17 Roses With Extremely Long Lifespans

Roses bring history and charm to the garden, and many grow for decades with long lifespans in favored locations. Explore rose selections to become long-lasting hallmarks of the garden with gardening expert Katherine Rowe.

A close-up reveals a cluster of vibrant yellow Banksia roses, their delicate petals unfurling gracefully. Surrounding them, lush green leaves provide a verdant backdrop, enhancing the brilliance of the blossoms in this natural arrangement.


Among the oldest known flowers, roses appear throughout antiquity and remain popular today. Roses bring history and legacy to the garden and live incredibly long lifespans. Some heirloom and climbing species may live 50 years or more, thriving even in less-than-ideal garden situations. These roses are the horticultural relics in old cemeteries, homesteads, and pioneer trails.

Old garden roses, also known as antique and heirloom roses, possess vigor, disease resistance, and adaptability for a long lifespan. Old roses existed before 1867 when hybrid tea roses (modern roses) came into cultivation with the perfect florist rose bloom.

The same heirloom rose hardiness holds for wild species roses, where rugged plants thrive in various soil types, moisture, and light conditions. Fortunately for our landscapes, heirloom and species roses are seeing a resurgence. Valued for their health, bloom color, and fragrance, these long lifespan roses deserve a spot (and plenty of room!) in the garden.

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A close-up reveals the delicate petals of a sunlit pink 'America' rose, each detail bathed in warm sunlight. In the background, the blurred image showcases the rich brown soil, a testament to the thriving environment where this vibrant flower blooms.
A vigorous climbing rose called ‘America’ boasts vibrant coral-pink blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘JACclam’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 10-14’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-9

‘America’ climbing rose grows vigorously — even on bare walls — with excellent disease resistance. Fragrant, large, double blooms shine in vivid shades of coral and pink. Slightly lighter petal undersides (reverses) create a multi-tonal effect as blooms open.

Flowers usually appear one per stem, but sometimes in clusters, from early spring to fall. The four to five-inch blooms hold up to 40 petals and boast an intense perfume of spicy clove and sweet fruit notes.

‘America’ is a 1976 All-America Rose Selections winner and a garden favorite for its rapid growth, healthy, deep green foliage, colorful blooms, and fragrance. It’s a long-lived climbing rose that blooms on old and new growth. ‘America’ is winter hardy (some growers note it down to USDA zone 4) and tolerates the hot summers of warmer climates.


A close-up captures the vibrant purple 'Nootka' roses, each adorned with sunny yellow centers, as they bask in the warm sunlight. The backdrop consists of lush deep green leaves, providing a natural contrast to the vivid blooms.
The Nootka rose boasts showy pink flowers that attract various pollinators.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa nutkana
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 5-10’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-10

The Nootka rose is a wild North American native with single flowers in showy pink. The open-faced flowers of native roses attract more pollinators than those with dense petals, and Nootka also hosts various moths and butterflies.

Abundant purple-red hips remain on the plant throughout the winter, and colorful fall foliage brightens the post-bloom season. Nearly thornless, long canes make for easy pruning and care (though young stems contain prickles until maturing).

Nootka is an easy-care, rugged, and adaptable rose. It grows quickly and spreads by vigorous rhizomes, making it suitable for bank stabilization and erosion control.

‘Lady Banks’

Bright yellow 'Lady Banks' roses bask in the sunlight, their delicate petals glowing warmly. Lush green leaves encircle the flowers, providing a verdant backdrop that enhances their radiant beauty.
This rose variety boasts fragrant blooms and vigorous growth.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa banksiae
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 40’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-10

‘Lady Banks’ roses sprawl and ramble in the landscape with loads of white or yellow petite blooms. ‘Lady Banks’ creates a blanket of sweetly fragrant flowers in spring to early summer. Long, arching canes are thornless and, given room to roam, reach upwards of 40 feet tall. Plant this beauty to welcome spring with a flourish.

Named in 1807 after Lady Dorothea Banks, wife of British botanist, explorer, and president of the Royal Horticultural Society, Sir Joseph Banks, this vigorous species rose hails from China. The largest rose in the world is allegedly a ‘Lady Banks’ rose in Tombstone, Arizona, planted in 1855 and sprawling over a massive 8,000 square feet — a testament to both hardiness and longevity.

