Some roses can thrive in part shade

‘New Dawn’ climbing rose. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
‘New Dawn’ climbing rose. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Recently I was asked if I could recommend a climbing rose for a shady location.

From my experiences in the Rose Garden it wasn’t something I was able to provide an immediate answer to.

There’s not a lot of shade in the Rose Garden and in the few areas affected by partial shade the climbing roses growing there are not commercially available.

Most roses thrive in a sunny location. However, some will grow surprisingly well in shaded areas. After a little research I found comments suggesting one of the best climbers for partial shade and poorer soils conditions was Rosa ‘New Dawn'.

Rosa ‘New Dawn' has clusters of semi double soft pink fragrant flowers with healthy glossy green foliage and is a repeat bloomer.

If you are not looking for a climber specifically, David Austin English Roses were also mentioned frequently. It is suggested that they can handle more shade than many of the modern Hybrid Tea and Floribunda roses. Ideally you would still need at the minimum three to four hours of sun.

Roses don’t like growing under a dense canopy of trees or large shrubs, where the combination of dryness from root competition and one-sided light will draw them and make them grow poorly. However, providing there is adequate light and moisture, it is possible to grow roses in some shaded areas. There are options, and the bonus is both flowers and fragrance will last longer than when exposed to full sun.

Garden Life is produced by Dunedin Botanic Garden. For further information contact Linda Hellyer.


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