17 Heat Tolerant Roses That Thrive in Warm Climates

Do you need a rose that can stand up to the heat? Gardeners in hot climates know that growing roses when temperatures soar can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are some rose varieties that tolerate heat better than others. In this article, gardening expert and rose enthusiast Danielle Sherwood shares a list of roses known for looking good despite hot summer temps.

heat tolerant roses

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If you love roses and live in a hot climate, you might struggle to keep them blooming in intense heat. Roses love sunshine, but they tend to struggle when temperatures rise above 85℉. Many of us are experiencing much hotter summers than we’re used to, making the need for heat-tolerant roses increase, even in some northern climates.

Roses experiencing heat stress may experience leaf scorch, wilting, and leaf loss. Blooms will be smaller as the rose tries to conserve its energy. In fact, roses can even go into heat-induced dormancy and stop producing new growth at all, similar to their period of winter dormancy in cold climates.

There are some steps you can take to mitigate the effects of heat stress. Some afternoon shade protects against the harshest rays of the sun. Mulch cools the soil and keeps moisture in. Frequent monitoring of dry soil and watering as needed will help combat desiccation.  Avoid planting roses in containers, as they won’t have the protection of cooler, deep inground soil.

While you can provide extra care for roses to get them through the heat, planting varieties that have more defense mechanisms to handle high heat is your best bet for a beautiful hot climate garden. Here’s a list of tough roses that will shine through the most sweltering summer days! 

‘Yolande d’Aragon’

Blooming 'Yolande d'Aragon' flower in a garden against a blurred green background. The flower is large, lush, double, pink-purple with a greenish eye.
This rose produces charming double purple-pink flowers with a deep aroma of fruit jam.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Yolande d’Aragon’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun-Part Shade
height height 4’ – 5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

‘Yolande d’Aragon’, named for the Duchess of Anjou, has been around since 1843. This pink flowering rose has full double blooms and an interesting green eye.

‘Yolande’ is deeply fragrant, with a fruity jam perfume. It can handle intense summer heat. In fact, this rose is just an overall garden workhorse, with a sturdy upright growth habit and glossy leaves unaffected by disease.

 ‘Yolande d’Aragon’ has its showiest flush in spring but will repeat flower throughout the summer months. It’s a bit of a slow starter, but will eventually take off to become a garden spotlight.

 ‘Mardi Gras’

Blooming rose 'Mardi Gras' in a sunny garden. The bush is lush, covered with dark green oval serrated leaves and large, lush, double flowers in warm shades of yellow, apricot, pink and cherry red. The petals are covered with dew drops.
‘Mardi Gras’ has delightful large flowers in warm shades of yellow, apricot, pink, and red.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘JACfrain’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun-Part Shade
height height 3’-4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

This All-America Rose Selections winner blooms in beautiful warm shades of yellow, apricot, pink, and cherry red. Flowers have a sweet, spicy fragrance and make good cut bouquets.

‘Mardi Gras’, like its festival namesake, is a lively and fun addition to the garden. The large (4 inches in diameter) are fully double. Blooms are copious and supported by lots of lush, bushy foliage.

‘Mardi Gras’ is rated high for disease resistance and heat tolerance. It’s a vigorous bloomer with star potential.  A floribunda with loads of eye-catching color, this rose will turn heads throughout the summer.

‘Dark Lady’

Blooming spray rose 'Dark Lady' in a sunny garden. The flowers are small, lush, peony-shaped, dark crimson in color with slightly wavy petals and dark stamens in the centers.
This is a shrub rose with beautiful deep crimson flowers with a mild old rose scent.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘AUSbloom’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun-Part Shade
height height 4’-5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-11

‘Dark Lady’, an English shrub rose from David Austin, is a gorgeous deep crimson. It grows somewhat wide, making it an excellent choice for a mid-size hedge when planted in multiples.

It has a delightful mild Old Garden Rose fragrance and lots of small rugosa-like foliage. The bloom form is special. Each is packed full of ruffly petals that recall the flowers of the tree peony. Unlike peonies, this rose will flower prolifically all season!

The dusky dark color is best with a bit of shade. The heavy roses nod a bit on the bush, giving them an elegant and romantic look. 