While ‘Lady Banks’ roses don’t need much pruning except to remove dead canes, it does take pruning well to control growth (in case you don’t have 8,000 square feet for a climbing rose). ‘Lady Banks’ is tough and adaptable, tolerant of coastal conditions, drought, and high heat and humidity. Evergreen in zones 8-10, ‘Lady Banks’ flourishes in southern climates.


A single 'Maxima' rose displays delicate blush pink petals in crisp detail, capturing the flower's elegant essence. The background softly blurs, showcasing lush green leaves that complement the rose's natural beauty with a serene backdrop.
This centuries-old rose cultivar is prized for its hardiness.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa alba ‘Maxima’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 6-8’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

Rosa alba ‘Maxima’ is a centuries-old rose, cultivated in Europe since at least 1500. This old garden rose stands the test of time with hardiness and reliability. In spring, double blooms begin a pale blush and mature to creamy white against a backdrop of blue-gray foliage. Flowers carry an intensely sweet fragrance. 

‘Maxima’ is a sturdy rose that thrives in conditions that make other roses wither. It’s highly disease-resistant and tolerates poor soils and shade. The Royal Horticulture Society’s Award of Garden Merit recipient, ‘Maxima’ is a carefree rose with exceptional vigor in addition to its gorgeous blooms and fragrance.

‘Maxima’ makes a sizeable standalone garden specimen or climbing feature when tied to a support structure, and nearly thornless canes make it easy to train. Enjoy showy rose hips that emerge in fall for winter interest. 

‘Cramoisi Supérieur’

A vibrant 'Cramoisi Supérieur' rose in close-up, its velvety red petals delicately unfurling in the foreground. Behind, slender foliage creates a soft blur, enhancing the rose's prominence and natural beauty.
The ‘Cramoisi Supérieur’ is a heat-tolerant rose celebrated for its velvety crimson blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Cramoisi Supérieur’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 4-6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

This old China rose bears crimson flowers, cupped and fully double, with a silvery sheen on the reverse. Flowers repeat from spring through frost on thick, shrubby stock.

Cultivation of ‘Cramoisi Supérieur’ began in Belgium in the 1800s and was introduced in France in 1834. Even today, growers celebrate its velvety blooms, high fragrance, and hardy form. 

This historic rose is diseases resistant, has a long lifespan, and tolerates heat and drought conditions. It grows in part shade with at least four hours of sun for best vigor. ‘Cramois Supérieur’ grows well in containers with well-drained soils and annual fertilizer.

‘Golden Showers’

 A close-up of a radiant yellow 'Golden Showers' rose glistens under the sun's warm embrace, its delicate petals capturing the light. In the background, lush green leaves blur softly, also basking in the rays of sunlight.
A prolific climber rose called ‘Golden Showers’ boasts large yellow flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Golden Showers’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 8-10’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

From spring until frost, ‘Golden Showers’ rains huge golden yellow flowers that mature to creamy white. Semi-double blooms measure over five inches across, contrasting dark green foliage beautifully.

An All-America Rose Selections winner, ‘Golden Showers’ is a vigorous climber or specimen shrub. Reliable and hardy in most climates, ‘Golden Showers’ tolerates a variety of conditions, including some shade. It’s disease-resistant, nearly thornless, and fills vertical garden spaces like arbors, trellises, or containers. 

The clear yellow flowers lead to showy orange-to-red rose hips in fall. The accessible bloom centers draw pollinators, and birds appreciate the hips. Its multiseason appeal makes this hardy yellow climber a long-lasting delight in the garden.


A close-up reveals the delicate beauty of a 'Eden' rose, its pink petals gently ruffled and full of grace. In the background, a soft blur hints at a lush garden with more of these exquisite blooms and verdant foliage.
The ‘Eden’ is a low-maintenance climbing rose with continual flowering.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘MEIviolin’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 5-7’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

‘Eden’ brings abundant creamy pink blooms to the climbing rose. Large, frilly, double flowers with a spicy musk fragrance repeat from spring until frost.

Old-world beauty meets modern, carefree requirements in ‘Eden’. It also features continual blooming and fragrance. Introduced by the House of Meilland of France as part of the RomanticaⓇ series, ‘Eden’ is bred to be low maintenance with exceptional flowering in very double blooms.

