Do you love roses but hate their thorns? Did you know there are many thorn-free roses or options with few thorns that are much safer? Varieties of almost thornless roses are entirely safe for children, pets, and the elderly.
Plant them for a low-maintenance and care-free garden. Everyone loves roses, but many people may not know much about the prickly thorns. Roses do not have real thorns. Instead, they are prickles.
Unlike the thorns that you see on other plants, the roses’ prickles help the plant climb over other vegetation or a trellis. Thorns are modified stems or branches where prickles are more like teeth. They also keep pests and animals from eating the foliage.
Thorns or prickles, the poky stems of these popular blooms still draw blood. Use our list of nearly thornless roses to reduce your likelihood of getting stabbed in the garden. Many almost thornless choices have a sweet fragrance your entire family will enjoy.
- Why Plant Thornless Roses?
- Sweet-Smelling Almost Thornless Roses
- A Shropshire Lad (Rosa spp.) – The Best David Austin Rose
- Outta the Blue Shrub Rose (Rosa ‘Outta the Blue’)
- Zephirine Drouhin (Rosa ‘Kathleen Harrop’) – Great for Beginners
- Smooth Prince Hybrid Tea Rose (Rosa ‘Smooth Prince’)
- Souvenir de Kean (Hippolyte Gallica) – A Completely Thorn-Free Rose
- Leander Hybrid Tea Rose (Rosa ‘Leander’)
- Paul Neyron (Rosa ‘Paul Neyron’) – Similar to Peonies
Why Plant Thornless Roses?
Most gardeners accept thorns. As a matter of fact, roses are one of the most popular flowering plants with thorns grown at home today.
However, planting almost thornless roses is an excellent way to remove the pain. They are superb in a high-traffic area or walkway, where people passing can take advantage of the sweet scent without getting poked by thorns.
Sweet-Smelling Almost Thornless Roses
Many thornless or almost thornless roses are hybrids. While many are well-loved from past centuries, most thornless roses come from other nearly thornless cultivars. Find the right rose for your space.
A Shropshire Lad (Rosa spp.) – The Best David Austin Rose
A David Austin English climbing tea rose called the Shropshire Lad has a soft peach or light pink color. Hybrid tea roses are well-known for their fruity scent, bud-like flowers, sparse foliage, and little to no thorns.
Grow the Shropshire Lad in a border garden along your property line or plant them to climb up a wall or trellis for support. These roses reach eight feet tall and are hardy in partial shade.
Outta the Blue Shrub Rose (Rosa ‘Outta the Blue’)
A shrub version of heirloom roses, Outta the Blue comes in purple, blue, or magenta shades with blue-green foliage. The plant blooms from spring through the fall, and the vigorous growth is moderately fragrant.
Colors vary based on your zone, the season, and time of day. Outta the Blue is a hardy shrub rose, so planting rose bushes of this variety is easy in any soil. It survives drought and most diseases well, and the stems extend to six feet with few thorns.
Zephirine Drouhin (Rosa ‘Kathleen Harrop’) – Great for Beginners
Kathleen Harrop, better known as ‘Zephirine Drouhin,’ is a climbing David Austin rose with pink blooms. The thornless bourbon rose grows up to ten feet tall in zones five to nine and flowers each spring.
The more cerise or red blooms are Zephirine Drouhin, which tend to climb. Try growing these hardy roses as shrubs in a hedge or as a climber to arch over your garden. They thrive in low sunlight and poor soil conditions.
Smooth Prince Hybrid Tea Rose (Rosa ‘Smooth Prince’)
As one of the disease resistant roses, the hybrid tea rose known as smooth prince is well-loved for the red and pink flowers, medium size, and thornless stems. Choose this cultivar for a strong scent and safe planting.
Smooth touch roses are a blend of hybrid tea roses and floribunda explicitly bred to have no thorns. The smooth prince is compact, hardy, and disease resistant to most zones. It makes an ideal species for roses in pots, as long as there is adequate sun and water.
Souvenir de Kean (Hippolyte Gallica) – A Completely Thorn-Free Rose
Hippolyte, sometimes known as Souvenir de Kean, is a rose bush with medium-sized flowers. It originates from old French Gallica roses, which were nearly thornless.
The mauve double-layered blooms on Hippolyte Gallica start as crimson or purple buds. As the plant matures, the color and scent grow more intense.
It’s a low-maintenance choice that grows up to eight feet tall with little care. The best part about this historic rose is that the stems are entirely thornless.
Leander Hybrid Tea Rose (Rosa ‘Leander’)
The yellow, apricot or light pink Leander hybrid tea rose is another popular choice closely related to the smooth prince. They are large roses, and their size looks stunning in a garden bed. The fruity scent is appealing, and these shrubs are nearly thornless.
Grow Leander hybrid tea roses in zones five to 11 for year-long blooms. You may want to have a bit of experience growing roses before attempting this plant, though. Caring for this cultivar requires lots of attention.
Paul Neyron (Rosa ‘Paul Neyron’) – Similar to Peonies
Paul Neyron is a hybrid perpetual rose, meaning the shrubs have a long maturity and thrive in most climates. The roses are tall and upright with double blooms in tons of shades. You may find Paul Neyron in pink, lilac, and white.
Most of the time, they appear neon pink. Expect it to grow full and tall. The flowers’ Victorian fragrance is ideal for an English or French garden, and the cut flowers bring happiness into your home in the fall.
What are your favorite rose colors? With many types of roses available, the best thorn-free plant might come down to size and color. Some grow as compact or tall shrubs, while a climbing rose extends over a trellis.
If you found our list of almost thornless roses beneficial, please feel free to share our safe gardening plants with your friends on Pinterest and Facebook.