Vye is an English shrub rose. It is a beautiful, soft-looking rose, sporting really big bloom heads. The flowers are peachy-pink to pale pink, but they get richer and richer in colour and tone as they open up into ruffled rosettes.
This rose is deliciously fruity and fragrant, as well as repeat-flowering.
Another English shrub rose, Emily Brontë is a romantic, pretty rose – owing in great part to its stunning display of simple pastel colours. From inside of the flower to the out, colours go from a deep orange-yellow to a deep, flushed pink, finishing off with pale pink at the edges of petals.
Emily Brontë is well-known for the fragrance, mixing Hybrid Tea scent with Old Rose scent. Finally, if you give it a try, you can definitely feel a tinge of grapefruits and lemons!
A lush English shrub rose, Harlow Carr sports shallowly-cupped blooms, a hot pink in colour. A very bushy variety, it is easy to care for, becoming more and more rounded as it matures.
However, with an extraordinarily long blooming season, you can expect to enjoy this rose’s pleasant and strong Old Rose scent throughout the spring and summer!
Alert, alert – this is an apricot-coloured English shrub rose! I have a soft spot for apricot roses, and how can you not! From the centre towards the edges of the petals, Port Sunlight boasts wonderful deep peach colour, fading out to pastel.
The symmetrical, cupped-flat blooms are stunners in their own right, but not overwhelmingly large. A repeat-flowerer, it boasts a tea fragrance which is not too strong, but easily emanates over longer distances.
Let’s not forget about our dear Ramblers, and isn’t this one of the finest specimens! Wedding Day is a rose with rather simple flowers – single white blooms come in clusters, and are quite reminiscent of early apple tree blossoms.
However, do not be duped by the simplicity! Wedding Day can grow fast and vigorously up to great heights, all the while lending its musky strong scent to your entire garden.
Abundantly Flowering Roses that Grow Best in Pots in Shade
Kew Gardens is yet another rose with white cluster blooms reminiscent of apple and cherry blooms in early spring. However, what sets Kew Gardens apart from other roses is that it blooms – like – crazy!
Blooming from summer to autumn, this rose is lightly scented, almost thornless and blooming in wild flushes! Once its season begins, get ready for the entire shrub to pop with white elegance.
Maybe I’m being extra with all the pink English shrub roses in this post, but chalk it up to this moody rainy season! However may it be, Princess Anne gives me all the romantic feels. The blooms are richly pink, large and free-flowing. I promise, these are some blooms that you definitely don’t see every day.
Enjoy this repeat-flowering rose all around the season, flowering abundantly and vigorously from spring to early autumn. (Oh, and it smells like a million dollars!)
Yup, another yellow-apricot coloured rose (told you I’m obsessed!) Roald Dahl is a rose that has it all. The crimson red buds will lose their red to and orange and finally, bloom in wonderful, large apricot blooms. The peachy yellow is a dream to look at all day long. As an additional treat, it is light-scented, reminiscent of Hybrid Teas in fragrance.
Roald Dahl is repeat-blooming, robust, thornless and extremely healthy – seriously, what more do you even need in a shrub rose?
You would never be able to tell this lovely rose is an English shrub rose! The blooms are so reminiscent of Japanese cherry blossoms, but with an added twist! Lightly pink and upward-facing, these roses look delicate, but they’re anything but!
Scarborough Fair is a great choice if you want a hardy rose. Not only that, but it blooms repeatedly and with great zest, allowing you to enjoy those wonderful cherry-blossom-but-better blooms all season long! Finally, the delicious Old Rose smell is just an added bonus.
Another Rambler for the books! This beautiful and elegant variety might look graceful, but it grows fast, topping at 6 meters tall! At the same time, it is easy to train and relaxed. However, while the buds might be pink, once it blooms the colour is quickly lost, revealing creamy white flowers.
The white sprays of flowers are dainty and small, littering the entire growth wildly all throughout the blooming season.
Healthy Roses that Grow Best in Pots in Shade
Olivia Rose Austin
To start of, this absolute stunner sports nearly perfect blooms – pink, cupped, symmetrical – straight out of a 19th century novel! With a light to medium fragrance, lovely pink petals and repeat-flowering nature, this rose is a great pick no matter what it is you want in a rose.
