9 new rose varieties to try to grow now

Check out these new rose varieties.

Not everyone has the quintessential English cottage garden in which to grow roses. And try as we might, we don’t always have the perfect conditions – or luck – for growing them. You might have a teeny tiny balcony and want to fill your favourite pot with a small rose. Or perhaps you’ve always struggled with common problems like black spot (a fungal disease that remains the bane of all rose growers) and are desperately seeking a new bloom with greater disease resistance.  

That’s why Saga Exceptional has spoken to some of the UK’s most prestigious growers, who have shared their favourite new rose varieties, as well as some tips on how to plant them properly. Whatever your growing needs, there’s a rose that’ll reward you with classic, perfumed blooms. 

Gardener Danny Clarke with the new rose variety named after himCredit: David Austin Roses
Gardener Danny Clarke with new rose variety ‘Dannahue’, which has been named after him.

1. ‘Cutie Pie’

Best for ground cover, or small spaces

Woman holding plant pot containing new rose variety 'Cutie Pie'Credit: Thompson & Morgan
The compact ‘Cutie Pie’ will also thrive in a pot

This adorable little rose is a recent introduction from Thompson & Morgan. At only 10cm high, ‘Cutie Pie’ is perfect as ground cover or for container growing. This completely thorn-free rose forms “dinky mounds” according to Thompson & Morgan, “which from July to September, creates a carpet of pink flowers like drifts of apple blossom”. 

Why we love this new rose variety: With a height of 10cm (4in) and spread of 30cm (12in), ‘Cutie Pie’ does what it says on the tin. If you have a small garden, or don’t fancy tackling a large new planting project, it’s perfect.  

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Rose 'Cutie Pie', Thompson & Morgan

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Rose 'Cutie Pie', Thompson & Morgan
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2. ‘Dannahue’

Ideal for a shaded city garden

Danny Gardener smelling new rose variety 'Dannahue'Credit: David Austin Roses
‘Dannahue’ has been 12 years in development

This new rose variety has been carefully bred by David Austin Roses and has been 12 years in development. ‘Dannahue’ is named for gardener Danny Clarke’s (pictured, left) full first name, and came about after David Austin was impressed with Clarke’s jointly-designed RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden ‘Hands off Mangrove’ with not-for-profit Grow2Know.

Grow2Know formed when a community of guerrilla gardeners in west London came together following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. In a fitting tribute, ‘Dannahue’ is ideal for city spaces, but will also work in a cottage-style garden.  

Why we love this new rose variety: Its fragrance, described as “fruity lemon, lychee and fresh apricot, wrapped in a softer layer of tea and myrrh.”  

Planting tips: ‘Dannahue’ will be happy in a shaded area and would suit a container close to a wall. It will also work well in a border, surrounded by its own, or blended with other plants offering warm hues of orange and golden tones. 

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'Dannahue'

RRP: £33.50

'Dannahue'

British Garden Centres shares its tips on choosing the best roses for your garden:

Known for their beauty and scent, hybrid tea roses have large, single flowers. The plants bear tall, pointed buds on long stems, so they are ideal for cutting. Free branching [meaning they branch in clusters, which can become tangled] and upright, this shrub is ideal for beds and borders. The colours available are impressive, and many of them have great fragrances. 

A floribunda rose produces clusters of flowers at the end of its stem. The looser blooms make them a great garden display, but they aren’t as good for vase arrangements. Standard roses – the ones shaped like a ball on top of a long trunk – are most commonly the floribunda type, and bloom from early summer all the way through to early winter. 

Shrub roses include floribunda, rugosa, English and ground cover roses. Generally, they produce large clusters of ‘old rose’ flowers that bloom from summer to autumn, and many are fragrant. Modern shrub roses are often bred from old-fashioned roses for repeat blooms, disease resistance and a variety of colours. 

Ground cover roses are compact plants that create spreading carpets of colour and give roses a whole new level of versatility in the garden. As long as they have plenty of sun, they’ll provide masses of rose flowers for most of the year, and can be used in borders, cascading over walls and rockeries or spilling from large containers. 

Climbing roses produce repeating, large but single-headed abundant blooms on just one spreading plant. Their stems are stiffer than rambling roses, which grow more vigorously and usually flower once, producing sprays of smaller flowerheads.  

Both can transform the facade of a house, a fence, or even a shed wall, as long as they get ample sunlight. Most (but not all) hybrid teas and multiflora roses also come in climbing varieties, and there are many more to choose from. Just keep in mind that they both need some sort of support in order to hold themselves up and to stop branches from overly drooping. 

Even in the smallest of spaces, such as a sunny balcony, you can still enjoy growing roses. Miniature roses are dwarfed versions of their larger siblings, with all parts scaled down. They look cute planted in garden containers or arranged in rows to fill window frames or planters. They are also found as standard stems, grafted onto 40-60cm tall stems. They are easy to care for, and full of blooms. 

Visit British Garden Centres for more gardening tips.

