Groundcover Rose

Groundcover Rose
Plant Type
Sunlight Amount
Rosa 'Flower Carpet Scarlet'
Credit: Marty Baldwin
Rosa 'Flower Carpet Scarlet'
Groundcover Rose

Groundcover roses are one of the newest trends in roses. These low-growing, sprawling shrubs are actually not a class of their own like many other rose types. Generally, what people consider groundcover roses are just low-growing shrub roses. But no matter what they are, these plants excel at filling space with nonstop blooms. These roses also tend to be extremely disease resistant and low-maintenance.

genus name
  • Rosa
  • Part Sun
  • Sun
plant type
  • Rose
  • 1 to 3 feet
  • 3 to 8 feet
  • To 4 feet wide
flower color
foliage color
season features
special features
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9

Colorful Combinations

Particularly in areas with trees and shrubs, groundcover roses easily fill the low spaces of a garden with copious amounts of color. Not only do they bloom for almost the entire growing season, but groundcover roses come in almost every color possible (except for true blue). Unlike other common groundcovers, these roses are courteous of their neighbors and simply grow around them, as opposed to suffocating them. These rose plants also work extremely well trailing over walls, hanging baskets, or window boxes.

Groundcover Rose Care Must-Knows

Like all roses, groundcover roses perform best in full sun. However, because of their disease resistance, these plants can perform well in partial shade. Although plants may not bloom quite as well, there is less risk of disease in part shade than with other types of roses. Groundcover roses also prefer rich, well-drained soils. To keep your plants looking their best, amend the soil with organic matter. Water roses well after planting to help them establish. Do this at the base of the plant: Watering overhead should be avoided to prevent potential disease problems.

Once established, groundcover roses need little maintenance. Unlike other rose varieties, deadheading groundcover types is not necessary. These are such tough plants that they will continue to bloom even without removing old blooms. The only thing that absolutely should be done is cutting back roses about two-thirds of the way in late winter or early spring before new growth appears. Doing so will help create dense, full plants with numerous blooms. Another thing to keep in mind is that because these rose plants are not as dense as a typical groundcover, they don't function to prevent weed growth like regular mat-forming perennials do. So it is still a good idea to mulch underneath these roses to reduce any potential weed problems.

New Innovations

Groundcover roses are a fairly recent addition to the rose world. As such, there is much ground to cover (no pun intended), especially when it comes to characteristics like bloom color and, in some series, height. One attribute lacking in groundcover roses is fragrance. Few of the current varieties offer fragrant blooms, and when they do, they are lightly scented.

More Varieties of Groundcover Rose

'Flower Carpet Amber' rose
Credit: Marty Baldwin

'Flower Carpet Amber' rose

Rosa 'Flower Carpet Amber' produces fragrant, golden-apricot flowers over glossy, dark green foliage. The lush foliage is quite disease resistant. It grows 2-1/2 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Zones 5-10

'Flower Carpet Coral' rose
Credit: Justin Hancock

'Flower Carpet Coral' rose

Rosa 'Flower Carpet Coral' features soft coral-pink single blooms that cover glossy dark green foliage in large clusters of 20-30 blooms. The lush foliage is impervious to disease. Plants grow up to 2-1/2 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Zones 5-10

'Flower Carpet Pink' rose
Credit: Michael Mckinley

'Flower Carpet Pink' rose

Rosa 'Flower Carpet Pink' blooms prolifically for five or more months. The pink blooms with white centers develop in clusters 6-8 inches across, with as many as 18 flowers in each. Plants grow up to 3 feet tall and 4 feet across. Zones 5-10

'Flower Carpet Pink Supreme' rose
Credit: Marty Baldwin

'Flower Carpet Pink Supreme' rose

Rosa 'Flower Carpet Pink Supreme' produces hot-pink blooms all summer and fall on a low-growing, disease-resistant plant. It grows 3 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-10

Rosa 'Flower Carpet Scarlet'
Credit: Marty Baldwin

'Flower Carpet Red' rose

Rosa 'Flower Carpet Red' bursts forth with masses of rich red flowers from late spring to late summer. It grows 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Zones 5-10

Rosa 'Flower Carpet Scarlet'
Credit: Marty Baldwin

'Flower Carpet Scarlet' rose

Rosa 'Flower Carpet Scarlet' bears loads of scarlet semidouble blooms that develop in clusters on a vigorous plant. The glossy, dark green foliage is impervious to disease. Plants grow up to 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Zones 5-10


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