20 Best Disease-Resistant Roses

While roses are some of the most popular garden plants and cut flowers, common diseases can make them challenging to grow. One moment, you have a gorgeous shrub covered in blooms, and a week later the foliage is covered in discolored spots or coated with white fungus. If you want to have beautiful roses without applying fungicides, consider growing disease-resistant roses. I’ve gathered a list of 20 of the best types of disease-resistant roses that can stand up to harmful fungi, bacteria, and viruses.

Disease Resistant Roses

What Makes a Rose Disease-Resistant?

All plants can form resistance to diseases, but not all plants contain the genes necessary to fight of these pathogens. Plant breeders have created beautiful, disease-resistant roses by crossing disease-resistant and aesthetically appealing plants.

The exact mechanisms plants use to resist diseases are complex, so I’ll just provide a brief explanation. In short, disease-resistant roses can recognize when a pathogen infects the plant and also respond effectively. When the plant sends out the proper defense, the disease doesn’t harm the entire plant.

20 Best Types of Disease-Resistant Roses to Grow

If you’re looking for roses that can tolerate black spots, powdery mildew, and other common rose diseases, consider choosing one of the roses from this list.

1. Belinda’s Dream Rose

Belinda’s Dream Rose
Credit: Malcolm Manners / CC

First introduced in 1992, the ‘Belinda’s Dream’ rose was bred by Texas A&M math professor Dr. Robert Basye. That’s right, you don’t have to be a plant scientist to breed roses! 

It’s a hybrid tea rose with swirled layers of beautiful pink petals. Plants grow up to five feet tall and tolerate drought and disease.

2. Carefree Beauty Rose

Carefree Beauty Rose
Credit: Flowers and foliage Cultivar413 / CC

Dr. Griffith Buck developed ‘Carefree Beauty’ in 1977 by Dr. Griffith Buck in an effort to produce a rose that would survive harsh Midwest winters. Not only is it disease-resistant, but it thrives in multiple soil types.

The shrub rose grows up to five feet tall and produces beautiful flowers with open pink petals. In the fall, it develops lots of large rose hips.

3. Cinco de Mayo Rose

Cinco de Mayo Rose

A type of floribunda rose, the bushy ‘Cinco de Mayo’ plant produces flowers all summer long. The flowers appear in large clusters and combine deep purple with rusty red-orange to form uniquely beautiful blooms. The plants grow well in pots as well as in the garden.

4. David Austin Roses

David Austin Roses

David Austin roses were first bred and introduced by a man of the same name. Today, his company continues to breed roses with beautiful flowers and fragrances.

Many David Austin roses exhibit some kind of disease resistance, but looking at each variety will help you pick the right rose for you. Some David Austin varieties that are particularly disease-resistant include ‘Princess Anne,’ ‘Graham Thomas,’ and ‘Gertrude Jekyll.’

5. Drift® Roses

Drift® Roses

Drift® roses are a group of hybrid roses bred to grow as long-blooming, sprawling groundcovers. The plants remain less than two feet tall, so they’re a popular option for containers and small spaces.

All varieties in the Drift® collection exhibit strong disease resistance, and many varieties also tolerate drought and cold winters. The collection includes everything from ruffled yellow roses to single petal pink roses, so you can choose from various options.

6. Easy Elegance®  Roses

Easy Elegance®  Roses

According to the plant breeders, Easy Elegance® roses combine the beauty of hybrid tea roses with the low-maintenance nature of shrub roses. This group of roses varies in height and flower color, but they all bloom from spring to fall with little to no care.

Some roses in the Easy Elegance® collection include the pink and yellow Music Box and the deep red Kashmir.

7. Flower Carpet® Roses

Flower Carpet® Roses
Credit: David Austin Roses 

If you’re looking for a low-growing, disease-resistant rose, check out the Flower Carpet collection®. These roses softly spread across a landscape, so they work well as hedges and can fill in open, barren areas. Their strong, multilayered root systems mean they work well on slopes and in areas prone to erosion.

All these roses are long bloomers, and each plant can produce up to 2,000 flowers each growing season. And you don’t have to deadhead old roses for the plants to produce new blooms.

8. Home Run Roses

Home Run Roses
Credit: Weeks Roses

The Home Run rose was first bred by Tom Carruth in an attempt to improve the disease resistance and color of the famous Knock Out® roses. And he succeeded! Home Run roses have high disease resistance to black spot and powdery mildew and moderate tolerance to downy mildew.

While the original Home Run rose was red, you can currently find various colors of Home Run roses including pink and yellow. 

