David Austin Roses for Zone 5a

anderson_dc(5a Iowa)July 7, 2010

So ive been bit by the rose bug and am already planning ahead to next year and what i would like to plant for roses. Ive heard some good things about the Austin roses and i love the look of the Old English roses. While on the website i saw that they recommended a handful of roses which are cold hardy for zone 4-5 which is where im located.

My question is, of the roses below which ones can handle the cold of zone 5a which you have experience with. I also have some other requirements that the roses need to have; thanks!

Mary Rose

Graham Thomas

Gertrude Jeckyll

L D Braithwaite

Winchester Cathedral

A Shropshire Lad

Golden Celbration

Brother Cadfael


The Mayflower

Crocus Rose



-Cold hardy zone 5a

-Blackspot resistent (we are quite humid during the summer)

-Large blossom

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dublinbay z6 (KS)

My understanding is that Mayflower is very hardy. I certainly can testify to it being disease-resistant--most resistant rose in my garden! The blooms, however, are not large--maybe about 3 inches. Good rebloomer.

It's one shortcoming is that its blooms are sometimes reluctant to open. I have to place my thumbs on either side of the blooms and gently pull the outer petals down. Usually the rest of the bloom pops open then.

Don't know about the others listed--but Mayflower is a very nice Austin.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 4:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
silverkelt(Z5b/Southern Maine)

some of those will have more die back than others..

All of them will get blackspot eventually.. the mayflower is probable the most resistant of the lot.

Of the ones on your list the following is most hardy..

in descending order..

mary rose
winchester cathedral
crocus rose
brother cadfael

all others will experience winter damage to 6-7 inches, sometimes more or less.

I found The dark lady to be a better winter hardiness than LD BRAITHWAITE , but that was my experience..

Vielchen and Brother Cadfael have more experience than me with austins. Ive grown about 20-25, but between my move (some died in pots) and having to leave some, Im down to a whopping 4 of them at the moment.. Crocus Rose, Heritage, Mary Rose, and Abe Darby.. who isnt looking too hot, but its still alive..


    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 5:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greenhaven(SW MI z6)

I submitted a lengthy response on a thread on the second page titled "Austins for Wisconsin" I grow some, and I love them!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 6:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
predfern(z5 Chicago)

The following own root Austins from your list have died in my zone 5a garden:

Graham Thomas
A Shropshire Lad
Golden Celebration

Austin roses that have done well in my garden:

Sharifa Asma
Abraham Darby
Pretty Jessica

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 12:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
silverkelt(Z5b/Southern Maine)

I would highly recommend getting most moderns on a graft..
prefer multiflora, but thats up to you..

I know my growing season is way to short for own roots to make it back to any sort of decent growing size and bloom flushes without it.

My first round of orders were own root, they were less hardy, less vigorous than those on graft, again here in my conditions. Some others were telling me that on this forum and I ignored it, I wish I hadnt!

Again not all zone 5 are created equal.. I have almost a month less growing season than zone 5s in colorado and ohio and michigan even.. its just where I live. Ive had first frosts in august before!


    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 7:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veilchen(5b southern Maine)

I grow all those roses on your list. I agree, none will be blackspot free except maybe The Mayflower. Also see my response in the Wisconsin post. You can see how things go the first couple years, but unfortunately, if you want to grow Austins you will either have to spray or deal with some blackspot. I deal with it and spray minimally because the Austins are hardy, fragrant, and have gorgeous flowers that rebloom right up through fall. Try getting all that with another rose that is hardy to zone 5.

Crocus Rose and The Mayflower are very hardy, nearly to the tips this past winter. Mary Rose and Winchester Cathedral next in hardiness on your list. The rest should be fine if you bury the bud union 4-6" deep when planting. Expect a lot of winterkill, sometimes I have to prune most of my DAs down to just a few inches above ground after a particularly cold winter. But they bounce back by May.

Brother Cadfael is my absolute favorite DA. It has huge flowers like you are hoping for.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 7:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I grow several Austins here in Montreal (hot and also HUMID summers)and they do very well. I spray with sulphur in the spring, after pruning, and Safer's Defender in late summer, if needed. The only time I get a little blackspot is if we have a very cool, wet spring, and sometimes in the fall, if it's damp (I have no BS so far this season). I do get powdery mildew on a few that aren't on your list. Every area is different, you won't know for sure until you try. As others have said, they have varying degrees of winterkill depending on the winter, but they all bounce back and are blooming by early June no matter how low I've had to prune. I've never lost one in the ground (mine are planted around 2 inches deep, so I do mound them with about 10" of soil in November, just in case. Planting deeper will eliminate that chore).
You will love their beautiful and fragrant blooms.

These have all come through winter beautifully (grafted on multiflora, unless otherwise indicated):

Graham Thomas (own root)
Charlotte (own root)
The Prince
Sharifa Asma
Pretty Jessica
Jubilee Celebration
Abe Darby
Jude the Obscure
Spirit of Freedom (own root)
Crocus Rose (as everyone has said, the least winterkill)


    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 1:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Crocus Rose has the least winter kill in our coastal zone 5b, followed by Sharifa Asma, Sprit of Freedom, Crown Princess Margareta and Eglantyne. We bury the bud union 4" below soil level at planting. If you don't mind a once bloomer, try Constance Spry, as it had no die back after its first winter. It is the only one we have own root, the others are all on Multiflora.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 10:04AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Please Get To The Huntington Quickly!!
Please try to get to the Huntington in the next few...
hoovb zone 9 sunset 23
vigorosa roses
As I continue my research on roses that will work in...
Beth9116 zone 8a TX
Francis Meilland, suggestions on pruning and care?
I currently have him in a 15 gallon, he's at least...
To Pascali or not?
I'm contemplating planting a hedge of roses and my...
Is "horticultural oil" just mineral oil?
I've been reading about it and am confused. I know...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™