Hardy roses suggestion for balcony


Hi there,

I’m reading a lot of gardening blogs and forums, watching gardening YouTubers, etc., but I can’t, till this date, figure out which rose is best for my specific situation. I live in GTA zone 6 and I’m looking to buy different types of roses and put them on my balcony (sunny balcony with at least 5-6 hours of sun). Any rose color doesn’t matter, but I prefer one with a good fragrance and disease resistance. I would like to keep the roses on my balcony in winter for the next summer (I don’t want to plant every year). Is there any rose type with the specific characteristics mentioned above that can stay alive for years? Do you have any recommendations?



Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.  It’s great that you have a sunny balcony as there are very few roses that do well in shade.  The challenge is to create the right environment for your roses to survive our harsh winter conditions in a container and on a balcony.  A few tips for success in overwintering roses on your balcony: (1) use large insulated containers; (2) choose roses with a hardiness zone lower than required (Toronto is generally considered Zone 6, so look for zone 4 or lower); (3) provide protection from high winds; and (4) water frequently as soil will dry out faster in a container on a balcony.

There are a number of answers to previous questions on balcony gardening that provide more details for balcony gardening, including:

Balcony Gardening

New Balcony Gardener

Perennial Garden on a Balcony

As for the best variety of rose to grow on your balcony, an article written in 2007 by Cristina da Silva in the Toronto Star titled “Balcony roses need six hours of direct sun per day” has some recommendations.  Another publication referred to in this article is Tender Roses for Tough Climates, by Douglas Green.  You can also consult with your local gardening centre for suggestions on winter hardy roses.

For photos and descriptions of Explorer roses:  Landscape Ontario:  Exploring Explorer Roses

For photos and descriptions of David Austin roses suitable for containers:  David Austin Roses Collection

Enjoy your balcony this summer!

May 11, 2023