Zone Hardiness Information

Find Roses For Your Climate

To determine your USDA Zone based on winter low temperatures click here and enter your zip code.  After determining your Zone you may then go the Advanced Search link on the dark green left margin on homepage.  The information below will help you use the Advanced Search effectively to find all the roses you can grow in your climate. It is important to read all the information on this page and at the top of the Advanced Search page.
 
There are no search links for the warmer Zones---7, 8, 9, and 10---because nearly every rose will grow in those zones.
 
Zone 7 gardeners may wish to exclude the few Zone 8 roses or, depending on your budget and personality, you may decide to experiment with adaptive practices such as micro climate locations in your garden to grow these roses. Average low ranges for the warmer zones are as follows: 

Zone 7: 10 to 0 Degrees // Zone 8: 10 to 20 // Zone 9: 20 to 30 // Zone 10: 30 to 40 
(See the USDA map for more Zone ranges.)



Further Notes on Zone Hardiness

The coldest Zone in which it is possible to grow roses at all is Zone 3. Please note that, while the zone ranges given on each individual rose page for that variety are helpful for finding roses appropriate to your area, they are not a guarantee of hardiness.

Occasionally any zone may experience weather outside its normal range. Colder zone gardeners sometimes extend their range of choices by experimenting with various types of winter protection methods and devices and by making good use of any warmer microclimates in their gardens such as a wind protected south wall. For Zones 3-5, we recommend planting into the ground just as soon as hard freeze danger is past in the spring. The good news is that roses that are established on their own roots  will often regenerate if frozen to the ground. Feel free to email us if you have any questions about the hardiness of a rose your are considering. Our guarantees do not apply to winter survival or to abnormal weather events.

We have not included Zone 7 and warmer zones in our  searches  because most varieties may be grown in those zones. In Zone 7 the microclimates of the garden need to be taken into consideration in order to grow more tender varieties. Also, when pushing zone limits, one needs to remember that a West Coast Zone usually has less extreme weather than the same East Coast Zone, and, certainly, than the same Central Zone. Other considerations, not covered here, have to do with limitations for extremely southern climates on growing some of the antiques that require a period of winter chill to flower well. If you live in Zone 10 or warmer, there may not be enough winter chill to insure reliable flowering of the Gallica and Alba classes. We would like to hear from customers in Zones 10 and above who have grown these classes of roses with successful bloom.  We think it may be possible, particularly in certain locations within these zones.

Saving Freeze Damaged Roses

After a damaging freeze, don't give up on your roses too quickly. Particularly, if many of your frozen roses were well established and on their own roots before the freeze, they may very well send up new canes from the roots. This advice can also work for grafted roses that were planted with the graft union (the knob) below the soil so that the rose has established ‘own roots’ above the graft union.

However, one thing is certain, if your roses are to regenerate from the roots, frozen canes that are piano key black must be trimmed back to white wood, or the freeze damage will continue traveling down into the roots and will kill the crown of the plant. When the rot travels into the crown and then into the roots, regeneration is much less likely. I will say though that, when digging up an own root rose, small pieces of root, left behind, will often regenerate.  So, even if the crown is damaged, you might want to experiment with cutting away the damaged part of the crown, sterilizing the cut, and waiting a few months to see whether new canes emerge.

Certain types of roses, such as the warmth loving Teas, are particularly vulnerable to freeze generated rot traveling rapidly down their canes. So, it is particularly important to trim all that true black damage down to green wood right away on any rose. Be sure to differentiate the piano key black of damage from healthy dark purple canes. Many varieties have dark purple canes rather than green. Trim just below freeze damage (above a healthy node) as more low temps can still occur. Following that surgery be sure to inspect and perform the above process on your roses several more times, as needed, for at least a couple of weeks after a freeze. I usually continue to inspect once a week for a month after a severe freeze. In the beginning, space your inspections a few days to a week apart. Look for damage that was missed during the first trim, or that has progressed. This type of vigilance has saved many roses in our gardens over the years.

I confess I have never gardened in USDA Zones 3-5, where winters can be very severe. So, I have no experience with using protection measures like the ‘Minnesota Tilt’, which involves tilting and covering the entire rose with soil, or using a cone filled with loose material such as leaves to protect roses.  We salute all our Northern customers for their fierce fortitude and ask you to let us know if the above advice may be relevant at all to your situation---perhaps to very hardy roses that are unprotected?

RVR offers many varieties bred to be grown in the coldest zones.  Photos of some outstanding, very hardy varieties are embedded in this article.

If you would like to see all the roses that can be grown in your USDA Zone, go to the Advanced Search Link on the Left Margin and Highlight Your Zone and all the Zones that are colder than your zone as well.  Example: If you are in Zone 5, you would highlight not just 5 but Zones 3, 4, and 5. If you are in Zone 3 you would highlight only Zone 3.  (The smaller the zone number, the colder the zone.)  If a rose on our website is marked Zone 7, the coldest zone it is hardy in is Zone 7.  You would not want to order a rose listing Zone 7 in its data if you live in Zones 3, 4, 5 or 6 (unless you are a “zone pusher” in Zone 6).  Nearly any rose can be grown in Zones 7, 8, and 9.  In Zones 10 and up, a few classes, such as the Gallicas, may not always bloom reliably due to lack of winter chilling, depending on your specific location.

NOTE: The USDA Zone map was revised two summers ago.  The Zone Hardiness Link on our website’s left margin connects directly to this map.

 

Fall Planting and Cold Season Tips

Fall planting is a good thing to do in Zones 7 and warmer. An exception is that we do not recommend planting the Teas, Noisettes, and Chinas after mid summer in Zones 7 and 8a. If you prefer delayed shipping, we will overwinter your order and ship in the spring on the date you specify. Bands and 1 gallon plants can also be potted into 5 gallon or larger pots for overwintering in Zone 7 and up.  Plants in pots should be considered to be in a zone colder than that of plants in the ground. Colder zones may require taking roses in pots into a cold garage for a brief time during hard freezes.

Alert gardeners will see that plants are well watered before a freeze hits. Roses in pots that are less hardy may be moved into a cold structure that provides some warmth against extreme temperatures, or at least under a roof overhang. Move them right back outside as soon as the extreme weather stops, otherwise you will need to observe them carefully all winter. Plants moved indoors for longer periods must be kept moist but not wet. Infestation of spider mites, aphids, or other insects should be prevented by regular application of a systemic pesticide that also contains a fungicide for disease prevention. Keeping plants indoors at room temperature is not recommended. Moving plants outdoors again is best if just a few plants are involved. Consult successful rose gardeners or organizations in your area for successful special outdoor techniques used in extreme cold where you live.

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