With excellent disease resistance and beauty in form and flower, ‘Eden’ climbs elegantly along arbors, trellises, fences, and pillars. Place this rose where you’ll enjoy the large flowers and rich fragrance.

‘Dublin Bay’

A vibrant red 'Dublin Bay' rose, its petals unfurling gracefully under the warm sunlight. Glossy leaves surrounding it shimmer with a luscious sheen, creating a stunning contrast against the blurred backdrop of verdant greenery.
This modern climber boasts crimson blooms and vigorous growth.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘MACdub’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 8-12’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-9

‘Dublin Bay’ graces the vertical garden with crimson blooms, glossy foliage, and a fruity fragrance. Double flowers emerge in clusters and free flower throughout the growing season. Showy spring and fall flushes pop against large surfaces of walls and fences.

‘Dublin Bay’ is a modern climber bred in 1979 in Ireland. A hybrid of hardy climbers ‘Bantry Bay’ and ‘Altissimo,’ it bears the best of its vigorous parents in growth and mildew resistance

Grow ‘Dublin Bay’ roses in full sun for best performance. Its long bloom time and low maintenance needs make it a carefree climber to delight the garden for years.

‘Peggy Martin’

A 'Peggy Martin' rose bush displays lush green leaves, framing delicate pink roses in full bloom. The soft petals gently unfurl, casting a subtle fragrance that dances in the air, captivating all who behold its beauty.
A rose named ‘Peggy Martin’ survived Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Peggy Martin’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 6-15’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Rosa ‘Peggy Martin’ withstood two weeks under twenty feet of saltwater during Hurricane Katrina. This Louisiana climbing beauty was one of two surviving plants (the other a tough crinum lily) in Mrs. Peggy Martin’s garden. 

On a visit to Mrs. Martin’s garden years before the storm, Dr. Bill Welch from Texas A&M collected cuttings of this previously unnamed rose. He began propagating and distributing the rose (plants sold for $1 to raise funds for area garden restorations post-hurricane) under Peggy Martin’s name. 

Today, its profusion of pretty pink roses belies its rugged nature. ‘Peggy Martin’ blankets whatever it grows on with a vigorous habit. Small blooms emerge in spring and again in fall. The sheer number of clustered flowers is stunning. The rose is thornless, too, making training easy on pillars, archways, and along walls.


A close-up captures the intricate beauty of a 'Lamarque' rose, showcasing its luminous white petals in exquisite detail. Surrounding the bloom, verdant leaves provide a contrasting backdrop, enhancing the delicate elegance of the flower.
Fragrant ‘Lamarque’ is a noisette climber with dark green foliage.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Lamarque’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 12-20’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

Noisette climber ‘Lamarque’ features old rose qualities of fully double, fragrant, creamy white blooms with lemon yellow centers. Dark green foliage and graceful arching canes provide the backdrop to the heavenly blooms. Blooms emerge in spring and summer on long stems, perfect for cutting, with a lemon tea scent.

Known for their long lifespan, Noisette roses were born in the early 1800s in Charleston, South Carolina, by crossing a China rose and a European musk rose. An heirloom in southern climates, noisette roses are carefree garden performers well-adapted to heat and humidity (but not colder conditions). Heirloom cuttings of various cultivars have been passed along ever since and dot the southeast.

Hardy stock leads to excellent disease resistance and the ability to thrive in a no-spray rose garden. ‘Lamarque’ is a striking climber that reaches up to 20 feet tall in optimal conditions. Provide at least six hours of sun for best growth.

Dog Rose

A cluster of Dog Roses with five purple petals encircling a bright yellow center, bloom against a backdrop of lush green leaves. The delicate petals unfurl gracefully, inviting admiration from passersby.
Dog roses are known for their fragrant white-to-pink flowers that pollinators love.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa canina
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 9’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-7

A wild climber, dog roses yield fragrant, large, white-to-pink single flowers with yellow stamens that attract bees, flies, beetles, and other insects. Rosa canina gets its species name (“sharp teeth”)  from its curved, pointed thorns. Dog roses bloom beautifully in June and July.

The dog rose is a rambling beauty in meadows and fields, as hedges, and along banks. With an extremely long lifespan, the dog rose is the oldest living rose known today. The Thousand Year Rose grows at Germany’s Hildesheim Cathedral, where it’s allegedly grown since the 800s, the time of the church’s founding. The extensive, shrubby climbing rose survived the church’s bombing in World War II and continues to bloom today.

