13 Patriotic Roses to Plant This Memorial Day Weekend

This Memorial Day, join the tradition of planting or decorating with flowers to honor loved ones who’ve lost their lives in service. In this article, rose enthusiast Danielle Sherwood shares special roses with ties to Memorial Day. Plant one this holiday as a beautiful token of remembrance that will endure for years to come!

Patriotic America Rose For Memorial Day

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The use of flowers to honor fallen loved ones has been an American tradition since 1868. Originally, Memorial Day was known as Decoration Day, a special day to remember those who’ve served and passed by leaving graveside flowers and wreaths.

We can keep this tradition alive this Memorial Day by planting flowers that last. Roses are America’s official national flower. They are long-lived perennials that make lovely tribute plants. Each year, their blooms will be a touching reminder of your loved ones in your very own garden.

If you’d like to do something special this Memorial holiday, consider planting an exceptional rose in honor of the sacrifices soldiers have made. Here, we’ll take a look at some beautiful honorific roses. Let’s get started!

‘Veteran’s Honor’

Close-up of a blooming 'Veteran's Honor' rose against a blurred green background. This flower is large, ball-shaped, double, velvety crimson. The leaves are pinnately compound with oval, dark green leaflets with serrated edges.
‘Veteran’s Honor’ is a beautiful hybrid tea rose bred to honor fallen American soldiers.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘JACopper’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 4’ – 5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-10

‘Veteran’s Honor’ is a classically beautiful hybrid tea rose in velvety crimson, bred in remembrance of all fallen American soldiers. It’s a multiple-award winner and a wonderful choice for a tribute plant.

‘Veteran’s Honor’ has graceful exposition-worthy blooms that have a dignified presence in the garden and arrangements. Its good looks are complemented by a light raspberry tea scent.

This rose does best in dry climates and tends to get some blackspot in humid regions. It is small enough to keep as a potted rose or to shine in a memorial bed with white euphorbia and blue delphiniums.

‘Stars ‘n’ Stripes Forever’

Close-up of a blooming rose 'Stars 'n' Stripes Forever' against a blurred background of a blooming sunny garden. The flower is lush, double, has large rounded petals with a white base, decorated with bright crimson stripes that create a bold and attractive look. Some petals also have light pink stripes.
This is a symbolic rose featuring unique crimson stripes on a white base.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘CLEhope’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 3’ – 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-10

‘Stars ‘n’ Stripes Forever’ is an honorary rose for all who lost their lives in the attacks on September 11th, 2001, a symbol to recognize the courageous spirit of Americans in the face of loss.

This rose is a tough and hardy low-growing shrub that blooms with hundreds of small flowers at a time, none of which are exactly alike. The uniting factor is the striking crimson stripes on a white base, with some streaks of lighter pink. Plant with forget-me-nots for a gorgeous display in patriotic colors.

‘Stars ‘n’ Stripes Forever’ is a continually blooming garden workhorse. Plant it for the all-summer-long flowers and lovely meaning.

‘Peace’

Close-up of a blooming 'Peace' rose against a blurred background. The flower is large, lush, the classical form of a tea-hybrid rose, double, with wavy petals with a mixture of cream, soft pink and pale yellow flowers.
This is a Hall of Fame-winning rose representing the joy of the end of World War II.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Madame A. Meilland’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun-Part Shade
height height 4’ – 7’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

‘Peace’ celebrates the joy of Americans when World War II came to an end. It’s a World Federation of Rose Society’s Hall of Fame Winner that is prized by florists and gardeners alike for its unique coloration.

‘Peace’ blooms with a remarkable blend of cream, soft pink, and pale yellow. It has a wonderful tea rose fragrance. This beloved rose blooms in flushes from spring through frost.

If you’re looking for a disease-resistant hybrid tea with special symbolism, ‘Peace’ will not disappoint. A favorite ever since its introduction in 1945, this rose is a beautiful way to honor those who’ve sacrificed for a more peaceful future.

‘We Salute You’

Close-up of a blooming rose 'We Salute You' against a blurred backdrop of a garden. The flower is large, double, coral pink, decorated with darker outer petals.
This is a hybrid tea rose with bicolor blooms that have a lovely fragrance and make great cut flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘WEKvoosun’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 5’ – 6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

‘We Salute You’ was bred to honor those who lost their lives in the Pentagon in the attacks on September 11th, 2001. It’s a beautiful hybrid tea rose with subtle bicolor blooms.

The buds of ‘We Salute You’ begin vivid orange and open to deep coral-pink rose blooms with darker outer petals. This rose has a lovely citrus-spice fragrance.

