Any suggestions for a good repeat thornless or nearly thornless rose?
It depends on the size and color you want, Jess. Heritage, a beautiful double David Austin English rose, has hardly any thorns and is a wonderful rebloomer for me. However, it can get quite tall. It is my husband's favorite rose. It has a lovely lemony scent. It does get a bit of blackspot, but seems to grow right through it. Some folks have said it is a stingy bloomer for them, but I have two and they are both excellent rebloomers in my zone 5 garden.
Here is a link that might be useful: Heritage
Yes, it would help if you gave us more info. on desired size, type, color, etc.
In the meantime, David Austin's Mortimer Sackler is another lovely, taller, nearly thornless rose. Also very disease-resistant.
Here is a link that might be useful: Mortimer Sackler
I got a really cheapie 'body bag' at Home Depot of the 'Smooth Prince' for my parent's cabin. (We get some cheapies for there because we can't care for them too well.) I didn't make it there and planted it. That was before I knew not to buy body bags because they pretty much all have RMV. Anyway, it was really pretty and healthy! Repeats well. It even has a strong fragrance. For 99 cents if it does become virused in a few years it was an OK buy!
Smooth Prince - Totally Thornless
Wow pacnwgrdngirl, gorgeous rose!
Darn Adrienne, that is gorgeous! You seem to be a very savvy shopper when it comes to your roses. Thanks for sharing that.
I was looking at Mortimer Sackler this weekend. The DA catalog describes it as being tolerant of shady conditions. Now I realize that no rose is going to be a happy camper when sun deprived do you feel that MS could make it conditions of all day diffused sun? I want to move some of my roses that I know need more this spring but I still want some color in that space. I'm also considering 'Henry Hudson' as it is allegedly produce all season blooms in limited sun.
Sorry for the thread hijack Jess.
Sunny Delight and Blue Girl have very few (if any) and they're constantly blooming.
The white floribunda 'Fabulous' is fabulous. Nearly thornless, pumps out the blooms non-stop. It blooms rather tall but narrow for me.
Jess, I have some recommendations for you on thornless roses.
You must have 'Nur Mahal'
It is a completely thornless Hybrid Musk rose. There are not even any tiny prickles underneath its leaf mid-ribs. Smooth baby, smooth. It's an insanely healthy rose in my area. The Antique Rose Emporium carries this boldly colored beauty. Very fragrant.
You must have 'Pink Gruss an Aachen'
This is a very old rose that has been enjoyed for many, many decades. It is the PINK sport of Gruss an Aachen, and this pink sport is extremely close to being completely thornless. And, like Nur Mahal, it has absolutely no prickles under its leaves. Pink Gruss is much harder to find than the original Gruss. I recommend ordering it from Chambless, from where all 5 of mine came. Nice light fragrance to my nose.
You must have 'Heritage' (David Austin's English Rose)
This rose does have a few thorns, and they are sturdy ones, but from what I've seen, it is by far the closest of the Austin roses to being thornless. Mine had only about 6 thorns near the base of the plant, and no thorns on the top 2/3's of the bush. I say "had" because I simply snapped them off and they have never grown back. The blooms on this rose look like an old centifolia ... just perfect. In my garden, this rose blooms like crazy from spring through first hard freeze. A very unique and enjoyable fragrance that is always present.
Additional favorite thornless roses for me are:
'Basye's Blueberry' - 100% thornless (available from The Antique Rose Emporium)
'Valentine' - Almost thornless and an excellent landscape plant
'Reine des Violettes' - 100% thornless, IF you buy it from the right supplier. Mine came from The Antique Rose Emporium and it's smooth & beautiful. I highly recommend getting this rose from that source, from Vintage Gardens, or Countryside Roses. Some sources carry virused specimens of this plant, but those three are reported to have clean ones. Some other sources sell a thorny rose under this same name. I would have listed this one up top with the "must haves", but you stressed that you wanted "repeat blooming" and while this one DOES repeat bloom, it does not do so as much as the three "must haves" that I listed. This rose is very close to being my very favorite rose of all, and each year it blooms more and better blooms. This rose was introduced in 1860 and it is a living piece of history. It's fragrance is the best of all my roses.
Unfortunately, I can not recommend 'Mrs Dudley Cross' to you, because your zone is too cold for her to thrive there. But down here, she's a must have. Mine is completely thornless and extremely resistant to any fungus.
Kate, don't know about Mortimer Sackler in partial shade. Mine in is nearly all day direct sun. With all that sun, the blooms do singe a bit--so maybe a bit of shade wouldn't hurt--but I'm just guessing on that.
It's a lovely rose. Mine would like to be a climber--have to keep trimming it back to be a taller shrub. Good disease-resistance, by the way.
David Austin's website and catalog list roses for a specific place, it includes a list of thornless roses and ones for shade.
It is not completely thornless, but what thorns it may have are small and few and far between, so if I had to pick just one "thornless" rose, Paul Neyron gets my vote. Hard to resist the beautiful 7" blooms that last forever, the arching growth, the wonderful fragrance and the almost continuous flowering...but hey, that's just me. :)
A word of caution on that list of "thornless" roses on the David Austin website: some of those roses have way to many thorns for me to consider "nearly thornless".