11 Types Of Groundcover Roses for Landscaping

Ground cover roses in the light pink variety Fairy covering a portion of a garden
© Irina Buu/Shutterstock.com

Written by Em Casalena

Updated: August 23, 2023

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Carpet roses, commonly referred to as groundcover roses, are a wonderful low-maintenance rose option to add beautiful color to your garden while also covering large areas with plants. They look fantastic in pots, borders, mass plantings, urban gardens, and as just general groundcover. They need a lot of sun and require at least six hours each day in direct sunlight. You can enjoy their blooms from April through October.

Do you want to plant your own groundcover roses? In this guide, we’ll list some of the best groundcover rose varieties that are perfect for various use cases, from simple gardens to large landscaping projects.

The Benefits of Groundcover Roses

Groundcover roses readily fill the low regions of a garden with abundant quantities of color, especially in locations with trees and bushes. Groundcover roses appear in practically every hue imaginable, with the exception of pure blue, and bloom for almost the whole growing season. 

These roses are considerate of their neighbors and grow around them rather than smothering them, in contrast to other typical groundcover plants that can become invasive. Additionally, these rose bushes look fantastic draping over walls, hanging baskets, or window boxes.

How to Care for Groundcover Roses

The optimum conditions for groundcover roses, like all roses, are full sun. These plants may, however, thrive in some shade due to their resilience to disease. Partial shade offers a lower risk of illness for roses than full sun, despite the fact that these plants may not bloom quite as profusely. 

Rich, well-drained soils are preferred for groundcover roses. To ensure that your plants continue looking their best, regularly amend the soil with organic materials and fertilizer. After planting, give roses plenty of water to help them grow. Put this into action at the plant’s base using a watering can to water the soil directly. To avoid potential disease issues, avoid overhead watering.

Groundcover roses require little upkeep once they are established. Groundcover varieties don’t require deadheading as other rose varieties do. These plants are so hardy that they will keep blooming even if the old blossoms are left on. However, it is crucial to prune back roses by about two-thirds in late winter or early spring before new growth emerges. By doing this, you may grow plants that are full, thick, and have many blossoms each year. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that these rose plants are not as thick as other groundcover plants. They do not act to inhibit weed development the way usual perennials that create mats do. In order to minimize any potential weed issues, it is a good idea to mulch below these roses.

With these care requirements in mind, let’s take a look at some beautiful types of groundcover roses.

Popcorn Drift Rose

Botanical Name: Rosa ‘Novarospop’

This lovely and classy rose blooms gold in the spring before gradually changing to a blend of gentle yellows and whites. The full-sized flowers have a 15 to 25-petal count, are rather compact, and have a faint scent. The middle of the season is when the scent is most apparent. Continuous blooming from the beginning of spring until the first frost results in the ideal white and yellow blossoms to appreciate for months at a time.

In addition to these flowers being distinctive on their own, the early-spring dark green foliage also provides a quirky backdrop for the vibrant hues. The leaf begins its life with a little reddish hue, then develops into a lustrous, deep green. USDA hardiness zones five through 11 are ideal for growing these roses.

Happy Chappy Groundcover Rose

Botanical Name: Rosa ‘INTERhappy’

Although the Happy Chappy Groundcover Rose only reaches a height of two feet, it nonetheless shines out as a vibrant, colorful accent or as a fix for troublesome landscaping areas. The Happy Chappy rose blossoms offer a cheerful, dependable appearance to your garden throughout the season. Their colorful arrays of pink, apricot, yellow, and orange petal cups encircling a yellow eye. Its mounding is covered with fragrant blooms that emerge from pointy, ovoid buds, giving the area a joyful look.

The Happy Chappy rose is perfect for hanging baskets, containers, and mixed perennial beds because of its bright variety of hues. It thrives in USDA hardiness zones five through nine and blooms in late spring through the end of autumn. Expect this variety to grow a spread of about four feet or even wider.

A closeup of the Happy Chappy rose's peach-pink flower petals

The Happy Chappy rose (pictured) is flexible as a groundcover, potted, and hanging basket rose.


White Meidiland Rose

Botanical Name: Rosa ‘MEIcoublan’

This tough plant is covered in a snowstorm of dazzling white blossoms beginning in late April and continuing until frost. When compared to other groundcover roses, the flowers are big and richly petaled. Canes that may grow up to five feet long are fast spreading and covered in glossy, deep green leaves. This variety makes a lovely flowering border, a low hedge along property lines, and an excellent cover-up for areas of a garden that are best hidden. With its ability to cascade down over the sides of containers, it’s also one of the greatest groundcover plants for potting.

We recommend planting this variety in USDA hardiness zones four through 10. Give it partial shade, and you can expect this variety to reach spreads of about four feet per plant.

Amber Flower Carpet Rose

Botanical Name: Rosa ‘Flower Carpet Amber’

The Flower Carpet Amber rose has glossy, dark green leaves covered with fragrant, golden-apricot blooms. The thick foliage of this variety is very resistant to disease, making it perfect for novice gardeners who might be worried about their roses dying. It grows to be four feet broad and around two-and-a-half feet tall. This variety does best in USDA hardiness zones five through 10.