3. ‘Heart’s Delight’

If you seek disease-resistant roses

Dark pink flower of 'Heart's Delight' new roseCredit: Sarah Raven
‘Heart’s Delight’ should bloom from June to September

A new rose from Sarah Raven is ‘Heart’s Delight’, a floribunda with superb disease-resistant, long-blooming time and lovely scent. Raven told us that this rose is brilliant for growing in a container, too. Its dark, red-to-purple petals are tinged with paler pink on the reverse, and will bloom between June and September.  

Why we love this new rose variety: Not recognising the early signs of disease is a common rose-growing mistake many gardeners make. Thankfully, ‘Heart’s Delight’ should set your mind at ease, as it’s naturally disease-resistant.  

Planting tips: As with Raven’s ‘Sweet Honey’ (below), ‘Heart’s Delight’ is sold as a bare root rose (a way of selling plants that have no soil attached to the root, so are not actively growing). Before planting bare-root roses, soak roots in a bucket of water for at least two hours. Dig a hole that will accommodate the root ball comfortably and, to aid establishment, sprinkle mycorrhizal fungi into the base before planting. 

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'Heart's Delight', Sarah Raven

RRP: £24.95

'Heart's Delight', Sarah Raven

4. ‘Mottisfont’

For fragrant cut flowers

National Trust's new rose 'Mottisfont'Credit: National Trust
‘Mottisfont’ is named after a National Trust property

This highly fragrant hybrid tea rose is the National Trust’s latest collaboration with Blue Diamond Garden Centres. Bred by Rosen Tantau, ‘Mottisfont’ produces numerous layered petals of a dark magenta shade, against glossy green foliage, and is highly disease-resistant. It is ideal as a cut flower or for planting in groups – with a fully grown height of approximately 100cm.  

Why we love this new rose variety: It’s a rose named after the National Trust property of the same name in Romsey, Hampshire. It’s a fitting tribute to the property’s world-famous rose garden, including the National Collection of pre-1900 old-fashioned roses. 

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'Mottisfont', Fryers Roses

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'Mottisfont', Fryers Roses

5. ‘Penelope Lively’

Best for a perfect pink

Pink new roses 'Penelope Lively' growing in a gardenCredit: David Austin Roses
‘Penelope Lively’ benefits from having few thorns

David Austin has named this new rose variety Penelope Lively, after the Booker-Prize-winning author (and self-confessed gardening addict). 

The brand’s CEO, David Austin Junior, calls this “a rose as captivating as the writer’s words who inspired it. He adds that he decided to name this rose “while reading Lively’s memoir Life in the Garden, which mentions my father David Austin Senior. The rose itself is a wonderful character, with delightful fragrant pink blooms.” 

Why we love this new rose variety: Its berry-red buds bloom into cute, cupped flowers that gently fade from varying shades of pink to a lavender hue over time. Plus the plant has very few thorns, though you might still want to wear gardening gloves when handling.

Planting tips: Penelope Lively is suitable to grow in both sun and shade, with strong, upright stems that are ideal for cutting. Colour-block by planting multiples or, for contrast, blend this rose with blue and purple companions in a mixed border. 

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'Penelope Lively', David Austin Roses

RRP: £33.50

'Penelope Lively', David Austin Roses
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Where should you plant your new roses? 

“When it comes to choosing the perfect spot for your rose garden, remember that almost all species thrive in full sun,” Angharad James, product manager at Phostrogen told us. “If possible, somewhere that enjoys six-to-eight hours of good sun a day is ideal, but try and protect them from harsh winds, which may damage the stems. 

“Roses need plenty of room to grow and don’t like to share their soil, so ensure you plant them with plenty of space to grow and move. Space your roses approximately 1m (3ft 2in) away from other plants and around 50cm (1ft 6in) or more away from other roses to allow them space to grow.    

“Planting bushes along your borders in groups of three or more forms a dense shrub for extra impact and added privacy, while placing potted rose trees along walkways or framing your front door offers a quaint look.” 

6. ‘Peter’s Persica’

A keen patio climber

Yellow blooms of new rose variety 'Peter's Persica'Credit: Thompson & Morgan
The sunny blooms of ‘Peter’s Persica’ can be 10cm wide

‘Peter’s Persica’ is a new climbing rose named as a tribute to gardener Peter Seabrook. Seabrook was “won over by the rose when he saw it blooming in trial fields,” according to Thompson & Morgan, “and he clearly spotted a winner as it has also been recognised with an RHS Award of Garden Merit.” This colourful rose bears masses of 10cm, vibrant yellow flowers with a flaming red eye. Compact in size, it’s ideal for small spaces and makes a perfect patio climber for a large container. It’ll reach heights of 2.5-2.7m (8-9ft) and spread to 1m (3ft 2in). 

Why we love this new rose variety: A repeat bloomer, ‘Peter’s Persica’ boasts outstanding disease resistance and glossy, healthy foliage. 

Planting tips: Peter Freeman, buyer and product development manager at Thompson & Morgan, told us: “Stems of climbing roses will require training against a suitable support, such as a pergola, fence or wall.”  

