These 7 Award-Winning Roses Are Some of the Best to Plant in 2020
Your roses are probably due to start blooming soon (if they haven't already), but it's also a good time to plant new ones if you want to fill your garden with even more flowers. And June happens to be National Rose month, which makes it the perfect time to celebrate all things roses. Luckily, the American Garden Rose Selections program already has done most of the work for you; it searches out the best of the best in each region, and puts tough, beautiful roses to the test across the country. Every year, it announces just a handful of winners that produced gorgeous blooms and stood up to the elements.
These roses went through a two-year evaluation process in six regions of the U.S. to see how they perform in different climates. In addition to their outstanding beauty, the winners also scored high in important categories like hardiness, fragrance, and disease resistance. The top choices for 2020 are the fifth batch of award-winning roses chosen by the American Garden Rose Selections. This evaluation program began in 2016, taking over from the now defunct All-American Rose Selections organization, which had awarded the best roses for growing regionally and for fragrance since the 1930s.
The first regional choice award winner, this shrub rose variety is recommended for growing in the northwest, southeast, and south central regions. It produces large, fragrant flowers with pale pink petals all summer long on plants that grow between 4 and 6 feet tall. It has excellent resistance to black spot, powdery mildew, and other common rose diseases, plus its thorn-free stems make it a great choice for flower arrangements. It's hardy in Zones 5-11.
The regional winner for the northeast, northwest, and south central regions, this floribunda rose variety offers up multiple blooms on each branch. Out of all the 2020 winners, it’s the only variety featuring a deep red color. It grows about 2 ½ feet tall and each one of its late-spring flowers can have between 45 and 50 lush petals. It's hardy in Zones 6-9, and has a good tolerance for disease compared to other floribunda roses.
This shrub rose variety thrives in the south central, southwest, and northwest regions. It tends to bloom during the cooler parts of summer with pure white petals surrounding a yellow center, and each flower can be as large as 4 inches across. You’ll get another show from this 4- to 6-foot-tall shrub in the fall, when it displays large orange hips. It's hardy in Zones 5-11.
Lemon Fizz Kolorscape
“Lemon” is a fitting description for the bright yellow flowers that cover this regional winner for the northwest, southwest, and south central regions. It doesn’t have a detectable scent, but what it lacks in fragrance, it makes up for with lots of flowers and dark green, glossy leaves. Each shrub grows between 3 and 4 feet tall, and it’s hardy in Zones 4-9. It's noted as being exceptionally tolerant of plant diseases, and blooms throughout the summer.
The winner of the regional warm climate award for the northwest, south central, and southeast regions, Naga Belle is hardy in Zones 6-11. You can count on this repeat bloomer to add fragrant, pink flowers to your garden throughout summer and well into fall. It needs plenty of room, because it can grow between 5 and 6 feet tall and spread out over 3 to 4 feet.
Princesse Charlene de Monaco
This nobly named hybrid tea rose produces such petal-packed blooms that they could be mistaken for light pink peonies. But these flowers have a strong, unmistakably rosy scent, which earned this variety the fragrance award for 2020. The 5-foot-tall plant blooms from spring to fall and has excellent disease resistance. It's hardy in Zones 4-9.
Wedding Bells Eleganza
A regional choice award winner for the northwest, southeast, and south central regions, this vibrant hybrid tea rose is hardy in Zones 5-9. Each petal is dark pink around the outer edges, fading to a lighter pink towards the center. The long-lasting, fragrant blooms make wonderful additions to cut arrangements. The 4-foot plant has excellent disease resistance, even in rainy, humid areas.
Anyone in search of reliable, disease-resistant varieties can't go wrong with these top picks from the American Garden Rose Selections for 2020. If you live in a warmer region, you may still be able to plant your new roses this fall, but those in colder regions would do better waiting until spring after the final frost. Either way, you'll soon be enjoying the full, fragrant flowers these plants are loved for, but without any of the fuss that more finicky varieties may require.