Pink Drift Rose

Botanical Name: Rosa ‘Meijocos’

These gorgeous, simple-to-grow pink re-blooming groundcover roses are grown by gardeners throughout America. All throughout the growing season, these bushes will provide you with flush after flush of fiery pink rose flowers. These attractive plants are hardy enough to withstand various temperatures in the hot and cold hardiness zones. The solitary blossoms resemble wild roses.

The Pink Drift groundcover rose has characteristic mounded blossoms that grow in clusters of 10 to 20 blooms and are low-growing. This creates a really rich appearance. The season-long profusion of this variety’s deep pink blossoms has delicately fading center blooms. Just be sure to plant these roses in USDA hardiness zones four through 11, and you can anticipate them to reach heights and widths of up to three feet per plant.

A closeup of the Pink Drift rose's pink and yellow blooms

The Pink Drift rose (pictured) is a great groundcover rose for those who don’t want a traditional rose look.


Coral Groundcover Rose

Botanical Name: Rosa ‘Flower Carpet Coral’

The Flower Carpet Coral rose boasts delicate coral-pink solitary flowers that cover shiny deep green leaves in huge clusters of up to 30 petals. The thick foliage of this plant is quite resistant to illness. It can grow up to three feet tall and four feet broad and does best in full sunlight. USDA hardiness zones five through 10 are best for this groundcover variety.

Honey Bee Lovely Groundcover Rose

Botanical Name: Rosa hybrida ‘JAChaneflocba’

The Honey Bee Lovely rose is a low-growing, wide-spreading groundcover rose. It blooms profusely from late spring to late fall with two-inch orange blossoms with a faint fruity scent. This mounding plant is incredibly adaptable, requires little care, and is simple to cultivate in various soil types. It is a fantastic option for novices because it is disease resistant. Grow the Honey Bee Lovely rose in window boxes, hanging baskets, mixed beds, borders, and containers.

You can grow this spectacular groundcover rose in USDA hardiness zones five through nine. It will reach a width of about three feet per plant.

Pink Flower Carpet Supreme Rose

Botanical Name: Rosa ‘Flower Carpet Pink Supreme’

The Flower Carpet Pink Supreme rose is a low-growing, disease-resistant shrub that blooms throughout summer and into the fall in hot pink booms. If you’re looking for a brighter hue of rose, this variety would be perfect for adding a touch of color to your space. It reaches three feet tall and broad at maturity. This hardier variety does well in USDA zones four through 10.

Red Ribbons Rose

Botanical Name: Rosa ‘KORtemma’

This low-maintenance groundcover rose adds splashes of ruby red color to its glossy, extremely dark green leaves. The clusters of two-inch blooms bloom from late spring to early fall and have a faint rose scent. When this rose spills over pots or is planted along a garden walk, it looks absolutely spectacular. The Red Ribbons cultivar typically grows between 24 and 30 inches tall. It also has outstanding disease resistance. Plant in full sun to partial shade for optimal results. This variety does best in hardiness growing zones four through 10. With the right amount of care and well-draining soil, this variety will easily grow a spread of about four feet or even wider.

Red Flower Carpet Rose

Botanical Name: Rosa ‘Flower Carpet Red’

The Flower Carpet Red rose is a classic groundcover rose with rich ruby-red petals and bright golden centers. This variety blooms from later in spring to the end of summer. In general, it can reach three feet tall and four feet wide at maturity. We recommend planting this groundcover rose in USDA hardiness zones five through 10.

Red groundcover roses in a garden against a backdrop of white groundcover roses

Red flower carpet roses (pictured) offer a very classy look to any garden space.

©Adam November/Shutterstock.com

Rainbow Happy Trails

Botanical Name: Rosa ‘WEKsurdicla’

This type has cup-shaped, ornamental double flowers and has a trailing, spreading habit. Its vibrant blooms feature a blush pink exterior with a sunny yellow core, and they bloom from late spring through to fall. Even when not in bloom, the greenery of this variety is stunning due to its amazing glossy green leaves with delicate toothy edges.

USDA hardiness zones four through 10 are where this cultivar thrives. Although the Rainbow Happy Trails rose has steady, moderate water needs, it does not like to sit in wet soil or dry out, so make sure your groundcover rose’s soil has drainage. Give the root system enough mulch to keep moisture in more frequently and protect the roots from heat and cold. The spread of each plant of this rose may reach three feet.

These groundcover rose varieties are perfect for so many different needs. Whether you need groundcover roses for a landscaping project or to fill in some land gaps in your flower garden, groundcover roses are the low-maintenance option that will provide colorful blooms for years to come.

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About the Author

Em Casalena is a writer at A-Z Animals where their primary focus is on plants, gardening, and sustainability. Em has been writing and researching about plants for nearly a decade and is a proud Southwest Institute of Healing Arts graduate and certified Urban Farming instructor. Em is a resident of Arizona and enjoys learning about eco-conscious living, thrifting at local shops, and caring for their Siamese cat Vladimir.

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