‘Easy Does It’

Close-up of a profusely flowering 'Easy Does It' rose bush in a sunny garden. The bush has large, double, flowers with slightly scalloped peach-pink petals. The foliage is large, dark green, oval-shaped with serrated edges.
This rose has gorgeous peach-pink flowers with scalloped petals that exude a citrus-tea aroma.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘HARpageant’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun-Part Shade
height height 3’ – 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

’Easy Does It’, from Weeks Roses’ Easy to Love series, is a low-effort rose that blooms all summer. It has peachy-pink scalloped petals and a delicious citrus-tea scent.

‘Easy Does It’ grows quickly and is smothered in buds and blooms throughout the season. It will develop rapidly into a 3 to 4-ft. bushy shrub. The wavy petals and sunset colors make it a worthy garden addition.

This rose can take the heat and has high disease resistance. Plant it with other perennials in deep purple and violet to make it glow!

‘Blue for You’

Close-up of a blooming 'Blue for You' rose bush in a sunny garden. The bush is lush, covered with dark green pinnately complex foliage of oval serrated leaves. Clusters of semi-double flowers of a delicate purple-pink color with a white eye and yellow stamens in the centers bloom among the foliage.
‘Blue for You’ produces charming purplish-pink semi-double flowers with white eyes.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘PEJamblu’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 3’- 6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-9

Do not miss out on the beautiful colors of ‘Blue for You’! This rose, depending on sun exposure and temperature, blooms in shades of plum, magenta, and pink, offset by an attractive white eye.

The flowers of ‘Blue for You’ are semi-double, with a light apple-clove perfume. They appear in long-lasting clusters. The best part is that blooms are constant all summer long.

‘Blue for You’ tolerates heat and resists disease. Plant it in a mixed bed with low-growing chartreuse and yellow sedums for a heat-friendly, durable garden!

‘Polka’

'Polka' rose blooming among dark green foliage, in a sunny garden. The flowers are large, double, and have frilly petals of golden-apricot hues.
‘Polka’ has huge creamy apricot frilly flowers with a heavenly old rose scent.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘MEItosier’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun-Part Shade
height height 8’– 12’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

If you love creamy apricot shades, ‘Polka’ will win your heart. Enormous golden-apricot blooms (6 inches across!) are full of frilly, scalloped petals on a climbing bush reaching up to 12 ft. high!

The full, ruffled look of ‘Polka’ has made it a favorite for bouquets. Its heavenly old rose scent is swoon-worthy, too. ‘Polka’ is sumptuous and abundantly blooming from spring through fall.

As a fast-growing climber, ‘Polka’ will need the support of a trellis or obelisk to reach its full height. Plant and watch it reach for the sky- undeterred by the worst heatwaves of summer! 

Dainty Bess

Top view, blooming 'Dainty Bess' flower against a blurred leafy background. The flower is large, open, single, has rounded wavy petals of pale pink color with dark burgundy stamens in the center.
This rose has pale pink open flowers with dark burgundy stamens.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Crépuscule’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun – Part Shade
height height 2’ – 5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

‘Dainty Bess’ is top 5 on my current wishlist. She has such a unique look, with large, waved open blooms, and striking maroon stamens.

‘Dainty Bess’ received the Royal National Rose Society Gold Medal in 1925. Popular for nearly a century, this sturdy rose used to be widely grown but has since taken a backseat to the heavily-marketed Knock Out series.

 The petals of ‘Dainty Bess’ are pale pink and delicate looking, but don’t let the name and appearance deter you. ‘Dainty Bess’ is a survivor! This rose will tolerate soaring summer temperatures, humidity, and drought. Cut frequently for lovely bouquets with a wildflower scent.

‘Peggy Martin’

Climbing rose 'Peggy Martin' blooming in the garden. The rose has clusters of small, lush, double, dark pink to pale pink flowers and dark green, glossy foliage.
‘Peggy Martin’ is a gorgeous climbing rose with profusely blooming double pink flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Peggy Martin’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun- Part shade
height height 6’-10’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

If you have a humid garden or wet soil, ‘Peggy Martin’ is the rose for you! ‘Peggy Martin’ is a tough-as-nails southern rose, famous for surviving 2 weeks under 20 ft. of salt water during Hurricane Katrina. The only surviving beauty in the garden of Louisiana gardener Peggy Martin, this rose was later named in her honor.

‘Peggy’ is a robust climbing rose with nearly thornless canes (though you will find some prickles on the back of the leaves!). It blooms heavily in spring with sprays of double magenta flowers, followed by occasional smaller flushes through fall. 