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'Peter's Persica', Thompson & Morgan

RRP: From £19.99

'Peter's Persica', Thompson & Morgan

7. ‘Sense and Sensibility’

A densely-flowered climbing rose

'Sense and Sensibility' is a magnet for pollinating insectsCredit: Harkness Roses
‘Sense and Sensibility’ is a magnet for pollinating insects

This elegant climbing rose from Harkness Roses is the latest addition to its Jane Austen Collection, created in partnership with Jane Austen’s house. Its blushing buds open to pearly white flowers, busy with petals, with the company describing them as “countless pom poms dancing around on the breeze.”  

“The sheer quantity of blooms makes this rose a magnet for pollinating insects, in particular hoverflies,” says Philip Harkness, chair of Harkness Roses. “Their presence on and around the plant only adds to the visual experience.” 

Why we love this new rose variety: ‘Sense and Sensibility’ will produce swathe after swathe of flowers between June and October. 

Planting tips: This rose grows to a height of 2m (6ft 5in) and will spread to nearly the same distance. It would be happy scrambling up a fence, or the front of a house. Alternatively, plant in a large container and allow it to cover an obelisk for a free-standing, structural feature. It can grow in all soil types, but avoid north-facing locations as it needs full or partial sunlight.  

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'Sense and Sensibility', Harkness Roses

RRP: From £18.99

'Sense and Sensibility', Harkness Roses

8. ‘Sweet Honey’

For late autumn flowers

'Sweet Honey' should be quick to establish itself in your gardenCredit: Sarah Raven
‘Sweet Honey’ should be quick to establish itself in your garden

The new ‘Sweet Honey’ rose from Sarah Raven is fabulous floribunda with loads of soft pink blooms that will adorn your garden summer and even as late as November. It establishes quickly and is great for picking. The rose gives off a delicious perfume, if you’re keen to cut the blooms for a fragrant vase display at home. 

Why we love this new rose variety: ‘Sweet Honey’ is very quick to establish itself, and then grows fast, too. Excellent news if you want quick results and prefer a low-maintenance garden flower. 

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'Sweet Honey', Sarah Raven

RRP: £19.95

'Sweet Honey', Sarah Raven

9. ‘The Rob Burrow MND Rose’

Saffron-yellow petals for borders

New rose variety from Harkness Roses called 'The Rob Burrow MND Rose'Credit: Harkness Roses
‘The Rob Burrow MND Rose’ should flower repeatedly all summer

Harkness Roses has launched ‘The Rob Burrow MND’ rose in partnership with the Motor Neurone Disease Association, with £2.50 from every sale going to the charity. Burrow, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2019, is the rose’s namesake, and has been campaigning alongside other sportspeople to shine a light on the condition.  

“This beautiful saffron-yellow rose has a compact, bushy growth habit, making it suitable for both small and generous spaces,” says Philip Harkness. “It will also thrive in a large pot.” 

Why we love this new rose variety: As the buds form, they’re tinged with a delightful light green, teasing you before they burst open into the warm, saffron-yellow faces you see here. 

Planting tips: This bush/floribunda hybrid rose will survive in windy or exposed conditions, and any soil type, but will prefer full sunlight. Avoid placing it in a north-facing spot. It will bloom repeatedly between June and October, and is perfect for growing in a large pot or in a border. 

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'The Rob Burrow MND Rose'

RRP: £18.99

'The Rob Burrow MND Rose'

Quick tips for planting roses 

Acclimatise young plants to outdoor conditions over seven to 10 days,” Thompson & Morgan’s Freeman says. “To avoid the risk from the build-up of harmful soil organisms and disease, choose an open position in full sun that has not been planted with roses in recent years. Roses enjoy a rich, fertile, well-drained soil. Dig in plenty of well-rotted manure or garden compost to the soil prior to planting roses, and add a small handful of granular fertiliser to the planting hole. 

“Stems of climbing roses will require training against a suitable support, such as a pergola, fence or wall.” 

“We recommend using a peat-free compost,” Jill Kerr, category manager for roses at Blue Diamond Garden & Living Centres told us. “Firm well in [patting the soil to make sure it’s firm, but not too compacted], water with a full watering can once a week down the neck of the rose, not over the leaves. Water more in periods of extreme heat. Incorporate a rose feed when planting and repeat feeding as directed on the package.” 

The company adds that knowing how to deadhead roses can encourage a new flush of blooms. 

According to Raven, before planting bare-root roses soak roots in a bucket of water for at least two hours. Dig a hole that will accommodate the root ball comfortably and, to aid establishment, sprinkle mycorrhizal fungi (such as Rootgrow) into the base before planting. 

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Rosanna Spence

Written by Rosanna Spence she/her

Updated:

Rosanna Spence has been a journalist for nearly 10 years, reporting on a huge array of topics – from microwaves to cocktails, sustainable buildings, the Caribbean islands and beyond. She’s interviewed chefs at the helm of Michelin-starred restaurants and chatted to countless CEOs about their businesses, as well as created travel guides for experienced travellers seeking life-changing adventures. Throughout her career, she has created content for Business Traveller, i-escape.com, Pub & Bar, BRITA, Dine Out and many more leading titles and brands.

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