9. Iceberg Rose

Iceberg Rose

The ‘Iceberg’ rose produces oodles of medium white flowers loaded with delicate petals. The flowers bloom throughout the growing season and have a sweet fragrance that’s noticeable but not overpowering.

The plants have a compact growth form and max out at about five feet tall and wide. Therefore, they work well as border plants and stand-alone shrubs.

10. Julia Child™ Rose

Julia Child™ Rose

The Julia Child™ rose is a floribunda rose with fragrant yellow flowers and glossy green leaves. The flowers grow four inches wide and bloom throughout the warmer months. Since the plant thrives in zones 6-10, it’s suitable for all but the coldest regions of the United States.

11. Knock Out® Roses

Knock Out® Roses

Some of the most famous roses on the market, Knock Out® roses get their name from their large number of long-lasting flowers. Not only are these plants beautiful, but they’re also low-maintenance, disease-resistant, and easy to grow.

Most of these roses grow three to four feet tall and have a bushy form. Their flowers include light pink single-petal blooms, ruffled orange flowers, and lots of other options.

12. Lady of Shalott Rose

Lady of Shalott Rose

This repeat blooming shrub rose grows well in zones 4-11, making it a welcome addition to many gardens. Its large orange flowers are stunning and feature a circle of outer petals filled with loose inner petals. The plants grow five feet tall and can be used in hedges or as single plants.

13. Meidiland® Roses

Meidiland® Roses

Meidiland® roses come in various heights, flower colors, and shapes, but they’re all long bloomers that require little care. They range from groundcover plants covered with tiny flowers to tall bushes with large blooms.

14. Mister Lincoln Rose

Mister Lincoln Rose

A classic, dark red hybrid tea rose that makes you think of Valentine’s Day, Mr. Lincoln grows as a medium shrub. It produces new fragrant flowers throughout the season and requires little maintenance. It prefers full sun and is hardy to zones 7-11. 

15. New Dawn Rose

New Dawn Rose
Credit: David Austin Roses 

While many of the best disease-resistant roses are shrub roses, ‘New Dawn’ is a gorgeous climbing rose. The plants can reach up to 15 feet tall and grow best with the support of a trellis, arbor, or wall.

‘New Dawn’ produces full, pale pink roses with a slightly fruity fragrance. They can tolerate part shade and full sun, so they work well on the side of homes and other buildings.

16. Oso Easy® Roses

Oso Easy® Roses

A member of the Proven Winners® brand, Oso Easy® roses are known for their seemingly never-ending flowers. The plants begin sending out blooms in the spring and continue flowering until the first frost arrives.

The plants grow as small to medium, making them appropriate for gardens and containers. Specific Oso Easy varieties have changed over the years, but look out for plants with red, pink, and salmon flowers.

17. Peace Rose

Peace Rose

The Peace rose is a stunning hybrid tea rose that emerged near the end of World War II, hence its name. Its large flowers feature soft yellow petals with light pink tips and emit a light, fruity fragrance. 

Although the flowers have a delicate appearance, the plants can withstand disease. However, they’ll grow best in well-draining soil and full sun.

18. Rainbow Knock Out® Rose

Rainbow Knock Out® Rose

A popular variation of the Knock Out® rose, this bushy plant is covered with flowers featuring light pink petals and yellow centers. The single-petal flowers are reminiscent of wild roses, but these plants produce lots more blooms than their wild counterparts. The foliage is also stunning—it starts out deep red then changes to green.

19. Sunny Knock Out® Rose

Sunny Knock Out® Rose
Credit: Knock Out Roses

One of the most fragrant Knock Out® roses, Sunny produces three-inch yellow flowers with a bright citrus fragrance. Although the flowers start bright yellow, they eventually fade to a creamy, off-white color.

Like all members of the Knock Out® family, these roses bloom continuously from spring through fall. And since they require little to no maintenance, they’re a good addition to many gardens.

20. William Baffin Rose

William Baffin Rose

Named after the English explorer and cartographer, the ‘William Baffin’ rose is a hardy climbing rose that grows ten feet tall. The vines produce a profusion of deep pink flowers from early summer through early fall.

Along with being disease-resistant, it’s also extremely cold-hardy. In fact, it’s one of the best types of climbing roses for people gardening in zones three and four.

Wrapping Up

If you want to enjoy beautiful roses that can withstand fungi and bacteria, consider growing one of the disease-resistant varieties listed above.

Contributing Editor | briana@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

Briana holds a B.S. in Plant Sciences from Penn State University. She manages a small market garden where she grows vegetables and herbs. She also enjoys growing flowers and houseplants at home.

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