The Best Roses for Zone 5


USDA Hardiness Zone 5 has cold winters with a low temperature of -20 degrees F, and occasionally even lower (for example, in the part of southern Iowa in Zone 5, temperatures occasionally dip to -30 degrees F). Zone 5 extends from Maine to northern Illinois across to Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, then northward along the Rocky Mountains into Canada.

Shrub Roses

  • Shrub roses--including Kordes and Griffith Buck roses and polyanthas such as "The Fairy"--grow well in Zone 5. The category includes Knock Out roses, which are outstanding for garden color, long bloom and easy care. They have single or double flowers in pink, red and cream.

Old Garden Roses

  • Old Garden roses, which were frequently grown in the 19th century, have an old-fashioned flower form and notable fragrance. Examples best for Zone 5 include musk roses such as single pink Ballerina; moss roses like Henri Martin and William Lobb, both semi double crimson purple; damask roses Madame Hardy, white double, and Autumn Damask, medium pink double; rugosa roses such as yellow double Topaz Jewel, and light yellow double Agnes.

Garden-Hybrid Roses

  • Garden-hybrid roses were developed from wild-growing roses native to Europe, China and North America. Dog rose, Austrian copper, Prairie rose, Rosa rugosa and Father Hugo's Rose are some species roses that will grow well in Zone 5.

Climbing Roses

  • Dortmund, a velvety single red Kordes rose, has very high ratings for color, scent, form and hardiness . William Baffin is pink-flowered and long blooming but has no fragrance. Part of the Canadian Explorer series, it is very cold-hardy. New Dawn is silvery pink with repeat bloom.

Hybrid Tea and Floribunda Roses

  • Hybrid floribundas for Zone 5 include Chuckles, a deep pink semi-double rose with great fragrance and continuous bloom, and Eutin, dark red double and continuous bloom. Hybrid tea roses are more tender and grow best in warmer zones. With winter mulching, these are proven varieties to try: Mister Lincoln, red flowers with true rose fragrance; Oklahoma, flowers red-purple and fragrant; Peace, yellow and pink with light fragrance; Oregold, yellow with fruity fragrance; Double Delight, cream and red fragrant flowers.

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  • Photo Credit rose image by Alan Earley from
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