Sat June 7, 2014
The Garden Report

For Growing Canadian Roses, Colorado Is A Perfect Fit

The Modern Sunrise stands out with its unique color and blooms throughout the season.
Credit Marilylle Soveran / Flickr - Creative Commons

Here in Colorado’s extreme climate, we want a shrub that’s hardy, blooms most of the season, tolerates pretty much any soil type, and doesn’t get many pests or diseases. The Canadian hybrid shrub rose has all these qualities. With two series to choose from – the Parklands and the Explorers – there’s a shrub rose for every garden.

Tom Throgmorton explains why Canadian shrub roses fit perfectly with Colorado's climate.

Most shrub rose varieties are rated zones two to four by their Canadian breeders, a perfect growing climate for the Rocky Mountains and plains. The roses are propagated on their own root to ensure survival during the most severe winters. To top that off, the shrub roses will survive in the highest, harshest mountain landscapes.

Varieties vary in size from less than one foot to ten-foot pillar types. The varieties in the three to five foot range are ideal for the contemporary landscape. Most of these roses bloom several times a year, with a heavy spring flush and then minor flushes throughout the summer. The flower colors vary from white to yellow, pale to shocking pink, and a rainbow of reds. A lot of them are sweetly fragrant.

Here are some hardy shrub roses suitable for Colorado's climate:

  • Morden Sunrise is just being discovered in our region and its popularity is likely to skyrocket. The bicolor yellow to apricot flowers are a contrast that’s been missing from the shrub rose palette. The flowers recur throughout the season on this moderate three to four foot shrub.
  • A prolific bloomer throughout the season, Hope for Humanity is a Parkland Series rose with striking double blood-red three-inch blooms. A big plant with an upright habit, the rose is named in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Red Cross Society.
  • Morden Snowbeauty has white semi-double flowers with 10 pedals instead of five. The shrub grows two to three feet tall and three feet wide. This is one of the first widely adaptable white shrub roses, and it’s an eye catcher in the full moon garden.
  • Winnipeg Parks is another Parkland Series rose which got its name in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Winnipeg Parks System. This three to four foot shrub brightens up the medians of Timberline Road and Harmony Road in Ft. Collins with its bright cherry red flowers. The foliage is accented by red new growth.

These are just some of the great shrubs with rose flowers that can easily be grown in Colorado.

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