If you have a large wall or arbor to cover, this rose would be an excellent option. It grows rapidly, blooms abundantly, and thrives in heat and humidity. ‘Peggy Martin’ can survive a hurricane, and it can survive the skills of the most inexperienced gardener.

‘Peter Pan’

Top view, close-up of 'Peter Pan' roses in bloom against bright green foliage. The flowers are small, double, dark red with golden yellow stamens in the centers.
‘Peter Pan’ produces charming small deep red flowers with golden stamens.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘CHEwpan’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun-Part Shade
height height 4”-1’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6- 10

If you need to make the most of a small space, the adorable ‘Peter Pan’ is a pretty red rose that brings a lot of punchy color in a tiny package. This award-winning little rose is known for reliability.

Reaching a max height of 1 ft. tall, ‘Peter Pan’ can fit in at the front of the border or in patio containers (remember that containers will need more shade in high heat). Its deep-red double blooms look like high tea flowers in miniature rose form. Prominent golden stamens provide contrast and interest.

‘Peter Pan’ has gained fans for being a nonstop bloom machine. It does well in warm climates and is rarely plagued by disease. A great rose for beginners.

‘Twilight Zone’

Close-up of a blooming 'Twilight Zone' rose among dark green foliage. The flower is large, double, with ruffled dark plum petals.
This rose produces dark plum double flowers with a delightful citrus scent.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘WEKebtidere’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun-Part Shade
height height 3’-5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

 ‘Twilight Zone’ is a moody deep plum that looks even more intense in the shade. The dark green foliage provides a backdrop for large and velvety purple blooms. ‘Twilight Zone’ flowers in flushes all season.

‘Twilight Zone’ is a trooper in warm climates but will need protection from hot afternoon sun. If there’s no tree cover, consider putting up a shade cloth on the hottest days.

You’ll want to fill buckets with cut stems of this rose. It has a delicious citrus and clove scent and lasts quite a while in the vase.

‘Koko Loko’

Close-up of a blooming rose ‘Koko Loko’. The flower is medium in size, moss, composed of well-organized and closely clustered petals of coffee, lavender and pink colors. The tips of the rounded petals are elegantly twisted back.
‘Koko Loko’ blooms with elegant lavender-pink flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘WEKbijou’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun- Part Shade
height height 3’-4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6- 10

This unique rose always draws the eye in the garden. With coffee, lavender, and pink edged-blooms, its rare color makes it interesting. Favored by many brides for how well it fits the current neutral trend, ‘Koko Loko’ makes a striking and unexpected companion plant placed behind smaller flowers in white or lavender.

‘Koko Loko’ won an international Gold Medal in 2013 and was rated highly for heat tolerance and quantity of blooms. This rose is known for thriving in the southern United States, both in humid and arid climates.

It is a great garden plant, along with being a florist favorite. Its neutral tones add a bit of subdued sophistication to the garden, and it’s a perfect pick for gardeners who like an elegant look. 

‘Desmond Tutu’

Close-up of a blooming rose 'Desmond Tutu' in a sunny garden. The bush is lush, has clusters of double scarlet flowers and dark green glossy leaves with jagged edges.
This is a delightful scarlet rose that thrives in warm climates.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Archbishop Desmond Tutu’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 2.5’ – 3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5- 10

‘Desmond Tutu’, named for Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu, is a beautiful tribute to the South African activist. Included in Star Ⓡ Roses and Plants Sunbelt  collection, this rose shines in warm climates.

‘Desmond Tutu’ is smothered in clusters of blousy scarlet blooms from spring ‘til fall. It’s robust but stays fairly compact, so it doesn’t overwhelm your flower beds. You can plant several in one place for major impact or dot it around the garden for continuity of color.

Another gold medal winner, this rose just won’t stop blooming. It is rarely attacked by black spot or powdery mildew, even in the heat. If red is your color, try this rose!

‘Golden Celebration’

Close-up of a blooming rose 'Golden Celebration' against a blurred green background. The flowers are large, lush, double, with ruffled petals of golden honey color.
This rose produces large, cup-shaped double flowers that are honey-gold.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘AUSgold’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun-Part Shade
height height 4’ – 5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-10

‘Golden Celebration’ is a burst of golden honey yellow in the garden. It has very large, cupped blooms that bloom abundantly on a free-flowering shrub. The slender canes and stems support gracefully nodding flowers.

