17 Roses That Thrive on Neglect

Do you dream of an elegant rose garden but are nervous to get started? Here, gardening expert Melissa Strauss shares 17 low-maintenance roses perfect for beginners and experts alike.

A sprawling garden adorned with a variety of roses in shades of pink, red, and white, creating a colorful tapestry. Towering trees stand sentinel in the background, their branches intertwining to form a natural canopy that complements the garden's serenity.


Do you admire rose gardens but shy away from planting your own because you’ve heard they’re high maintenance? You are not alone. Roses are known to be demanding and difficult for beginners. Don’t get me wrong, they have a reputation for good reason, but all varieties are not created equal. Here, we’ll share roses that thrive on neglect!

The advent of rose hybridization in 1867 started rosarians on the road to creating new varieties that combine qualities of their parent plants, such as heat or cold tolerance or disease resistance. The result has been a wide variety of rose plants that can stand up to environmental stressors with relatively little intervention from gardeners. 

Thanks to some brave pioneers in the world of hybridization, we now have consistent, reliably hardy, vigorous roses that stand up to the elements and require much less maintenance. Here are 17 different varieties of roses easy enough to grow for novice gardeners!


A radiant bouquet of ballerina roses bathed in sunlight, showcasing beautiful petals. The focal rose boasts a lovely pink hue, adorned with yellow stamens at its heart. The blurred backdrop reveals more of these elegant flowers and their verdant foliage.
The low-maintenance ‘Ballerina’ rose is a charming, versatile hybrid musk variety.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Ballerina’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 4-6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-10

To kick off our list of low-maintenance roses is a charming hybrid musk rose variety that can be grown as a midsized shrub or groundcover. Ballerina has all the grace and loveliness of its namesake and an Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society to prove it. This perfect little rose makes an excellent container plant, reaching 4-6’ tall at maturity. 

Ballerina would make a stunning addition to the cottage garden. It has a wonderful vintage vibe, and although it is quite showy, it’s not ostentatious. Rather, this rose produces a bounty of light pink, single-petal blooms with white centers in great clusters.

The contrast of pale flowers against deep green foliage makes this a very attractive landscape element. Keep it planted in full sun for optimal pest and disease resistance

Carefree Beauty

A vibrant close-up reveals the delicate details of a carefree beauty rose, its ruffled pink petals and lush green leaves captured in intricate focus. The blurred background features lush leaves, creating a dreamy contrast that emphasizes the rose's beauty.
A salt-tolerant, disease-resistant rose, ‘Carefree Beauty’ has abundant pink blooms and versatile growth.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Bucbi’ Carefree Beauty
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Carefree is the perfect name for this beauty! ‘Carefree Beauty’ is not picky about much. It likes plenty of sun and good air circulation but is very tolerant of salt water and blooms in spring through fall under the right conditions.

Named the “Earth-Kind Rose of the Year” in 2006 by Texas AgriLife Extension Service, this fast grower and big bloomer thrives on neglect. 

Pink, double-petaled flowers bloom on bright green foliage with fully exposed centers that radiate warmth from a cluster of golden stamens. This variety is resistant to diseases, as well as being exceptionally heat and cold-tolerant. A grouping of these bushes makes a gorgeous hedge or privacy screen.

Claire Austin

A bunch of Claire Austin roses, known for their pristine white petals, elegantly framed by their circular green leaves. Their blossoms take on a popcorn-like shape, adding a unique touch to their classic beauty.
‘Claire Austin’ is an elegant climbing rose with large creamy yellow flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Ausprior’ Claire Austin
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 12’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-11

Another climbing rose that thrives on neglect, ‘Claire Austin’ is elegant and strong. Bred in England by David Austin, this rose combines antique and modern elements with large, beautiful, creamy yellow flowers.

The flowers are cupped, with rows and rows of delicate petals framing a glowing golden center. It can tolerate sun or partial shade and can reach up to 12’ tall.

The best thing about these blooms is their glorious perfume. ‘Claire Austin’s’ fragrance can be described as spicy and sweet, with hints of vanilla and myrrh. This is an English Garden Rose, and as such, it is surprisingly disease-resistant and has a long blooming season.

‘Claire’ makes great cut flowers. Pick up a pair of loppers for pruning this climbing rose. You won’t regret it.

