Needing large shrub rose suggestions

skyfarms(6)March 12, 2014

Hello! What are some roses that grow 7 or more feet tall and wide and are fragrant? I live in southeast kansas where there is a lot of heat and humidity in the summer and it can get below 0 degrees in winter. I'm hoping to grow a tall rose hedge and would love some suggestions!

Thank you!

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nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

I'll get the discussion started with a few that do well for me. I'm presuming you want these roses to be free-standing and still 7 feet tall. In that case, you're liable to be looking at something with relatively stiff canes that can support itself, since many of the roses I can think of that get that tall want to flop. I'll list some that are reliably full and healthy at 5-6 feet upright, and a few that can stand alone at 7 feet.

We have a similar zone, and Austins really love our dry prairie climate with loamy soil, as long as they get enough water. They're also very hardy for the most part in zone 5 and should be fine for you. The most reliable rose I can think of that stands upright at 7 feet in my yard is Queen of Sweden, a pink fragrant rose. It is very upright and narrow, however, so you'd need more of them to make your hedge. It could easily be 7 feet tall and 2.5 feet wide for me. I've heard people make a good hedge with them, though, and they're reliable bloomers in sun and hold themselves upright without staking. Other Austins that approach that height for me include Spirit of Freedom, the Alnwick Rose, and The Generous Gardener (though the latter reblooms very little for me). Teasing Georgia makes a yellow fountain-shaped free standing bush for me, but the ends of the canes flop and would drag down lower than your target of 7 feet without staking I think. I tend to prune my free-standing bushes back, and still the lateral canes tend to arch at about 5 feet high though the individual canes are much longer.

Aloha is a climber but mine is essentially a free-standing rose since it doesn't lean on its supporting shepherd's hook much. It is also a narrow plant in those conditions and you'd need to treat it much like Queen of Sweden above. Polka is an apricot climber that I'm having to work like the dickens to get to grow horizontal canes, so I think it would work as a 7' freestanding plant, though it wouldn't bush out much under those conditions. Old fashioned rose like Madame Alfred Carriere or Mme. Isaac Perriere grow easily that tall and are fragrant to die for, but they'd never support themselves at that height.

Other plants that would be much bushier and at least 5-6 feet in our zone would include Heaven on Earth (a light apricot very hardy Kordes), Folksinger (also light apricot), and even Stars and Stripes Forever (red/white stripes) - these are reliable bloomers, hardy, and large bushy plants for me, though the latter doesn't have any fragrance that I can detect. One thing I'd consider for a hedge like you describe is Sweet Fragrance, a Lim Easy Elegance rose. It's absolutely bullet proof in our zone, blooms all year in fluffy medium apricot tones, bushes out nicely, has no disease problems at all for me, and wants to be about 6' tall. Unfortunately, I have it in my front beds where I'm trying to keep it at 3-4' and that means a lot of pruning. I'm not sure it'd get to 7 feet, but it would be a nice visual statement if you like that color range.

Just some ideas to chew on - I'm sure you'll get more suggestions. Just remember that roses get bigger in California, so some things that will get to 7' out there might not in our zone.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 8:12AM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

If you don't mind simple white flowers and can provide a full-sun location, "Darlow's Enigma" can work as a big hedge. It has a "tough as nails" reputation, and can be cut back hard in Spring to keep it in bounds. Grown in full-sun, it will be self-supporting.



Here is a link that might be useful: Darlow's Enigma at HelpMeFind

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:24PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

David Austin does say that Queen of Sweden makes a great hedge. Here is a picture of mine that shows the pretty flowers.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:35PM
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the_morden_man((Z4-Z5) Ontario, Canada)

I don't know how they do in your specific climate, but if someone here asked me the same question, then I would recommend some of the larger Rugosa varieties for creating a fragrant, weather & winter hardy and disease resistant hedge.

Roseraie de l'Hay would be the one I would recommend the most for reaching the size you want quickly and for also being one of the best of the Rugosa's overall. However, a lot of Rugosa's such as the Pavement series, given many years and little to no pruning will also reach the sizes you mention.

I would also highly recommend the David Austin rugosa rose 'Wild Edric'. It has superb vigour and wants to be a fairly tall, but more upright than wide bush. Very good for hedging.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 2:23PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

I don't have time to go into much detail about these roses, but all of them may reach seven feet or more in zone six or warmer.
Brother Cadfael-up to 10 feet ; lovely scent
Jude the Obscure-up to nine feet; lovely scent
Frederic Mistral-up to seven feet; the best smeller in my garden.
Golden Celebration-up to 7-8 feet; lovely scent
Wild Blue Yonder-up to 8 feet; very mild scent.
Dainty Bess-up to 7-8 feet; little scent.
Ascot-up to 7-8 feet; little scent.
Big Purple-up to 7 feet; lovely scent.
Eglantine-up to 7-8 feet; Lovely scent.
Abbaye de Cluny-up to seven feet; little scent.
If she likes you, Julia Child can get up to six feet.