When dog rose flowers fade in the fall, striking red, oval-shaped hips emerge. This versatile, rugged, adaptable rose is a wild beauty in the garden.

‘Cecile Brunner’

A single pink 'Cecile Brunner' rose, delicately blooming amidst verdant leaves. In the background, a blurred garden scene unfolds, brimming with vibrant greenery and lush foliage, creating a serene and picturesque atmosphere.
The ‘Cecile Brunner’ features small, silvery pink blooms with a light honey fragrance.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Cecile Brunner’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 10’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

‘Cecile Brunner’ climbing rose is a sport of the much-loved sweetheart rose of the same name. A historic climbing rose, growers prize ‘Cecile Brunner’ for its clusters of small, soft, silvery pink flowers and light honey fragrance. Its lovely rose blooms resemble miniature hybrid teas and emerge in abundance in the spring, with flushes through frost.

The adaptable ‘Cecile Brunner’ tolerates poor soils and partial shade. The rose has a mannerly habit, making it an ideal climber for containers, pillars, and arbors, accommodating 10 feet at maturity. It’s nearly thornless, with strong stems. New leaves are showy – small and red, becoming dark green.

‘Cecile Brunner’ is an Earth-KindⓇ rose rigorously tested for improved landscape performance and requiring little irrigation and no spray for pests and diseases. This conscientious, long-lived rose is also one of the easiest varieties to grow.


Soft pink petals of 'Mundi' roses bask in sunlight, their delicate texture catching the gentle rays. Vibrant streaks of pink dance across the petals, adding depth and intrigue to their natural beauty.
This old rose hybrid is renowned for its showy striped blooms and spicy fragrance.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa gallica ‘Versicolor’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-11

Rosa mundi, also known as Rosa gallica ‘Versicolor’, is an old rose hybrid with masses of showy blooms and a compact, shrubby habit. Fuschia and white-striped blooms embolden the garden in late spring/early summer. This antique rose is one of the oldest and most famed striped roses in cultivation, originating in Asia and Europe.

‘Mundi’ has a profusion of blooms in a striking, ruffly combination worth the spectacular once-a-season flowering. The semi-double blooms reach three to six inches across. They carry a spicy old rose fragrance and stand out amongst pale green leaves. Abundant oval-shaped red rose hips emerge in fall.

‘Mundi’ tolerates part shade and poor soils and is a hardy, disease-resistant rose. It has few thorns, making it easy to place and prune. ‘Mundi’ is a staple in historic, heirloom rose gardens like Jefferson’s Monticello.

‘Louis Philippe’

A vibrant red ‘Louis Philippe’ rose, illuminated by the sun's golden rays, exudes timeless elegance. Surrounding it, delicate buds promise the promise of future beauty, all against a softly blurred backdrop of lush green foliage.
The ‘Louis Philippe’ rose features red and pink blooms with a white stripe.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Louis Philippe’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 3-6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-11

The ‘Louis Philippe’ rose, a China rose, thrives in warm, subtropical climates. Introduced in the Southeastern U.S. in the 1800s, it’s believed that the court of King Louis Philippe of France gifted the rose to Manuel Lorenzo Justiniano de Zavala y Saenz, Mexico’s minister to France, and his wife, Emily West. De Zavala became Vice President of the newly-proclaimed Republic of Texas, and the couple, avid gardeners, planted the rose at their home near Houston. 

Today, ‘Louis Philippe’ grows throughout the southeast. Rose-red and pink blooms hold a white stripe and boast a classic, old rose fragrance. Flowers bloom profusely throughout the warm season (and year-round in areas with warm winters).

A staple in historic rose gardens, ‘Louis Philippe’ is long-lived, often found surviving in abandoned gardens and homesites. It grows easily with little care, though plants appreciate protection from direct afternoon sun in hot climates.