That being said, Olivia Rose Austin is incredibly healthy and balanced, known to be hardy and disease-resistant.
All these pinks are just spectacular, but sometimes a girl just wants a white rose! And WOW – does this one deliver! Delightful in its appearance, this perfectly white rose has layers and layers of luscious petals that will outshine any other variety!
Susan Williams-Ellis is well-known for being completely FREE from disease. Yup, you can read that again! Not only is it disease-free (to a fault!), it is extremely winter hardy, upright and bushy. A perfect choice for your pots in shade!
A million dollar question for ya – what do Susan Williams-Ellis and The Mayflower have in common? They are the only two David Austin Roses that are completely free from disease! However, this is where similarities stop. The Mayflower is a wonderful, gentle, mid-pink rose sporting delicate blooms in large heads.
Repeat-flowering and very hardy, this rose will gift you its wonderful Old Rose scent while remaining perfectly healthy in the shade.
Dame Judi Dench
This deep-orange English shrub is named for one of Britain’s most beloved stars of all time. In my humble opinion – it does justice by the Dame!
Dame Judi Dench boasts flat, deeply orange blooms. The colour pales towards the edges to a pastel apricot. It is lightly scented, reminiscent of Hybrid Teas. A champion of hardiness, this rose is very resistant to rain and snow. It forms strong stems, naturally forming an attractive shape. Give it a try if you want an easy-going rose that takes care of itself!
I just couldn’t skip out on this wonderful rose! Simple blooms are very reminiscent of apple tree blooms, but they are perfectly sunny yellow in colour! Yellow stamen, yellow buds and yellow blooms – this vigorous bloomer gives its own touch of sunshine to shady pots!
Lightly fragrant and repeat-flowering, Tottering-by-Gently is sure to have you stopping to smell the roses!
Colourful Roses that Grow Best in Pots in Shade
Princess Alexandra of Kent
If you’re looking for a potted shade rose, this one comes straight from the textbook. Princess Alexandra of Kent boasts full-petalled and cupped flowers of unusual size. The blooms emanate a delightful, playful and light tea scent.
However, the best quality of this rose is the bright pink colour of the blooms, ranging from deeper pink in the centre and fading into pastel towards the edges.
The creamy yellow to creamy white blooms of this rose are just astonishing, making the plant truly look like an angel with its elegance. From pink rose buds to cupped creamy rosettes in full bloom, this rose is a stunner all the way through.
Vigorous, thornless and lightly musky – this rose is a great choice for shady spots, as it will stand out, instead of being washed out by sunlight.
Another pink English rose, Silas Marner might just be one of my favourites. Perhaps because of the symmetry that its blooms readily present, perhaps because of the mid-pink to light-pink flushes of colour – I can’t decide!
However, if you want an attractive, ruffled-looking, hardy rose with an intoxicating scent of fruity lemon, green banana and apricot – look no further!
R. filipes “Kiftsgate”
Kiftsgate is an abundantly-flowering rose. While the flowers are simple, it sports the most intense white colour, contrasting beautifully against yellow stamens for a charming spring touch.
Choose this rose if you’re in a mood for a good Rambler. However, be warned – it easily grows up to 18 metres tall! It is once-flowering, like most rambler roses, but after the season is done, you can enjoy some of the tastiest rose hips out there!
Named after the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden and the year of its creation, this simple yet elegant rose blooms in perfect rosette flowers. Furthermore, the very light and airy pink colour is sure to dazzle.
A light-scented repeat-flowerer, this is a fairly recent variety, but a wonderful pick if you’re looking for a demure pink rose!
20 best varieties of potted shade roses, straight from our foundry! I find it a personal goal to educate gardeners that there is always space for a rose – just about anywhere, no matter the conditions! Or am I just obsessed with roses? 😉 Either way, roses are the Queen of the Flowers for a reason – so get planting! Finally, if you’re looking for some climbing roses to ramble up your walls that work well with shade, check our post right here!