‘Golden Celebration’ likes the heat and sometimes climbs a bit taller than the usual 4-5 feet. Be prepared for it to reach quite high, and provide vertical support if you’d like to encourage it.

This rose is rated “best for fragrance” by David Austin, a breeder famous for producing English-style roses with rich scent. You’ll want to pass by often to inhale its captivating sweet perfume.

‘Golden Celebration’ prefers dry, hot climates over humid ones and sometimes develops black spot in wet conditions. Be on the lookout and remove diseased foliage as needed.

‘Sally Holmes’

Close-up of a blooming rose 'Sally Holmes' surrounded by dark green foliage. The flowers are delicate, solitary, open, with white ruffled petals and golden yellow stamens.
This rose produces charming ruffled white flowers with golden stamens.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Sally Holmes’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 6’-12’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-10

Sally Holmes is a dream. In summer, it’s a full blanket of ruffled white rose blooms. Canes are nearly thornless and beckon you to cut frequent bouquets.

‘Sally Holmes’ is the definition of floriferous. It produces long sprays, with up to 60 blooms on each! It loves warm climates and will climb up to 12 feet if conditions suit it. Otherwise, it generally remains a tall shrub at 6-8 feet.

The single ivory and blush flowers have golden stamens and are enjoyed by pollinators. People love it too. It was named “World’s Favorite Rose” in 2012 and just keeps on delivering.

‘Le Petit Prince’

Top view, close-up of the flower of the rose 'Le Petit Prince' against a blurred background of green leaves. The flower is medium in size, double, has delicate lavender petals.
This rose produces the most delicate lavender flowers with a citrusy-anise scent.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘DELgramau’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun- Part Shade
height height 4’-5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

‘Le Petit Prince’ is a lavender floribunda with good bloom power and to-die-for fragrance. It makes a popular cutting flower because no one can resist bringing the citrusy-anise scented blooms inside.

Named for the beloved French children’s novel, this Little Prince is appropriately special. A stunning, delicate lavender in the cold, it appears slightly pink in the heat. Either way, the attractive coloration and scent combined make for a covetable rose.

‘Le Petit Prince’ has won multiple awards for fragrance, but its beauty is praiseworthy, too. This one fits right in with roses in cream or deep purple and will become a favorite in your garden.

‘Sweet Mademoiselle’

Close-up of a flowering bush of 'Sweet Mademoiselle' rose among bright green, pinnately compound foliage with serrated edges. The flowers are large, cup-shaped, double, peony-shaped, with ruffled thin petals of pink-peach color.
This is a gorgeous heat tolerant rose that produces large, cupped pink peach flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘MEInostair’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun-Part Shade
height height 4’– 6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-11

‘Sweet Mademoiselle’ is a surefire winner for hot climates. It is adapted to a wide variety of zones but is a real lifesaver in areas where other roses just can’t handle the blazing sun. Its true-pink-to-peach color fades slightly paler in the heat.

‘Mademoiselle’ has large, cupped blooms on a healthy midsize shrub. This rose won the American Rose Society’s Award for Fragrance. It has a strong, sweet fruity scent that wafts through the garden.

This rose responds well to pruning and is a little thirsty. During hot months, check soil daily and water thoroughly whenever the top few inches are completely dry.

‘Frida Kahlo’

Close-up of 'Frida Kahlo' rose blooming against a blurred green background. The flowers are small, semi-double, with ruffled raspberry-red petals with golden yellow stripes.
This rose produces bright red semi-double flowers with golden yellow stripes.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘WEKcifrabaun’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 2’-3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-10

‘Frida Kahlo’ is bold and striking, just like the Mexican artist it’s named for. Blooms are semi-double and a bright strawberry red with golden yellow stripes. Each flower has a slightly different look, making this shrub a swirly party of color.

At only 3 feet tall, ‘Frida’ is a good candidate for containers. It also makes a great edge for pathways if you plant several in a row. She appreciates full sun and will glow with warmth in your garden.

This rose has a light fruity fragrance that isn’t overwhelming but still lovely. She’s very hardy and can stand up to all kinds of abuse and pests. This rose is a steady little workhorse with bombshell looks.

Final Thoughts

Some roses just don’t have what it takes to make it through extremely hot summers, while others seem to power through. I hope this list gave you the confidence to plant some new varieties known for looking beautiful and unbothered by scorching summer temps. Remember that water and shade goes a long way in keeping roses healthy in the heat, and enjoy your roses!

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