Not long ago there were few options for hardy roses for Minnesota. Thankfully, there have been significant strides in exciting plant breeding work and difficult roses are a thing of the past. Now, we have several options for beautiful roses that are easy to grow and don’t require the Minnesota tip (more on that later).
Easy Elegance Roses
These roses are bred and selected for hardiness, disease resistance, and tolerance to our hot mid-summer temperatures.
Everblooming, pretty pink flowers with a slight hint of peachy coloring near the center, just like the loveliest skies at the start and close of a beautiful summer day. 3-6 feet tall and 4-7 feet wide.
Screaming Neon Red
This rose produces a red so brilliant that it shines through the darkest and dreariest of days. And WOW, when the sun shines it’s absolutely stunning. Repeat bloomer, 3-4 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide.
When budded, this rose has a red and yellow ember-like look just as if it’s glowing in the campfire. When open, pinks and yellows mingle throughout the petals, and the pink intensifies as the season progresses. Plant for an all-summer glow in the landscape. Repeat bloomer, 3 feet tall and wide.
Other hardy Easy Elegance Roses we carry include Kashmir, Music Box, and Paint the Town. All are disease resistant, hardy, and are an excellent choice for the novice to the experienced gardener.
Other Hardy Roses
Old fashioned, hardy, and well-loved, grow Winnipeg Parks even up at the cabin in Zone 3. Enjoy repeat blooming and deep pink flowers from summer to fall. Repeat bloomer, 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide.
William Baffin and Ramblin’ Red perform well in our zone and put on quite a show even in their first year. Subsequent years, however, are even more spectacular as the vines grow taller and are loaded with flowers top to bottom.
David Zlezack, Ph.D., a renowned plant breeder from just over the boarder at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, has introduced some amazing hardy roses to the market. Our favorite Zlezack introduction is Above and Beyond, a hardy climbing rose with a delicious combination of white, pale yellow, and apricot blooms all together on the same plant. 10-14 feet tall.
Caring for Roses
All roses like full sun, well-drained soil, and room to breath (they don’t like being planted on top of each other or other plants, they like air flow). Feed in the spring and once or twice throughout the summer with a rose or shrub fertilizer. To overwinter hardy roses, wait until after a couple killing frosts and the plant has lost most of it’s leaves, then mound loose mulch such as straw, marsh hay, or leaves up to a foot high around the plant. This protects it from temperature swings and a freeze/thaw cycle. Pull mulch away in spring after possibility of a freeze is past.
Back to the Minnesota tip. What is that, anyway? In the past, when most available roses were not hardy, this method is the only way Minnesota gardeners could carry over roses from year to year. In order to get non-hardy roses to survive, gardeners would dig a trench starting at the root ball of the plant, gently loosen the root ball and lay the plant in the trench, bury it, and cover it with a protective layer such as leaves. That is some serious rose love!
Now we can gladly grow beautiful roses without all the fuss!