The Q&A Archives: Shade Roses

Question: I have a yard full of oak trees with a few white pine and maple trees. I have very little sun, but, for the most part, It is not deep shade. Can you tell me which roses might grow where I live? They need to be able to winter well in Maine and survive with minimal attention.

I was looking at grus en achen. Would that be a good choice?

Answer: I think the best selection would be the climber 'Henry Kelsey'. It is amazingly hardy, disease resistant, and tolerates shade. You can obtain it from Gardener's Supply Company (

Consider also Zephirine Drouhin, a Bourbon rose. It's almost thornless and produces very fragrant, peppermint-pink blossoms. It will reach 8-12 feet high and have medium green, glossy leaves.

It's easy to care for, tolerates some shade, and is disease-resistant, all of which makes it a good choice for a beginning rosarian.

All plants require a decent amount of attention the first season or two after planting. Less attention as they mature. For now, you'll need to water appropriately and fertilize.

I'm not familiar with the rose you mentioned.

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