Roses in Alaska - Knowledgebase Question

Soldotna, Al
Question by pfcmikesmom
April 9, 2010
Can I plant any of the roses Home Depot sells in Alaska and expect them to return year after year

Answer from NGA
April 9, 2010


Roses are not reliably root hardy in Alaska so most gardeners plant them in containers and take them to a protected place for the winter months. They can often be wintered successfully in a cool, dark crawl space, garage, or basement. Some gardeners winter their roses as houseplants in a southern window, while others take advantage of the local nurseries and ask to have their roses wintered in the nursery greenhouse. With that said, various Old Garden Roses and modern Shrub roses do very well in our climate. The hardy Old Garden Roses are predominately species roses and their hybrids. The most well known are the Rugosa roses, also known locally as "Sitka Roses". Others to look for include the Blanda roses and the Spinosissima (or Pimpinellifolia) roses, also known as "Scotch Roses". The Foetida and Foetida bicolor species, known as "Austrian Yellow Rose" and "Austrian Copper Rose", respectively, also can be found, along with Foetida hybrids such as "Harison's Yellow". Not to be overlooked are the native Nutkana roses which grow wild throughout our area, and the Glauca (or Rubrifolia) rose, also called the "Red-Leaf Rose".

An increased interest in old-fashioned roses is reflected in the modern Shrub roses being developed by hybridizers around the world. Those with the most promising hardiness include the Morden and Explorer series from Canada and some of the Kordes roses from Germany. Look for these in your local Home Depot garden center. Good luck with your roses!

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