Yes, Wyoming, You Can Grow Roses!

Roses are a part of our human heritage. There are literally thousands of cultivated and wild roses on the market to choose from. Not all will work in Wyoming, but you do have choices. Let’s narrow the search.

'Ruby Voodoo Rose, Plant Select® 2012 selection'
‘Ruby Voodoo’ Rose | Photo courtesy of Plant Select®

Hybrid Tea Roses

This is the classic rose plant used for Valentine’s Day. Hybrid Teas are long stemmed roses with usually one flower per stem. They produce flushes of flowers every six weeks or so.

Floribunda Roses

Floribundas are shrub roses with clusters of flowers with continuous blooms. The growth habit is bushy and full. Floribunda roses, as a general rule, are hardier than hybrid teas.

Miniatures and Mini Roses

These are simply scaled down versions of the larger roses, but bred to a mature height of between six inches and two feet.

Climbing Roses

Climbers are a mixed group of roses with long arching canes that can be trained on a support to climb. They can reach heights of ten feet or more. These roses are often associated with trellises, fences, arbors and walls.

Now that we have the type of rose defined, it’s time to select and care for roses.

  • Choose a suitable rose. They must have a USDA winter hardiness of zone 3 or 4 for Wyoming winter conditions; a zone 5 or higher may winter kill. Determine the mature height of the rose. You don’t want a rose that will get 8 feet tall for a site that needs just a three-foot mature rose. Select the color of your roses. There are infinite choices, from classic red to hot pink and almost every color in between.
  • Choose a suitable location. Most roses will perform quite well with just fours of sunlight. They don’t like baking hot areas especially around their roots. They like it cool, so a nice two inch layer of wood mulch applied on the ground around your rose will help to achieve their need for cool feet.
  • Growing requirements. Most roses like even watering, never drying to a soil depth of two inches in the growing season. That is not to say they like water logged soils. Fertilize only once or twice a season with a balanced fertilizer for optimum growth.
  • Keep away from Deer. Roses are deer attractants—they love rose petals. If you live in deer country, be sure to check with The Wyoming Plant Company about choices of repellents and other plants that deer hate; a combination of these repellents and plants can be quite effective keeping deer away.

Tip of the week:

My favorite roses come from Canada. They are winter hardy for our conditions, disease resistant and come in beautiful colors. You’ve got your choice of easy to care for three-footers to climbers growing over nine feet. Look for both the Morden Series and the Parkland Series of roses. Most bloom from June thru September and produce wonderfully large rose hips for a winter interest.


Lastly, a quote to get you started growing roses, let it serve you well.

Life is a rose; beware of the thorns.



This article appeared in the February 10th, 2017 edition of the Wyoming Plant Company News sent to subscribers. You can subscribe to the newsletter to get these articles in your inbox by using the form on the sidebar.