For many of us roses are our gardens’ pride and glory. From small balcony-friendly blooms to sprawling climbers several meters high, roses come in a massively diverse range of shapes, sizes and colours. They are known as being one of the UK’s most loved flowers. Here at Hillier we are often asked what the best roses are for shaded gardens. We have put this article together for you, arming you with the knowledge and help to support you.

Can you Grow Roses in a Shaded Garden?

With the correct conditions and care there is absolutely no reason why your roses should not thrive in the shaded areas of your garden. In fact, some varieties of roses do very well with a little extra shade, keeping them safe from the scorching summer sun.  

On average, roses that are planted in the shade still need at least four hours of sunlight per day to thrive. Try to pick somewhere that the sun can reach them either early in the morning, or later in the afternoon to avoid the more severe warmth of the mid-day sun.

Varieties of Rose for Partial Shade

There are a number of rose varieties that will flower in more shaded areas. Here are a few of our recommended varieties:

Rosa ‘Eustacia Vye’

Rosa 'Eustacia Vye' rose shaded area
Rosa ‘Eustacia Vye’ – Image credit David Austin Roses © Copyright Jonathan Buckley

With an elegant, soft apricot-pink glow and rich, ruffled petals this stunning bloom is a hardy shrub rose which is perfectly poised to thrive in all soil types and both in full sunlight and partial shade.

Rosa ‘Emily Brontë’

Rosa 'Eustacia Vye' rose in shaded area
Rosa ‘Emily Brontë’ – Image credit David Austin Roses © Copyright Howard Rice

A medium-sized shrub with large stunning blooms made up of a delicate pink and an apricot centre gently fading to cream. This beautiful variety carries citrus hints within its Strong Tea and Old Rose scent.

Rosa ‘Silas Marner’

Delicate pink petals and vibrant red stems give R.‘Silas Marner’ a quintessentially English garden feel, with the addition of a medium-strong fruity fragrance and rich, glossy green foliage.

Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’

Rosa 'Roald Dahl' rose shaded gardens
Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’ – Image credit David Austin Roses

Gorgeous apricot-coloured cupped rosettes emerge from deep orange-red buds. The fruity Tea scent paired with very few thorns makes this bloom a perfect option for pots and containers as well as mixed borders and hedges.

Rosa ‘Rambling Rector’

This rambler is great for partially shaded areas in the garden, it will grow at an elegant height of 8 meters and will spread up to 4 meters.

Rosa ‘Golden Showers’

This climbing rose variety offers spectacular yellow flowers from mid-summer all the way through into autumn. They gracefully arch up to more than 2 metres over time. While nominally best for a sunny position it will also tolerate partial shade.

Rosa ‘Ballerina’

This light pink, repeat-flowering shrub rose variety produces clusters of single-petalled blooms from late spring all through the summer. Perfect for containers and mixed borders.

Which Soil for Growing Roses in Shaded Areas?

Roses thrive in a rich, loamy soil with good drainage. If you plant in the shade it does come with advantages for roses, but using our guide for the best roses for shaded gardens will help you. They benefit most from soil that is neither too damp, nor too dry.

Be mindful that areas of shade caused by trees or large bushes may not be the best area to plant your roses, as they can pull a lot of moisture from the soil.

Watering Roses in Shaded Areas

Depending on how much sunlight your roses are exposed to may change how often you water them. Roses that do not see a lot of sunlight won’t need to be watered quite as often, typically twice a week once they are established.

If in doubt, check with your hand to feel if the ground around your roses is moist. If it is feeling wet and sodden then it’s best to hold off on watering your blooms a little longer. If it feels dry then it’s time to grab your watering can!

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