Easy Elegance All the Rage

'Easy Elegance All the Rage' rose displays its exquisite beauty, its sun-bright yellow center radiating warmth. Petals painted in soft pink hues encircle this radiant center. Its serrated leaves form a lush backdrop, a testament to its delicate strength.
‘Easy Elegance All the Rage’ is a compact, color-changing beginner rose with coral buds.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Bairage’ PP19,945
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 3-5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

‘All the Rage’ is an Easy Elegance variety with wonderful color-changing flowers and a compact, shrubby growth habit. This is a wonderful beginner rose that thrives on neglect and is hardy in just about every corner.

The small to medium-sized shrubs make great container plants or a wonderful accent shrub near the front door to greet guests. The shrub produces lots of coral-colored buds, which swirl open to reveal paler interiors with a golden center.

As the flowers age on the vine, the color deepens. Flowers drop cleanly when spent, so this rose doesn’t require deadheading. The flowers are fragrant and enticing to bees.

Ebb Tide

A deep purple Ebb Tide rose with ruffled petals stands out against the backdrop of dark green leaves. The sunlight bathes both the rose and the leaves, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.
‘Ebb Tide’ roses boast stunning double plum-purple blooms with a spicy clove and citrus fragrance.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘WEKsmopur’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 4-5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-11

This mid-sized variety brings a ton of star power to the garden. Large (4”), double, old-fashioned flowers bloom a rich plum purple and fade gradually to a smokier hue. These blooms are known for their stunning color and wonderful spicy fragrance, which smells of cloves and citrus. 

‘Ebb Tide’ has an attractive, rounded growth habit, adding to the ease of care. It makes a great focal point or hedge and produces flowers that are excellent for cutting.

Give this plant lots of sun and fertile soil, and watch it light up the garden. Consider planting this rose near an outdoor living space to enjoy the heady fragrance. 

Felix LeClerc

A single Felix LeClerc rose stands alone, its pink ruffled petals unfurling in layers of beauty. Its slender stem holds leaves with serrated margins. In the backdrop, the expanse of the sky stretches boundlessly in serene shades of blue.
This variety features glowing pink flowers and a light fragrance.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa Canadian Artist ‘Felix Leclerc’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 10’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-7

‘Felix LeClerc’ is part of the Canadian Artist Series and is named for the famed poet and songwriter of the same name. A brightly-colored thornless shrub with a climbing tendency, ‘Felix’ has excellent cold and heat tolerance.

Did I mention its drought tolerance and disease resistance? This rose bush needs very little attention once established, but it doesn’t hold back on the reward. 

The series was developed in Manitoba to combine roses with very good cold hardiness with others that have prolific blooming habits. ‘Felix LeClerc’ is a rebloomer that produces glowing, hot pink flowers with very full petal formation and a light, clean fragrance. It blooms repeatedly from late spring until late summer.

Flower Carpet Scarlet

A lush flower carpet featuring scarlet roses, surrounded by their green leaves, creating a striking contrast of colors and textures. The pink roses with ruffled petals, each one a masterpiece of nature's artistry, exuding an enchanting charm that captures hearts.
The ‘Flower Carpet’ rose boasts a lengthy blooming period with abundant small blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa x ‘NOA83100B’ PP #17,373
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 2-3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-10

No fuss is the name of the Flower Carpet game. This rose can bloom for up to 10 months in warmer climates and makes a stunning ground cover as a grouping.

Let’s talk about that flowering habit, though! The blooms are small (2”), but what they lack in size, they make up in numbers. One branch can produce up to 60 flowers, and an entire plant can produce up to 2,000 flowers in a season once they mature. 

In cooler climates, blooming will commence in mid-spring and continue until the first frost. ‘Flower Carpet Scarlet’ is not picky about the sun, although the more sun, the more blooms are the rules with this and most roses.

In warmer climates, give this shrub some shelter from the afternoon sun. For a rose that thrives on neglect, this one produces an amazing number of flowers!  

Grace N’ Grit

Several Grace N' Grit roses flourish, adorned with lush green leaves that catch the sunlight. These roses exude an enchanting deep pink hue. Enveloping them, a diverse collection of verdant green plants creates a natural tapestry of colors.
This beautiful bi-colored rose thrives in hot, humid, or dry summers.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa hybrid ‘Meicerafyn’ PP #31,069
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

‘Grace N’Grit’ is a great tough rose for hot summers. Even during the hottest months, this shrub will continue blooming with enthusiasm.

It is known to thrive from one coast to another, so it tolerates both humid and very dry summers as well. On top of being disease-resistant, it is self-cleaning. There is no need for deadheading to keep it blooming

The flowers are gorgeous, large, and bi-colored. The interior of the flowers is white, with an ombre effect, gradually turning a deep pink at the edges. As the flowers age, they mellow to a softer, paler shade of pink. These roses make excellent cut flowers. The plant is medium-sized and makes a stunning grouping. The flowers bloom from spring into fall.

