The Best Rose Shrubs for Minnesota Zone 4


Minnesota gardeners who want to grow roses should not give up. New, hardy shrub varieties of this fragrant favorite flourish in Minnesota's harsh zone 4 climate. Although it's hard to believe, some of the Rosa Rugosa collections exhibit hardiness even into zone 2 of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's plant hardiness zone map.

Red Shrub Roses

  • Two of the best shrub roses for planting in Minnesota zone 4 are Meineble Red Meidiland and Zlemartincipar Candy Oh! Vivid Red. Consider Meineble if you're looking for a rose with a height of 1½ to 2 feet and a spread of 4 to 5 feet. This rose requires full sun, blooms May until frost and sports red flowers with a white center. As with most roses, Zlemartincipar requires full sun for a minimum of six hours a day to flourish. Plant this herbaceous perennial, reserving space for a 3- to 4-foot spread, in well-drained soil and watch the show of blooms from May until frost.

Pink Shrub Roses

  • Many pink shrub roses work well in zone 4. Noteworthy among the Minnesota candidates are Meipitac Carefree Wonder and Baiore Polar Joy. Meipitac makes a beautiful hedge, attaining a height of 4 feet and a spread to match. This pink beauty grows in partial shade to full sun and blooms from June to first frost. Just by its name, it's evident that Baiore Polar Joy thrives in the far north. Not only does it thrive in northern climes, it also attracts butterflies, produces many blooms with intense fragrance, and at 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide, works well as a single foundation plant that blooms from May until first frost in a sunny flower garden.

Yellow Shrub Roses

  • For a yellow rose, look no further than golden wings. This hedge rose attracts birds and butterflies, sports showy, fragrant flowers with golden brown stamens that like full sun, bloom from May to frost and grows as high as 6 feet and spreads out 4 to 6 feet. Radsun Carefree Sunshine works as an alternative yellow candidate that creates a nice hedge of medium yellow, semi-double blooms that last from May until frost, enjoy full sun and spread 3 to 4 feet while growing 3 to 4 feet high. Its ornate, fragrant flowers attract butterflies.

White Shrub Rose

  • If the garden requires a white accent rose with a low growth habit, 1 to 2 feet, and a significant spread, 4 to 6 feet, look into Meicoublan White Meidland. Like most roses, this variety attracts butterflies throughout the summer. While this shrub rose is not particularly fragrant, it flaunts double blooms that rival most floribundas in beauty. It also blooms throughout the summer, beginning as early as May.

Rosa Rugosa

  • Rugosa roses protect themselves with thorny branches and display unusual wrinkled leaves. Rugosas tolerate poor soil and harsh weather conditions. Frau Dagmar Hastrup is one of a number of Rugosa roses that tolerate the extreme temperatures of zone 2, making it an ideal candidate for Minnesota's zone 4 gardens. Grow Hastrup in full sun or part shade and look for it to attract butterflies and birds, produce showy flowers, foliage and rose hips. Commonly called hedgehog or Japanese rose, this pink specimen grows 3 to 4 feet wide and high, requires little maintenance and, although it prefers full sun, tolerates partial shade.

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