‘We Salute You’ makes excellent cut flowers. It will bloom in flushes from spring through frost. Several of these are planted as a memorial in the Remember Me Rose Garden in Stoystown, Pennsylvania.

‘Because She Served’

Close-up of a blooming rose 'Because She Served' against a blurred background of dark green pinnately compound foliage. The rose flower is large, dark red with petals curved back.
‘Because She Served’ is a tribute rose for women in military service, with large double red blooms and a fragrant scent.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Because She Served’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 3’ – 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-10

Would you like to plant a special rose to honor a woman who dedicated time to military service? ‘Because She Served’ was bred specifically as a tribute rose to honor the strength and bravery of women who’ve served our country.

This rose has deep red pointed buds that unfurl to fully double scarlet swirled blooms. The flowers are large and bold against the bushy dark green foliage.

‘Because She Served’ makes beautiful and fragrant bouquets. It blooms repeatedly on long, graceful stems throughout the season. Plant it as an annual reminder of the accomplishments women have achieved in service. 

‘America’

Close-up of a blooming rose 'America' in a sunny garden against a blue sky. The rose has unusual salmon and coral flowers. The flowers are large, double, with slightly corrugated edges of the petals.
‘America’ rose is a robust climber with salmon and coral blooms, sweet clove fragrance, and steady performance from spring to fall.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘JACclam’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 6’ – 12’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

If you want a showstopping honorific rose this Memorial Day, consider planting the vivacious ‘America.’ This climber is robust and sturdy, reaching up to 15 feet tall. It is lovely when trained up a patio trellis or over an arbor as the entrance to a memorial garden.

‘America’ has unusual salmon and coral-shaded blooms with intoxicating fragrance. You’ll want to cut this one often to enjoy sweet clove-scented bouquets indoors. The flowers appear in a dazzling show of small sprays and single stems.

This variety flowers in abundant clusters from spring until fall. It’s an All-America Rose Selection winner for its vigor, perfume, and steady performance.

‘Honor’

Close-up of a blooming rose 'Honor' against a blurred background in a sunny garden. The flower is large, elegant, beautifully formed, with snow-white petals.
This is a fragrant hybrid tea rose with snowy-white blooms, perfect for remembering loved ones on Memorial Day.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘JAColite’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun-Part Shade
height height 4’ – 5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

‘Honor’ is a snowy-white rose that makes an elegant choice to remember a special loved one for Memorial Day. This is a fragrant hybrid tea rose with beautifully formed blooms atop long single stems.

‘Honor’ lasts well in the vase and is a beautiful garden specimen. While maturing to clear white, some petals are edged in subtle pale pink and cream. Plant in a spot with some dappled afternoon shade to preserve the color.

This variety is particularly resistant to powdery mildew and performs well even in hot and humid climates. Plant behind red drift roses and blue flax to make it the centerpiece of a traditional American color palette.

‘Fourth of July’

Close-up of a blooming 'Fourth of July' rose bush against a blurred dark green background. It is a bright and festive vine known for its bright red and white striped flowers. The flowers are small, solitary, with corrugated petals and golden stamens in the centers.
Add a festive touch to your Memorial Day with the vibrant ‘Fourth of July’ climbing rose.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘WEKroalt’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 8’ – 12’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-9

If you’d like to lend a festive air to your Memorial Day celebrations, the flashy and joyful ‘Fourth of July’ is a worthy contender. This is a dynamite climbing rose that will provide a patriotic burst of color for your summer activities.

‘Fourth of July’ has loads of semi-double blooms in white striped with raspberry red. The easily accessible stamens are a pollinator favorite. The flowers have a delicious candied apple scent.

This vigorous climber is an All-America Rose Selection winner that makes a statement in the garden. It’s a reliable bloom machine all summer long. Tolerant of poor soils, this is a great choice for that tough spot where no other roses have flourished.

‘Let Freedom Ring’

Close-up of a blooming rose 'Let Freedom Ring' against a blurred backdrop of a garden. The flower is large, classical hybrid tea form, with bright red petals with curved tips of the petals back.
This is a veteran-bred rose with large, deep red flowers that rebloom frequently.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘WEKearman’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 5’ – 6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-9

‘Let Freedom Ring’ was bred by World War II veteran Ernest Earman. It has large, lavish, deep red flowers. It reblooms frequently throughout the warm months.

This rose is great for long-lasting form and classic hybrid tea perfume. It makes gorgeous arrangements for gifting.

