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White, pink and purple roses that are perfect for your garden

Melissa is the assignment editor and contributing writer for SheKnows Home and Living. While other little girls were playing dress up with Barbie, Melissa was busy remodeling Barbie's house. She now lives out her dream covering design an...

No need to paint these roses red

Roses have a bad rap for being high maintenance, time consuming and, let's face it, a wee bit old-fashioned. But these gorgeous blooms will make you want to throw on some cute gardening gloves and get to work creating your own secret garden retreat.
Woman smelling the roses
Photo credit: Pixland / 360 / Gettyimages

What's in a name?

We tend to speak about roses in general terms, but in reality there are over 150 different species. Classified in the genus Rosa, the flowers come in many different shapes and colors, including red, pink, purple, yellow, orange and white. The delicate flowers are frequently fragrant. Prickly stems offer natural protection to this woodsy perennial (and are reasons to rock some cute gardening gloves to protect your mani).

War of the roses

Tackling roses can be intimidating for newbie gardeners. Roses have a reputation for being difficult to grow, and those who fall for growing the prickly beauties can develop a love for the hobby that borders on obsessive.

But roses don’t have to be difficult.

The trick is to pick the right rose bush for the right location. While it might be tempting to scoop up a gorgeous rose bush you spotted at your favorite home improvement store, the truth is, those plants might not be the best choice for your region. Do a little research in advance to avoid headaches later.

Pick your plant

Local nurseries should be able to tell you which species grows best in your climate and help you identify the most ideal location to plant your pretty blooms.

When it comes to planting roses, the old gardening adage of "dig a $50 hole for a $5 plant" most definitely applies.

White, pink and purple roses to try:

White roses

Iceberg

Iceberg

Image source: lowes.com
  • Category: Floribunda rose
  • Color: White blooms that fade to pink
  • Flower type: Medium bush (climbing form also available)
  • Fragrance: Light to medium

Introduced in 1958 by German rose breeder Reimer Kordes, Iceberg is one of the most popular types of roses. The bush flowers continuously from summer to fall, and the pure white flowers can sometimes turn a slight pink color late in the season.

White Dawn

White Dawn

Image source: heirloomroses.com
  • Category: Climber
  • Color: White
  • Flower type: Showy shrub or climbing rose
  • Fragrance: Very fragrant
  • Bloom time: Midspring to frost

The pure white blooms contrast beautifully against the glossy dark green leaves of this hardy rose bush. The full white blooms are similar to those of gardenias and make a nice alternative to more traditional rose shapes. Since they continuously bloom, White Dawn roses are a good landscape choice.

Moondance

Moondance

Image source: jacksonandperkins.com
  • Category: Floribunda rose
  • Color: Creamy white
  • Flower type: Upright
  • Fragrance: Subtle fruity scent
  • Bloom time: Early to late summer

Moondance is a larger rose plant, growing 5 feet high by 4 feet wide. The upright blooms on longer stems make it a great option for a cutting garden. Encourage reblooming by removing spent blooms throughout the season.

Pink roses

Sexy Rexy

Sexy Rexy

Image source: heirloomroses.com
  • Category: Floribunda rose
  • Color: Pink
  • Flower type: Double, clustered
  • Fragrance: Lightly fragrant
  • Bloom time: Continual blooming summer to fall

Considered one of the most profusely blooming roses, Sexy Rexy originated in New Zealand and was introduced in 1984. It's considered tall for a floribunda and can be used as a shrub or hedge. Plus, the name is super fun to say.

Bonica

Bonica

Image source: heirloomroses.com
  • Category: Landscape rose
  • Color: Soft candy pink
  • Flower type: Fully double blooms
  • Fragrance: Lightly fragrant
  • Bloom time: Continual blooming

Big clusters of candy-pink blooms cover this shrub rose, which turns to orange rose hips in the fall. The flowers are approximately 2-1/2 inches and the shrub grows to about 4 feet. This is a good option for hedges or mass planting.

Strawberry Hill

Strawberry Hill

Image source: whiteflowerfarm.com
  • Category: English rose
  • Color: Pure rose pink
  • Flower type: Double/full bloom
  • Fragrance: Fine myrrh fragrance
  • Bloom time: June-September

The Strawberry Hill rose was bred by British rosarian David Austin and named after Horace Walpole's Gothic castle outside of London. The informal structure of the bush, along with the slightly arching branches, makes it a good planting option for the back of a border.

Purple roses

Ebb Tide

Ebb Tide

Image source: whiteflowerfarm.com
  • Category: Floribunda rose
  • Color: Deep purple
  • Flower type: Double blooms with old-fashioned form
  • Fragrance: Spicy clove fragrance
  • Bloom time: June-September

The color and size of Ebb Tide roses vary greatly depending on temperature — a common trait for purple roses. The blooms are the largest and darkest shades of purple in cooler weather. Intense summer heat can sometimes turn the flower color to a lighter lavender shade, which still looks lovely.

Angel Face

Angel Face

Image source: jacksonandperkins.com
  • Category: Floribunda rose
  • Color: Lavender
  • Flower type: Large and upright
  • Fragrance: Sweet citrus
  • Bloom time: Early summer-midfall

These lovely lavender blooms are especially large, averaging 3-1/2 inches. The plant grows upright and bushy, approximately 3 feet by 3 feet wide. The petals flare out slightly and can sometimes form a deeper purple color on the tip. This is an excellent cutting flower choice.

William Shakespeare 2000

William Shakespeare 2000

Image source: davidaustinroses.com
  • Category: English rose
  • Color: Crimson to purple
  • Flower type: Double/full bloom
  • Fragrance: Traditional rose scent
  • Bloom time: Late spring/early summer

This English rose was bred by David Austin and introduced in 2000. The color is described as a "velvety crimson changing to purple." The flower has a fragrant traditional rose scent. The shrub is highly disease resistant and great for producing repeat flowers.

More gardening ideas

20 Reasons you need a garden gnome
12 Celebrities who garden
13 Essential gardening tools

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