Input Needed – Top 5 Old Roses You Grow

I am nearing the end of my “Road to 100” quest. I now have about 85 or so roses growing and have found that I do not have as many old roses growing as I would like to have. I do grow a few:

Reine Des Violettes, Swamp Rose, Mutabilis and Buff Beauty. 

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So, today I am asking for your advice, what are some of your most hardy, floriferous, disease resistant old roses? My preference is repeat blooming roses, but I do have room in my sensibilities for one blooming varieties that really WOW you in Spring…… Of course, I am also looking for fragrant roses; this is something that is sorely lacking in today’s modern varieties.  Oh, I am growing in zone 7b in the Deep South!

I look forward to hearing your responses.


About Chris VanCleave - America's Favorite Rose Gardener

Christopher R. VanCleave – America’s Favorite Rose Gardener Nicknamed "The Redneck Rosarian”, Chris VanCleave is passionate about gardening and growing roses. He is an active member of the Birmingham chapter of the American Rose Society, serving two terms as President. In 2007, he created the Rose Chat Podcast which has reached over a half a million listeners with news and information on growing on growing the world’s most beloved flower, the rose. He was a contributor to the 2015 Southern Living Gardening Book, has appeared on P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home television show and was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southern Living Magazine. Locally, Chris serves as Chairman of the Helena Alabama Beautification Board where he has spearheaded efforts to create a sustainable landscape in one of the top one hundred places to live in the United States. His writing is seen at and on his popular website;, where he chronicles his gardening adventures and explores an intrinsic mix of life, faith and gardening. An agent of change with over 20 years’ experience in process innovation, Mr. VanCleave is leading the charge to reinvigorate horticultural societies and helping them to reach their full potential in the social media age.
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10 Responses to Input Needed – Top 5 Old Roses You Grow

  1. Lara says:

    Congratulations on almost reaching your goal! OGR’s are my favorite so it was REALLY hard to choose just a few. As you know, my garden is young so some of these haven’t even bloomed yet, but all of the following were still top performers as far as growth is concerned, and some (in particular Mme Calvat and Grüss an Aachen) were bloom machines. Also I took some liberties, as some are not technically an OGR, but near enough by a decade or two. 😉 Not sure how the Gallicas will do in your region as I believe they need a colder winter to bloom, but here goes!

    Mme Hardy, Rose de Rescht, Georges Vibert, Rosa Mundi, Comte de Chambord, Marchesa Boccella, Mme Ernest Calvat, La Reine, Celsiana, Arcata Pink Globe, Grüss an Aachen, Souvenir d’Alphonse Lavalee


  2. Holleygarden says:

    Great idea to ask those that grow them! I look forward to hearing other people’s suggestions, as I am ever-expanding my garden. The top 5 in my garden would be: Mrs. Dudley Cross, Lady Hillingdon, Perle d’Or, Souvenir de St. Anne’s, and Francis Dubreuil. If you ever smell Francis Dubreuil, you’ll be hooked, even though some say it is really Barcelona. And I don’t grow it, but I always hear rave reviews on Souvenir de la Malmaison. Good luck on trying to decide!


  3. jim says:

    Finally you come to your senses. Fellumberg and/or Paul Neyron (to begin with of course). Both easy keeps for me in BS Central.


  4. Lona says:

    You are getting near your goal Chris. I love my Gruss an Aachen antique floribunda rose. But I am not certain it is an old rose. It is blooming now better than it did in early summer. I am sure you will get some names of some wonderful ones from rose growers out there in blogger world. LOL!


  5. Teresa says:

    How exciting. Some OGR I grow are Roseraie De L Hay; Hansa, Bourbon Queen, Comte de Chambord, Madam Hardy & Rosa Mundi, & Blanc De Coubert. For most of them you need some space for them to do what they do. But, oh the reward of that first blush in the spring. Nothing like it… nothing at all. Enjoy making the decision. I added Reine de Violette and Rose de Rescht to my garden this year but they did not survive, so I will replant next year. Already extremely excited for next spring!


  6. Holleygarden says:

    I came back to see what others recommend, but realized my comment is not listed. Perhaps I clicked something wrong. Anyway, my top 5 (in no particular order) are: Mrs. Dudley Cross, Lady Hillingdon, Perle d’Or, Souvenir de St. Anne, and Francis Dubreuil. If you ever smell Francis Dubreuil you will be hooked! And I don’t grow it, but you may want to consider Souvenir de la Malmaison – a classic.


    • Sorry for the confusion. For some reason the posts went to spam filter. could not see them on my mobile device. Had to approve when I got to real computer! HA so much for mobile technology… Thanks for the beautiful suggestions, I may have to try them all!


  7. Christina says:

    My recommendations would be Grandmother’s Hat, Yolande d’Aragon, Rose de Rescht, and if you can grow Tea roses Georgetown Tea (Vintage Gardens clone), and Cl. Devoniensis. Unfortunately I don’t know if the roses that I recommended would do well in your climate. I guess you have to do some research on your own there.
    I am curious to know which one your are choosing, hope you let us know on your blog. Good luck with your quest!
    P.S .I was pleased to see that you grow already Reine des Violettes, one of the most beautiful out of all OGRs in my opinion!


  8. Hope you’re enjoying all this rain and cool weather. I sure like Sombreuil, Lamarque, Zephrine Drouin and Madame Alfred Carrière. All have a nice fragrance, grow pretty healthy for me, repeat bloom and I don’t use any sprays one the at all.


  9. Chris – Souvenir de Malmaison and Duchess de Brabant both have done well for me, along with Cramoisi Superieur.


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