Polyantha Roses

The Fairy, Polyantha rose
The Fairy, Polyantha rose

Sadly, it seems like the Polyantha rose is slowly dying out. The first of the Polyanthas were bred by the Frenchman, Guillot, in 1875. Probably the peak of their popularity was reached back in the 1930s with The Fairy, and and then the still popular Cecille Brunner. 

But times change, and so do roses. There have been fewer varieties produced in recent years, which is a shame. With their compact size and masses of flowers, they make an ideal “patio rose” . Most patio roses that you buy are small Floribundas, I feel that many of the Polyanthas would be just as good, if not better. 

Some characteristics of a polyantha are a short, shrublike growth. Typically they have many small clustered flowers that bloom repeatedly. They can range in colors from white, pink. red, and yellow and gold, most commonly being pink and red.

They are known for being winter hardy, but seem to fair best in the more temperate climates…not too hot or too cold. They are relatively disease resistant but can get the occassional blackspot.

Deadheading is recommended with easygoing pruning. They work great as small hedges or as standalone shrubs.

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