With the rapid spread and devastating impact of rose rosette disease, many gardeners are looking for alternatives to take the place of roses in the landscape. Roses have long seduced us with their large blossoms, long flowering season, and endless romance, but there are plenty of belles waiting in line to take their place.
The following summer-bloomers bring style and charm to the landscape, along with an abundance of blooms. And, they don’t come with all the chores of growing roses – deadheading, disease management, and constant pruning. These easy-care beauties work hard in the garden so you don’t have to. Plant them in the same sunny locations adored by roses.
Pink Rose Alternatives
Roses offer endless shades of pink. Whether you are looking for soft pastels or vibrant magenta, you can’t go wrong with weigela. Rainbow Sensation® produces light, bright blooms, while Shining Sensation™ is dark and sassy. Little Bonnie™ Dwarf Spiraea is a great substitute for mass-planted roses, while Twist of Pink™ Variegated Oleander creates a striking accent.
White Rose Alternatives
With heavenly fragrance and velvety petals, Jubilation™ Gardenia suffuses the garden in passion. Pair with the buoyant White Wedding® Hydrangea for an unforgettable sensory experience. For a more playful atmosphere, try the tubular white flowers and colorful foliage of ‘Kaleidoscope’ Abelia.
Red Rose Alternatives
Our friends at Encore® Azalea offer the ideal substitute for red roses with their sun-loving, re-blooming evergreens. Autumn Bonfire™ and Autumn Ruby™ will bring you three seasons of blooms. For something a little more adventurous, plant the lively, yet rugged, Light Show® Red Bottlebrush.
Purple and Violet Rose Alternatives
Blooming with abandon all summer long, Ultra Violet™ Buddleia makes an ideal rose substitute. And what’s more, birds and butterflies adore it. Plant in masses beneath limbed up Early Bird™Purple Crapemyrtlesfor an easy, layered garden. Solo, Early Bird™ Crapemyrtles also make lovely accents. If you grow roses for the cut flowers, try planting agapanthus instead. Ever Midnight™ produces gorgeous spikes of purple all summer.
Yellow Rose Alternatives
Wanting to add yellow blossoms to the garden? Look no further than Lydia™ Tecoma. Perfect for cutting, the lemony trumpets attract butterflies and hummingbirds spring through fall. Foliage is another way to bring pops of yellow to the garden. The bright, variegated foliage of Miss Lemon™ Abelia is just the thing. You’ll also savor its scores of pale pink summer blooms.
Roses in Winter?
Enjoy “roses” in the fall and winter with Southern Living® Plant Collection’s stunning selection of Camellias. These Southern beauties light up the landscape while the rest of the garden sleeps. Camellia’s rose-like blooms shine in a multitude of hues, from the bubble gum pink October Magic® Pink Perplexion™ to the snowy October Magic® White Shi-Shi™ Camellia.