Roses for Bees and Other Pollinators

If you’re striving for a classic garden look that also attracts bees and other pollinators, roses are an excellent choice. They’re a garden staple, and because of this, there are so many out there to choose from. But if you’re looking to make a pollinator haven in your garden, there are certain roses that are better suited than others.

What Rose Features Attract Pollinators?

A bee on Rise Up Lilac Days Rose

There are a few things that you should keep in mind when selecting a rose for your pollinator-friendly garden.

  • Choose a rose with an open center that allows pollinators easy access to the stamens, or pollen-bearing parts of the flower.
  • Create a colorful garden that draws in an array of pollinators. Different pollinators are attracted to different colors, so if you’re looking to have a buzzing garden, plant a variety of colors.
  • Choose a disease-resistant rose. A disease-resistant rose will eliminate the need to spray your roses, which can be harmful to pollinators.

Roses That Don't Attract Pollinators

Roses that have so many petals that the reproductive parts of the flower are obscured will not attract pollinators. While the ruffled and densely packed petals are attractive to humans, bees and other pollinators will much prefer an open rose with an exposed center.

Roses That Attract Pollinators

Close up of a yellow and orange bloom of Ringo rose

This colorful rose’s blooms start a bright yellow with a red center before mellowing to a soft yellow, then finally white with a pink center, giving this awesome shrub the effect of having multicolored blooms.

  • USDA Zones 4-8
  • 3-4’ Tall and Wide
Oso Easy Lemon Zest rose blooming in a landscape

The sunny yellow blooms of this cheerful rose carry their color through their life cycle and do not fade to white, even as they shatter. 

  • USDA Zones 4-9
  • 2-3’ Tall and Wide
Close up of a cluster of Rise Up Lilac Days rose blooms

Whether this unique rose is grown as a shrub or a climber, the beautiful lilac-blue blooms will have the pollinators buzzing happily. 

  • USDA Zones 4-9
  • 5-8’ Tall
  • 2-4’ Wide
Close up of Oso Easy Peasy Rose blooming heavily

This stunning rose boasts vivid dragon fruit pink blooms that flower continuously without deadheading, allowing you and pollinators to enjoy those gorgeous blooms all summer long. 

  • USDA Zones 4-9
  • 2.5-3.5’ Tall and Wide
Close up of the blooms on Sunorita Rose

This rose sports continuous blooms in sunny shades of gold, yellow, and orange, all on a mass of glossy green foliage. 

  • USDA Zones 5-9
  • 3-4’ Tall and Wide
Close up of three Ringo All Star Rose blooms

The melon-orange and pink blooms of this gorgeous rose age to lavender giving a multi-color effect. 

  • USDA Zones 4-8
  • 2-3’ Tall and Wide
Close up of a cluster of Oso Easy Double Pink Rose flowers

This low-mounding shrub has abundant and continuous cherry pink blooms all summer long. 

  • USDA Zones 5-9
  • 1.5-2’ Tall and Wide
Blooms of Rise Up Amberness Rose

The wavy, amber-colored blooms on this shrub open to reveal golden stamens that pollinators will absolutely love. 

  • USDA Zones 4-9
  • 3-5’ Tall
  • 2-3’ Wide
Close up of an Oso Easy Urban Legend rose bloom

This is a true-red landscape rose. Its vivid flowers contrast nicely with their sunny yellow centers and bloom from summer to frost. 

  • USDA Zones 4-9
  • 2.5-3’ Tall and Wide
Close up of an elegant pink bloom of Ringo Double Pink rose

The stunning semi-double pink flowers of this shrub are accented with yellow stamens that are surrounded by wine-colored eyes. 

  • USDA Zones 4-8
  • 2-3’ Tall and Wide
A row of Oso Easy Double Red roses blooming in a garden

This easy-to-grow rose has an abundance of bright red blooms that continue through summer and up until frost. 

  • USDA Zones 4-9
  • 3-4’ Tall and Wide
Close up of an Oso Easy Italian Ice rose bloom

The big blooms on this shrub are pink on the outside and yellow on the inside; the color only intensifies in autumn. 

  • USDA Zones 4-9
  • 1.5-2.5’ Tall and Wide
Close up of blooms on Rise Up Emberays Rose

This rose has bright orange and pink blooms with vibrant yellow centers that bloom continuously through summer and fall. 

  • USDA Zones 5-8
  • 3-5’ Tall
  • 2-3’ Wide
Oso Easy Ice Bay Rose blooming

This elegant shrub boasts milky white blooms with vibrant yellow stamens, and unlike some white roses that age to pink, this rose holds its color until it’s spent. 

  • USDA Zones 3-9
  • 2-3’ Tall and Wide
Close up of a Rise Up Ringo Rose bloom

This mini-climber has cheerful golden-yellow blooms with a vibrant red eye.

  • USDA Zones 4-8
  • 3-5’ Tall
  • 2-3’ Wide
Close up of an Oso Easy Mango Salsa Rose blooms

The unique ruby-red color of the flowers on this rose is truly stunning in the garden, and the blooms last all summer and up until frost. 

  • USDA Zones 4-9
  • 2-3’ Tall and Wide

Final Thoughts

If you’re really looking to make a pollinator haven, consider adding other pollinator-friendly plants to your garden along with your roses. You can check out our shrubs for pollinators collection for some inspiration.

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Picture of Samantha Huisman

Samantha Huisman

I’m still pretty new to gardening, but I’m eager to learn more as I grow my USDA Zone 6a garden. I share my space with two very energetic German Shepherd dogs, and I'm happy to share my experiences building a garden that is beautiful and safe for my pups. As I learn and grow in the gardening world, I’m excited to give you tips and inspiration that may just help you on your gardening journey.

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