10 Rose Bush Alternatives

Beautiful, easy care rose substitutes

Roses are one of the most popular flowers and they’re a staple in many flower gardens around the world, but there are plenty of low maintenance rose alternatives that you can plant in your garden.

Here are 10 gorgeous flowers that are excellent rose bush alternatives.

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Rose alternative flowers

1. Dahlia

Dahlias are showy, large flowers that really stand out in the garden.

They bloom from late summer into fall and come in a range of sizes, shapes and colors including red, pink, purple, orange and yellow.

Dahlias can be grown from tubers or seeds and some varieties can grow 5 to 6.5 feet (1.5 to 2 m) tall. [1]

They grow best in full sun and need at least 6 hours of sunlight each day and protection from strong winds.

Dahlia flower

2. Ranunculus (Ranunculus asiaticus)

Ranunculus, also known as Persian Buttercup or Rose of the Spring, are popular cut flowers and excellent rose alternatives.

The tightly layered, ruffled flowers come in a variety of colors including pink, purple, red, white, yellow and orange.

Ranunculus grows from tubers and each tuber can produce up to 40 flowers, so you’ll have an abundance of blooms.

They’re hardy plants that will grow in a range of conditions but they prefer to have their roots moist and cool.

In temperate climates, the tubers can be left in the ground over winter but in cool climates the tubers should be dug up and stored in a dry place during the winter months.

Ranunculus flowers

3. Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)

You don’t have to plant roses to enjoy fragrant flowers in your garden.

Gardenias are evergreen shrubs with beautifully scented white flowers and they’re a great substitute for rose bushes.

They grow best in warm, humid climates in full sun or part shade and bloom from mid spring until summer.

Gardenias can grow from 2 to 8 feet (60 cm to 2.4 m) tall, depending on the variety. [2]


4. Peony (Paeonia)

Peonies are popular perennial flowers that are excellent rose alternatives.

Their beautiful blooms come in a variety of colors including pink, purple, white and red.

They grow best in areas with cool winters because the cold temperatures help the flower bud to develop.

Peonies grow well in a spot with full sun but some afternoon shade is needed in areas with hot summers.

Peony flowers

5. Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum)

Lisianthus are native to Southern USA and Mexico, so they grow best in areas that are warm and dry.

They like a position in full sun but in areas with hot summer temperatures they’ll need some afternoon shade.

The flowers can be lilac, blue, pink, white or green in single or double forms.

Lisianthus plants grown from seed can take a long time to mature, so it’s easier to buy seedlings from the nursery.

The plants can become top heavy when they’re laden with flowers so you can stake them or cut off some of the top blooms to make a floral arrangement. They’ll last a couple of weeks in a vase.

Lisianthus blooms

6. Azalea (Rhododendron)

Azaleas are easy to grow perennial shrubs with beautiful bright flowers in a variety of colors including purple, pink, red, orange and white.

They grow best in a partially shaded position and need protection from hot afternoon sun.

Azaleas can be cut back when they finish flowering to keep the plant looking tidy and encourage bushier growth.


7. Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum flowers are just as beautiful as roses and come in hundreds of varieties and many different colors including yellow, pink, white, red and purple.

They grow best in full sun and can reach 1 to 3 feet (30 to 90 centimetres) tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. 

Chrysanthemums bloom from late summer to late fall and can be pruned back after flowering.

8. Camellia (Camellia spp.)

Camellias are evergreen shrubs with beautiful large flowers that can be pink, white, cream, red or striped.

Camellia japonica blooms from fall to spring, while Camellia sasanqua blooms from summer until winter.

Sasanqua flowers are fragrant but japonica flowers don’t have a scent. [3]

Depending on the variety, they can grow from 5 to 20 feet (1.5 to 6 m) high.


9. Weigela

Weigela is another good rose alternative that comes in lots of different sizes and shapes.

The flowers can be pink, red, white or yellow.

Weigela plants with brightly colored flowers are best suited to full sun, but plants with variegated foliage need some afternoon shade.


10. Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)

Zinnia are popular annuals with large brightly colored flowers in a range of colors including purple, pink, yellow, orange and red.

Giant Zinnia varieties can grow up to 4 feet (120 cm) tall and they’re fast growing, so you won’t need to wait long to enjoy their beautiful blooms.

Zinnias like full sun and they grow best from seed planted directly in the garden because they don’t like to have their roots disturbed.


So there are my top 10 rose bush alternatives to plant in your garden.

I hope this has given you some attractive options to plant instead of roses.


Which of these rose alternatives do you like best? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you on Pinterest? I have boards dedicated to Flower Gardening and Garden Ideas that you may enjoy. You can also find me on Facebook.

Stunning rose alternatives
rose garden alternative flowers

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener and designer with over 10 years experience. I have a passion for small space gardening and I love designing and creating beautiful outdoor spaces that maximize the potential of small urban gardens. Read more

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Ivana Mearns

    Oh, I love all of these, not sure which one is my most favourite! I wish I had a big garden. This blog post really brightened up my day, thank you !

  2. Despite Pain

    This is another beautiful selection of flowers. We have a few rhododendrons in our garden. We did have more, but sheep got into the garden and demolished them.

    I love to read your blog posts. Seeing the flowers always lifts me up.

  3. Jessica Collazo

    Gardening is such a interesting hobby. My grandma used to have orchids and I would love to have a garden but I live in a small apartment.

  4. Melanie williams

    I do love flowers. they are so pretty and lovely and make a nice addition to a garden or home vase

  5. Lindsay Brown

    I absolutely love your posts because who doesn’t like looking at beautiful flowers first thing in the morning! These are all great alternatives to rose bushes (which for some reason I have such a difficult time growing) so I will definitely be taking these ideas into consideration next spring!

  6. Subhashish Roy

    Roses are roses no doubt. But there are so many other flowers which are equally beautiful. Thanks for sharing some of them. Flowers make me happy.

  7. Dana Brillante-Peller

    I’m loving this list of rose alternatives. I’ve been thinking of getting back to gardening. It is quite relaxing.

  8. Daphne Takahashi

    I love all these flowers! especially dahlias, chrysanthemums and ranunculus, all of them where in my wedding bouquet and center pieces! so gorgeous!

  9. Norma

    These flowers are so colorful and beautiful. They are great alternatives for roses. My favorites are the azaleas as they are easy to grow.

  10. Sonia Seivwright

    Beautiful rose alternative flowers to grow next year. I really love the colours.

  11. Jennifer

    Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? You make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is great, let alone the content!

    1. Kelly Taylor

      Thanks so much Jennifer! I’ve had my gardening blog for nearly three years now and I love writing about flowers and plants.

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