© David Austin Roses

Introducing...

Shrub roses

Tough, hardy Shrub roses with an 'old rose' character, flower generously from summer to autumn and usually to the first frosts. Many are ideal in a wild garden or towards the back of a large border, planted in isolation, or as informal hedging.

We have grouped old-fashioned shrub roses and modern shrub roses (including the 'English' shrub roses) together in this section as they have a similar appearance and the care of both is the same. 

Old-fashioned roses include those originating before the 18th century. Modern shrub roses begin in the early 20th century and have been bred, often from the old-fashioned roses, for a greater range of colour, repeat-flowering and disease resistance not always found in the old-fashioned types. 

Looks

Shrub roses have an open and spreading shape, often with arching prickly branches that flower along their length. Flowers are single, semi-double or fully double in a huge number of colours – many shades of white, cream, yellow, pink, red, crimson, purple, peach and orange.

Likes

Shrub roses thrive in fertile soil in full sun, with space to achieve their full potential. Some will tolerate less than ideal conditions, for example, Rosa rugosa and wild roses are usually happy in poor, dry soil and a little shade. 

Dislikes

Most Shrub roses will struggle to flower in deep shade and will not thrive in permanently damp soil.

Did you know?

Some Shrub roses with flexible, arching stems can be treated as short climbers, ideal where space is restricted, trained against a wall or fence or over an obelisk, arch or pergola.

Growing guide

Browse shrub roses

Old fashioned roses

Wild roses

Modern Shrub roses

Modern Shrub (English) roses

Rugosa roses

Roses for hedging and screening

Shrub roses we recommend

Useful advice

Fertilisers

Fertilisers

Organic matter: how to use in the garden

Organic matter: how to use in the garden

Rose dieback

Rose dieback

Rose pruning: shrub roses

Rose pruning: shrub roses

Roses: choosing the best

Roses: choosing the best

Roses: planting

Roses: planting

Other plants you may like

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.