Grandma’s Blessing

A pair of Grandma's Blessing roses in soft shades of pink, showcasing their intricate petals and graceful beauty. The blurred background features a lush canvas of verdant leaves, creating a harmonious contrast that enhances the roses' vivid elegance.
‘Grandma’s Blessing’ is a tough, disease-resistant rose with beautiful pink blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘BAIING’ PP16,993
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 3-5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

Don’t mistake the sweet name of this rose for weakness. This Grandma is one tough cookie! ‘Grandma’s Blessing’ is a hybrid of the classic tea rose tradition.

It is a mid-sized shrub with a wonderful vase-shaped growth habit. The flowers are fully petaled and perfectly pink. The color is deeper toward the flower’s interior and fades slightly toward the outer petals. 

These large (4”) blooms occur in groups of 4 or 5 at the ends of lateral stems. They bloom in long-lasting clusters. ‘Grandma’s Blessing’ is highly disease-resistant and stands up impeccably to hot, cold, and rainy weather. Plant this rose in full sun and full sight because her blooms are too good to hide away. She will bloom from spring through fall.

J.P. Connell

A white J.P. Connell rose resembling a fluffy popcorn, basks in warm sunlight. Its intricate details shine, while the background reveals a soft blur of dark green leaves and the earthy ground.
‘J.P. Connell’ features pale yellow double-petaled flowers with deep golden stamens.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘J.P. Connell’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 4-6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

This member of the Canadian Explorer series was named for a Deputy Minister of Agriculture in the 1980s. It is a hybrid rose that blooms mid-summer and occasionally repeats blooming through the fall.

It has very good cold tolerance and doesn’t mind heat. Placing this rose in full sun will result in the best blooms. 

The flowers are pale yellow, nearly cream-colored, and double-petaled. Buds open flat to reveal a picturesque cluster of deep golden stamens that stand out beautifully against the pale petals.

The flowers are strongly scented with a tea-like fragrance. This mid-sized shrub has deep green, serrated leaves, contrasting nicely with the pale flowers. It is resistant to most diseases but can be susceptible to black spot.

Kiss Me

A close-up of a 'Kiss Me' rose reveals its enchanting complexity. With layers upon layers of gentle pink petals, it exudes a sense of gentle luxury. The background of lush green leaves adds contrast, accentuating the rose's delicate charm.
The ‘Kiss Me’ rose has stunning coral-pink blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘BAISME’ PP18,506
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 3-4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

‘Kiss Me’ is an Easy Elegance rose that thrives on neglect. Of that series, ‘Kiss Me’ is easily the most fragrant rose. A small to medium-sized plant, it works very well in a container or grouping and makes a stunning drift.

The foliage is medium green, with new foliage a lighter shade and edged with pink. The shrub has a rounded growth habit and classic English blooms.

The flowers are just wonderful on this hybrid. They are quite large for the size of the plant and a delightful coral-pink shade. The petals are slightly scalloped and ruffled and in fully double form.  

Little Mischief

 A profusion of pink Little Mischief roses captures attention, their soft petals forming a captivating display. Lush green leaves complement the roses, providing a vivid contrast that enhances the overall beauty of the arrangement.
‘Little Mischief’ roses showcase multicolored blooms from early summer to the first frost.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘BAIIEF’ PP17,196
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 2-4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Another Easy Elegance rose, ‘Little Mischief’ is very popular for its disease resistance, hardiness, and extra long blooming season. It is compact with a rounded habit, making it a wonderful container plant or border.

A little bit of fertilizer in the spring will encourage more blooms; for this plant, more blooms mean that you will have more flowers than you know what to do with. In early summer, ‘Little Mischief’ begins to bloom and continues through the first frost.

It blooms continuously, so once it starts, expect to have flowers until winter. Now for the best part. The enormous quantity of small roses is multi-colored, in shades of pink from cotton candy to fuschia. The shrub will be absolutely covered in these beauties as long as it gets enough sunshine.

Mellow Yellow

A close-up of a mellow yellow rose basking in the warm embrace of sunlight, its petals illuminated. The blurred background unveils a tapestry of additional mellow yellow roses and lush green leaves.
‘Mellow Yellow’ produces large, fragrant, deep yellow flowers that thrive in warmer climates.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Mellow Yellow’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-10

The crisp, clear yellow flowers of ‘Mellow Yellow’ are like so much sunshine in the garden. These large (4.75”) blooms are lightly fragrant, with a hint of citrus, and can appear as solitary blooms or in clusters. When fully open, they are nearly flat, and their fully double petals take on a deeper yellow, golden glow from the center of the flower.