‘Queen Elizabeth’

'Queen Elizabeth' roses bask in the warm sunlight, casting a delicate glow on their pink petals and deep green leaves. A sturdy black metal fence stands tall in the background.
The ‘Queen Elizabeth’ is a highly acclaimed rose variety that boasts large, silver-pink double blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Queen Elizabeth’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 4-6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

‘Queen Elizabeth’ is among the world’s most popular roses and an All America Rose Selections award winner, among other prestigious accolades. Once voted “World’s Favorite Rose,” Hall of Famer ‘Queen Elizabeth’ reigns as a large grandiflora rose with double, silver-pink blooms from May through frost. Flowers reach four inches across and emerge singly or in clusters on long stems.

In addition to beautiful blooms, ‘Queen Elizabeth’ bears nearly thornless canes, a gentle fragrance, and deep, glossy leaves. A cross between floribunda R. ‘Floradora’ and hybrid tea R. ‘Charlotte Armstrong’, ‘Queen Elizabeth’ is hardy and disease-resistant, leading to her longevity among grandifloras. 

‘Queen Elizabeth’ climbing rose is a sport of the giant shrub and reaches up to 20 feet. It thrives with the same reliability as its non-climbing parent. Grow it along walls and trellises in full sun and plenty of air circulation for a lengthy lifespan.


A close-up reveals the intricate beauty of a 'Fortuniana' rose bush, showcasing its lush green leaves and delicate white flowers in full bloom. The contrast between the verdant foliage and the pristine blossoms captivates with timeless elegance.
Rosa fortuniana boasts fully double white flowers with a sweet scent.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa x fortuniana
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 12-20’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-10

Rosa fortuniana is a strong climbing rose with vigorous growth, flowering, and disease resistance. It’s a natural offspring of Rosa banksiae and Rosa laevigata. The ‘Lady Banks’ and ‘Cherokee’ rose parentage makes it almost a super rose in hardiness and adaptability. Fully double white flowers bear a sweet scent among deep, glossy foliage and long, arching canes.

Discovered in China, thriving in a Ninghpo garden, ‘Fortuniana’ was introduced in England in 1845. Since its introduction, it’s become one of the most used rootstocks to make modern varieties more durable in the landscape. ‘Fortuniana’ roots and canes grow quickly with exceptional resistance to pests and diseases.

To experience this beauty in your garden, look for rose varieties grafted onto ‘Fortuniana’ rootstock. They’ll produce canes quickly with a vigorous root system. Make sure to water this fast-grower consistently and fertilize at planting.


A close-up showcasing a 'Peace' rose, its intricate details vivid against a blurred backdrop of foliage. Delicate interior petals flaunt a vibrant mix of yellow and white hues, while outer petals elegantly contrast in white, adorned with delicate purple edges.
The ‘Peace’ rose has ruffled petals in pale pink and yellow.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Peace’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 3-4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

As modern roses, hybrid teas don’t typically have the long lifespan of their old garden rose or species rose ancestors. Let’s include the much-loved ‘Peace’ rose on our list for its longevity among hybrid teas. 

‘Peace’ grows vigorously with a bushy habit and produces huge double blooms (up to six inches across) in shades of light yellow and white to rose pink along ruffly edges. Mildly fragrant flowers appear in spring and repeat through the fall. 

‘Peace’ holds its place in history, having survived World War II through cuttings circulated to rose growers in different countries for preservation. On April 29, 1945, Victory in Europe Day marking the war’s end, the ‘Peace’ rose officially entered commercial cultivation. It quickly became an All-America Rose Selections winner and is celebrated for its flower, vigor, and meaning.

Final Thoughts

Part of the charm of roses is the long lifespan legacy they bring to the garden. Tales of travel, culture, exploration, and romance abound in once-exotic varieties passed along through heirloom cuttings and hybridizations. These historic roses also offer adaptability and disease resistance with big flowering and high fragrance.

Irresistible in the modern garden, old garden and species roses deserve a spot in the garden border, as focal points, and for vertical interest. With appropriate cultural requirements like even moisture, circulation, organic fertilizer, and sunlight, you’ll enjoy the rewards of their easy care, no-spray requirements, and long-lasting beauty.

A vibrant display of Annual Phlox blooms in shades of pink, white, and lavender. The delicate petals gracefully unfurl, contrasting against lush green leaves. Basking in the sun, these colorful flowers create a lively garden spectacle.


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Close-up of a stunning dark pink dahlia in full bloom, bathed in warm sunlight. Velvet-like petals unfurl, some delicately curled at the edges. The blurred background hints at a charming wooden country house.

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