Growing Roses: Discover Their Native Range and Hardiness Zones

Most rose species are native to Asia, although some are native to parts of Europe, North Africa, and North America. Many roses can grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 11. However, in my experience, Zones 5 to 8 provide the best conditions for almost all roses. These Zones have moderate temperatures and mild winters.

Rose Flower Native Range and Suitable Growing Zones

Rose Flower Native Range

A collection of colorful rose flowers in bloom

Roses are native throughout the Northern Hemisphere, with most species originating from Asia. Some rose species are native to parts of Europe, North Africa, and North America. These days, many roses are grown in gardens around the world outside of their native range.

Members of the Rosa genus hybridize easily, which explains why there are thousands of rose cultivars. When breeding a new hybrid rose, horticulturalists may combine two roses that have different native ranges. This allows breeders to cultivate particular traits such as winter hardiness or a more extended flowering season.

Suitable Growing Zones for Roses

Roses can be grown in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 11, depending on the exact variety. Winters in Zones 1 to 3 are too harsh for any roses if they’re left outside. However, gardeners in these areas may be able to grow hardier roses in pots as long as the roses are protected during the winter.

The most suitable growing zones for almost all roses are Zones 5 to 8. These climate zones provide moderate to warm temperatures and reasonable amounts of rainfall. Crucially, these areas also have mild winters, meaning most roses can be left outside all year round.

Many of the roses suitable for Zone 4 are either old garden or species roses. The best roses for Zone 4 are often shrub roses. Some cultivars have been bred specifically to improve their winter hardiness, such as the Explorer Series or Parkland Series.

Some less-hardy roses can still be grown in Zone 4. However, they will need winter protection. In colder climates, it’s best to grow vulnerable roses in pots. Then you can either wrap them in fleece or bring them indoors during the winter.

Not all roses are well-suited to the warmer temperatures in Zones 9 to 11. Many roses are delicate or temperamental in hotter, drier conditions. During hot summers in Zones 9 to 11, water your roses every few days to keep them well hydrated.

When growing roses in Zones 9 to 11, you may need to consider where you plant them. In areas that experience hot, dry summers, roses will need partial shade during the afternoon. Position your roses, so they receive full sun in the morning rather than exposing them to harsh afternoon sunlight.

When choosing roses for your garden, research which cultivars are suitable for your local Hardiness Zones. This allows you to select roses that will be happy and healthy in your local climate.

About Rose Flowers

Bright pink flowering rose plants

Roses are deciduous perennials from the Rosa genus of the rose family (Rosaceae). Most roses grow either as shrubs or climbing vines. The Rosa genus contains approximately 300 species, some of which have been used to create thousands of cultivars.

With so many species and cultivars, it’s no surprise that roses are divided into groups. There are three main groups of roses; modern roses, old garden roses, and wild or species roses. Roses are further subdivided into smaller groups depending on their exact characteristics. Some of these groups include climbing roses, Floribunda roses, Polyantha roses, and rambling roses.

Roses have single, double, or semi-double flowers with five petals. Some roses produce lovely heady or musky scents. Rose flowers come in various colors, including shades of lavender, pink, purple, orange, red, yellow, and white.

Rose shrubs also have alternate, pinnate leaves consisting of up to 13 elliptical or oval-shaped leaflets with toothed margins. Most roses have woody stems covered in curved prickles that are commonly referred to as thorns. After they finish flowering, roses produce berry-like fruits known as rose hips.

Rose Native Range & Growing Zones FAQs:

What Zones Do Roses Grow Best In?

Depending on the exact variety, roses can grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 11. However, Zones 5 to 8 are the best growing zones for most roses. These areas have moderate climates and mild winters.

What is the Geographic Range of Roses?

Roses have a wide geographic range that covers most of the Northern Hemisphere. Most Rosa species are native to Asia. However, some species are native to parts of Europe, North Africa, and North America.

Do Wild Roses Exist?

Hundreds of species of wild roses grow across the Northern Hemisphere. Many of these species are native to Asia or North America. Wild roses are one of the three main categories of roses and are also known as species roses.

What Roses Are the Hardiest?

Climbing roses and shrub roses are considered to be two of the hardiest types of roses. Some types of old garden roses, such as Alba or Polyantha roses, are also reasonably hardy. The hardiest roses will be able to survive in Zone 4 and possibly Zone 3.

Where is the Best Place for Roses in the World?

Most roses need fairly warm, moderate climates with plenty of sun. One of the countries that grow large amounts of beautiful, healthy roses commercially is Ecuador. This South American country provides the ideal conditions for rose flowers.

Wrapping Up

Most roses are native to Asia, although some species are native to parts of Europe, North Africa, and North America. Depending on the exact variety, roses can grow in USDA Zones 4 to 11. Almost all roses grow at their best in Zones 5 to 8.

For more, see our in-depth guide on whether you’ll see roses bloom in their first year, common causes of yellowing rose leaves, rose plant deer resistance, and how to grow roses from seed.

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