‘Let Freedom Ring’ matures to a warm red with hints of orange and salmon. It complements other hot colors and would look stunning in a mixed bed with an upright Kniphofia. In cooler temperatures, the flowers remain a truer blue-red. 

‘Remember Me’

Close-up of a blooming 'Remember Me' rose against a blurred green background. The rose has beautiful orange petals with hints of bronze and dusty pink.
‘Remember Me’ is a compact and bushy memorial rose with breathtaking shades of bronze, orange, and dusty pink.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘COCdestin’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 2.5’– 3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

Often planted as a memorial rose, ‘Remember Me’ shines with shades of bronze, orange, and dusty pink. It’s a reliable garden performer that looks especially beautiful as it glows in the evening sun.

This shrub stays compact and bushy, with lots of healthy forest-green foliage. The blooms’ evolving colors are breathtaking and look painted by hand. The pretty effect is paired with a spiced apple cider scent.

‘Remember Me’ takes a bit of time to show its full potential. When very young, flowers may start out smaller and lean more pink. After a season or two, you’ll see the beautifully-hued, large blooms that earned it international gold medals.

‘Free and Loyal’

Close-up of a blooming 'Free and Loyal' rose in the garden. The rose has a plush ivory flower with dense petals and a gentle blush in the center.
‘Free and Loyal’ is a beautiful rose with plush ivory blooms, strong fragrance, and excellent vase life.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘DELfumblan’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 4’ – 5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-10

I love the look of this rose. ‘Free and Loyal’ has plush, heavily-petaled ivory blooms with light blush centers. It’s favored by florists for its long vase life, show-quality form, and strong rose scent.

‘Free and Loyal’ is a strong, healthy grower with excellent disease resistance. It keeps its color well even in the heat, but consider protecting the delicate hues with shade cloth on particularly scorching summer afternoons.

Originally named to commemorate the 80th anniversary of South African Kingsmead College, ‘Free and Loyal’ is also popular as a veteran’s memorial rose. Plant it for copious fruit-scented bouquets to remember your loved one.

‘Spirit of Freedom’

Close-up of a blooming rose 'Spirit of Freedom' in the garden against a blurred background. The flower is large, corrugated, pale pink in color, peony-shaped, with darker pink petals in the center. The leaves are pinnately compound, with oval leaflets with serrated edges.
This is a stunning rose with nodding pale pink blooms, strong fragrance, and excellent disease resistance.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘AUSbite’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 6’ – 8’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-10

‘Spirit of Freedom’ is a standout from UK breeder David Austin, famous for producing old-world style cupped blooms with modern disease resistance. While originally named for the British Freedom Association, its title makes it an apt honorary rose for anyone who served this Memorial Day.

This variety grows into a tall, bushy shrub with beautifully nodding ruffled blooms in pale pink. Each has 100+ petals and a lightly quartered form. Flowers are perfumed with a lemony myrrh fragrance.

‘Spirit of Freedom’ grows quickly into a gorgeous garden specimen. It does well in hot climates, where it stands up well to black spot and mildew. Cut new blooms before heavy rains, as the globular form tends to ball with excess moisture. ‘Spirit’ blooms nearly continuously all season.

‘Memorial Day’

Close-up of a blooming 'Memorial Day' rose against a blurred dark background. The rose has a beautiful shape with a high center, with soft pink petals with slightly ruffled edges.
‘Memorial Day’ is a must-have rose with double pink blooms and a delightful damask rose scent.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘WEKblunez’
plant-type plant type Perennial
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 4’ – 5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-11

This list wouldn’t be complete without true-pink ‘Memorial Day.’ This rose has old-fashioned double blooms and rich damask rose fragrance.

‘Memorial Day’ is an All-American Rose Selection for its lovely high-centered form, striking shade of orchid pink, and strong perfume. It has an upright habit and lots of glossy green foliage.

This variety is a favorite tribute rose that delivers on its promise of reliable rebloom from spring through frost. The petals are thick and sturdy, making for long-lasting cut arrangements that perfume an entire room. It’s easy to work with and has limited thorns.

Final Thoughts

I hope you’ve been inspired by this list of roses with special significance. Celebrate this Memorial Day by planting a beautiful tribute to honor those who’ve given their lives in service. The long-lived blooms and remarkable fragrance will bring moments of joy and remembrance year after year. Enjoy your roses!

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An arrangement of patriotic flowers in varying sizes, showcasing shades of red, white, and blue. The blooms are thoughtfully interspersed with an assortment of lush green leaves, creating a harmonious blend of colors.

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