‘Mellow Yellow’ is heat tolerant but prefers mild winters. In Zone 6, it will need some protection in winter.

Cooler weather does seem to produce larger flowers for this cultivar. The shrub matures to about 5’ tall and is a very vigorous grower. The golden flowers do not fade with age but retain their vibrancy until they fall. They make wonderful cut flowers. 

Oso Easy Italian Ice

A stunning arrangement of Oso Easy Italian Ice roses shines in the sunlight, their blush pink petals catching the eye. The dark green leaves gracefully surround the roses, creating a vibrant contrast that captures the essence of nature's elegance.
Oso Easy Italian Ice is a low-maintenance ground cover plant with continuous bicolor rose blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘CHEWNICEBELL’ USPP 26,532
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 2.5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

This award winner makes a wonderful ground cover or container plant. It is easy to grow, heat and cold hardy, and requires very little maintenance.

Diseases are no issue for ‘Italian Ice,’ and it is self-cleaning, so deadheading is unnecessary for continuous blooming. It blooms continuously from early summer until frost. 

The flowers are midsized with a double petal form. The base color of the blooms is a pale, golden yellow, with a golden glow from the center. The margins of the petals are brushed with a sweet blush pink shade, making these bicolor roses just about the sweetest roses I’ve ever seen. 

Paul’s Himalayan Musk

Paul's Himalayan Musk roses form in clusters, showcasing shades of pristine white and soft, inviting light pink. Surrounding the roses, deep green leaves provide a rich contrast, enhancing the allure of the floral arrangement.
‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’ is a large, rambling rose with graceful branches.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 20-30’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’ is a rambling rose, and a very large one at that. Reaching up to 30’ tall, this is a great cultivar for growing on a wall or other large structure.

The branches are long, graceful, and trailing with light green foliage. It is a winner of the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society. 

While this is not a continuous bloomer, it does bloom massively once per year in the late spring to early summer. The sprays of small, pale lavender flowers are lightly scented. As they age, the blooms fade to white and open, exposing golden pollen-tipped stamens mingled among the inner petals. 

Peach Drift

A bunch of Peach Drift roses reveal petals of a peachy pink hue and a golden center. Alongside, the deep green foliage adds a touch of elegance. Beneath, the earthy mulch-covered ground lends a natural backdrop, accentuating their beauty.
This prolific low-grower has peachy pink semi-double blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Meiggili’ PP 18,542
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1-2’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-11

‘Peach Drift’ is a low-growing variety that works very well in a cut flower garden. Its heavy blooming habit means flowers are present from spring through fall. The semi-double blooms are a soft peachy pink shade with a golden center.

The flowers are small (1.5”) but plentiful, and the plant produces a great amount of these blooms throughout the season. The low, spreading habit makes this a wonderful ground cover or border for a perennial bed.

It is one of the most heat-tolerant roses on our list and is virtually disease-free. In warmer climates, a layer of mulch or straw around the base of the plant will help protect and keep the roots cooler.

Sir Thomas Lipton

A close-up reveals the beauty of white Sir Thomas Lipton roses, their petals displaying intricate layers. Set against a backdrop of vibrant green leaves, the roses exude timeless elegance and natural serenity.
This robust hybrid rose has glossy foliage and fragrant white blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Sir Thomas Lipton’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 5-8’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

‘Sir Thomas Lipton’ is an excellent choice for a dense, full-sized hedge or screen. This stunning hybrid has it all: grand stature, glossy, deep green foliage, excellent disease resistance, and stunning white blooms.

The flowers are double and cupped in a perfect warm white shade. They are mid-sized (3”) and quite fragrant. This shrub blooms vigorously and reliably from mid-spring until the first frost, with the initial bloom being the most bountiful, followed by a more sporadic continuation for the rest of the season. 

‘Sir Thomas Lipton’ has height on its side, reaching up to 8’ tall at maturity. It has excellent cold tolerance, surviving winters as far north as Zone 3.

This is a particularly thorny rose, so pruning can be a bit tricky. Be sure to wear a good pair of gardening gloves when you handle this variety.

Final Thoughts

These beautiful and vigorous cultivars combine the best characteristics of some of the most beautiful and desirable varieties. Their long flowering habits, disease resistance, and tolerance to the elements make them easy to cultivate. All these roses make great starter roses for any gardener who has shied away from roses because of their more high-maintenance ancestors.

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