I can give more detail later in the day if you have any questions about these roses.

Here is Jude the Obscure.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 2:38PM
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Wow! thank you all so much! I'm going to start looking into all of your suggestions. I really appreciate your help and experience.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 3:04PM
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alameda/zone 8

For me in east Texas, the roses that I grow that reach up to 7' [or more] would be old garden roses Mrs. B.R. Cant, Mon. Tiller and Mutablis. These are totally easy care roses......just plant, keep watered the first year and watch them take off. I have a James Galway [Austin] that is quite large but not the size of these old gardens. Check out the Antique Rose Emporium's website under Large Shrubs - you will find plenty of nice ones to look at. If you need to order - ARE is an excellent supplier. I got there several times a year - their gardens are beyond superlative, so many ideas. I am already anticipating my spring visit! Good luck with your choices.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 10:14PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Lots of good suggestions here. However, I'm not sure a number of those Austins will reach the height you require. Here in zone 6, my Queen of Sweden is 5-6 years old and has never grown more than about 5 feet tall, so I'm not sure about that 7 ft. mark.

One Austin I seem to be mentioning a lot today is Mortimer Sackler--it would definitely get to (and over ) the 7 ft mark. It is supposedly a climber, but I've been growing mine as a sturdy free-stander for the past 5-6 years and occasionally giving it a light trim if a few branches seem to want to grow taller. It is also disease-resistant, which is a plus under the circumstances. Pink blooms.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 8:54AM
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seil zone 6b MI

If black spot is an issue where you are Austins may not be the best for you. Gorgeous as they are most of them can be very spotty. You might do better with some of the hardier old garden roses mentioned here. Or you might look at some of the roses that were bred for hedging like Knock Outs, the Simplicity roses or Bonica. Some of these are pretty tough and require little care.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 11:39AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania


You mention humidity. Is black spot a concern? Unless you are willing to do a lot of spraying, many of the roses mentioned above may not work where black spot is prevalent.

Westerland and the Len's hybrid musk Fragrant Bouquet are roses I grow which would form a tall hedge. But, I spray them at least 3 or 4 times per season..

If I was going to grow a 7' rose hedge here in black spot haven, I would grow Knock Out.

Let the moaning and groaning begin!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 1:08PM
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I am learning a lot from you all! Thanks again for sharing all of your suggestions and wisdom.

Yes, some of my current roses get blackspot, but it doesn't seem to be bad. The easier care, disease resistant varieties might be the route to follow here, but are the knockouts very fragrant? I'm one of those who really likes her roses to smell good.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 1:38PM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

I want to repeat my vote for "Darlow's Enigma". It's rudely healthy, will easily grow to the height you want, can be sheared like a shrub to form a hedge, has a wafting fragrance, and is cold-hardy enough to not suffer significant Winter dieback where you live. The flowers are simple, but they come in flushes, and in-bloom the plant will look somewhat like a mock orange. Look through the pictures on its HelpMeFind page I linked in my previous post. Those grown in full-sun have the dense shrub shape which would lend itself to forming a hedge. Those grown in more shade will be more open.



    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 1:53PM
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I have one that I have been thinking is a blush. However, it is upright and is thorny. This one survives Florida heat and humidity with no problems. It blooms profusely and is about 12 feet tall. Sometimes I have to prune it with a chain saw. It is fragrant.

This post was edited by shuffles on Thu, Mar 13, 14 at 14:03

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 1:58PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I agree that Darlow's Enigma would be the easiest to grow that way--and it is a more attractive (big) bush than Knock Out is.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 7:16PM
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the_morden_man((Z4-Z5) Ontario, Canada)

Not sure if when you say hedge, you mean the same thing I do when I think of a hedge, but I'll post an example of a Rugosa rose hedge in the event this is what you mean.

Like I said previously, I'm not sure how Rugosa's perform in your climate, but assuming they perform well, there aren't many choices that are better that will meet your size requirements and also provide the fragrance that you indicated was a requirement.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 8:41PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

morden man, what a gorgeous hedge! I grow one rugosa (Fru Dagmar), but it is a shorty compared to yours.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 8:51AM
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the_morden_man((Z4-Z5) Ontario, Canada)

Thanks Kate. Frau Dagmar is one of the shorter varieties for sure, but over time can still reach between 4 to 5' tall. It can also sucker like mad once it goes own root. This was originally one plant grafted on multiflora and planted about 10 years ago now. She is now about 12 feet wide, 6 feet deep and between 4-5 feet high and I have to prune away suckers each spring to keep it in control.

Frau Dagmar is on the right and that is Wild Edric standing taller behind her.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 11:34AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Thank you for the Fru Dagmar pic--I've never seen a mature one. I love it and will hope my "shorty" grows to be that full and beautiful.

And Wild Eric looks good there also!


    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 8:34PM
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