Vanilla ice cream or plain white shirts worn day after day with a suit and tie may seem a bit, well, boring. But white roses are anything but.
Whether you consider it a color or the lack of color, white can be elegant, fresh, or even dramatic.
Plant white roses and you’ll have blooms appropriate for centerpieces, weddings and bridal bouquets, cake toppers, or even just as a single bloom picked and placed in a bud vase as an exquisite self-care gesture.
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Of course, choosing which type to grow can become complicated pretty quickly.
There are ground covers, shrubs, and even shaped “rose trees” that all bloom in white. Add to that hybrid tea roses, easy-care Knock Outs, and even some miniature plants that all produce white blooms.
With this guide, you have an excellent place to start. We’ll introduce 17 of the best white roses to grow in your landscape, garden, border, or even in a container.
When we’re done, I hope you’ll feel like you have some wonderful options, including at least a couple that will work with both your gardening and your floral design styles.
Here are the varieties we’ll cover:
Match your floral preference and your gardening style to one or more of these selections:
1. Bridal Sunblaze
Here’s one for wee wedding attendants to carry, perhaps.
A hybrid cultivar, also known as Rosa x ‘Meilmera,’ Bridal Sunblaze® grows just 12 to 18 inches tall and spreads 12 to 18 inches, too.
But while the plants are tiny, the warm white double blooms make a big statement, with 40 petals apiece.
The bushy plants sport glossy green leaves, but you might forget them entirely when the tiny bush is in flower from spring through autumn.
A swell choice for container gardens or more modest growing spaces, Bridal Sunblaze® can also set a romantic tone grown as part of a border for a walkway, or along the path to a pond or pool.
And it’s disease resistant, too, so you won’t spend lots of time fussing.
Find Bridal Sunblaze® available from Nature Hills Nursery in three-gallon containers.
2. Chantilly Cream
“Chantilly Cream™ got a pretty face…” Okay, that ditty doesn’t rhyme like “Chantilly Lace,” a tune from the Big Bopper, but the flowers on this dense shrub are so exquisite no one will mind.
A hybrid tea rose, Chantilly Cream™ aka ‘WEKmedamely’ boasts blooms with 50 to 145 cream-colored petals each and light yellow centers. They waft an old-fashioned fruity rose scent on spring and summer evenings.
The bushes grow three to five feet tall and spread two or three feet, and with deep green, shiny leaves, they make an appealing foundation planting or focal point for a flower garden.
Chantilly Cream™ is available in three-gallon containers from Nature Hills Nursery.
3. Easy Elegance Snowdrift
Those of us for whom elegance has never been easy can truly appreciate this low-growing shrub. It’s truly refined and full of white blooms throughout the summer.
This variety doesn’t require deadheading but still manages to look fresh, resist disease, and grow quickly.
It grows about four feet tall and spreads the same distance, drifting those gorgeous flowers across bare patches in the garden or landscape, or draping over a slope in an awkward spot in the yard.
Oh, yes, and it also draws pollinators and admiring humans with its fragrant flowers. Near-effortless glamor is possible with this cultivar.
Easy Elegance® ‘Snowdrift’ is available in one-quart containers from Nature Hills Nursery.
4. Flower Carpet
Watch out, Aladdin. This ground cover lends a whole new meaning to the term “magic carpet.”
It grows about two feet tall and quickly spreads to about three feet. The low-growing foliage is full of single or semi-double blooms of bright white with sunny yellow centers.
So where you once had bare earth, a sloped portion of lawn, or a rocky outcropping, you can now enjoy a bevy of white blossoms in spring and fall. Presto change-o!
‘Flower Carpet’ White is available in two- or five-gallon containers from Plants Express.
5. Full Sail
Ironically, this variety is more at home in a cottage garden than at a yacht club.
Enjoy this hybrid tea rose as a complement to more colorful cottage flowers, or use it as a specimen plant in a more simplified contemporary garden.
It grows three to five feet tall and spreads 24 to 36 inches, which makes it a nice size for a low-lying hedge or to anchor a corner of a perennial flower bed.
The blooms have long, sturdy stems for classic bouquets. And even though they’re white, which usually means little or no scent, these flowers are fragrant.
The glossy leaves contrast beautifully with the cream-colored flowers, whether they make it into a vase or you just enjoy the display in your landscape.
‘Full Sail’ is available in five-gallon containers from Plants Express.
6. Gourmet Popcorn
Who says white roses can’t be cute and casual? And you folks contending with salt water spray or high temps who still want a rose garden, listen up.
A tidy, compact shrub, ‘Gourmet Popcorn’ grows some 18 to 28 inches tall, and spreads 12 to 18 inches.
It has clusters of adorable white buds that open to reveal light yellow centers. And this cultivar handily resists diseases and will grow in a salt air setting.
If, however, you’re coping with a restrictive diet, you might not want to focus on the name too intently…
These are not plain popcorn blooms. Instead, they have yellow centers that sure look like melted butter to me!
‘Gourmet Popcorn’ is available in five-gallon containers from Plants Express.
‘Iceberg’ is a formidably elegant floribunda, with lavish clusters of medium-size pure white blooms and glossy, deep green leaves.
It grows to about four feet tall at maturity, and spreads about three feet, which makes it sizable among tea roses.
Just one cluster makes a beautiful bouquet or centerpiece, and that’s just the tip of the you-know-what in terms of ways to use this beautiful bush.
It can anchor a bare spot as a specimen plant, grow in the back of a garden, or several can form a hedge between houses or along a walkway.
If you grow it without chemical sprays, the petals from all those blooms are a welcome addition to a potpourri or other dried flower projects.
Speaking of scent, ‘Iceberg’ wafts a sumptuous, sweet perfume. But even with all those fine attributes, this variety is amazingly easy to maintain, with no deadheading required.
‘Iceberg’ is available in five- or 15-gallon containers from Plants Express.
8. Lichfield Angel
I firmly believe there are angels among us, including the sweet folks that grow these frilly rosettes for floral arrangements or to share.
The bodacious, rounded blooms are light in color, but it’s one of the warmest tones anyone would still describe as a shade of white. The newly unfurling buds are a sort of light orange, and the petals fade to a cream color as the blooms open wider.
The fragrance is heavenly, with a hint of clove.
The mature spread for this variety is about three feet across, so several planted in proximity make a serviceable, attractive low hedge or windscreen.
‘Lichfield Angel’ is sold as a bare root from Burpee.
9. Meidiland White
Strewing white rose petals along your love’s path is one memorable romantic gesture, but what if you were able to cover the ground they walked on with living rose plants?
This ground cover grows quickly to beautify rocky or sloped spots in your landscape.
It reaches just 12 to 24 inches tall, but each plant spreads to six feet wide.
And the flowers! They’re snow-colored, and the double blooms are profuse throughout the spring to fall growing season.
Other noteworthy advantages of this cultivar: It doesn’t require deadheading, it tolerates heat, and it will thrive even in coastal conditions.
‘Meidiland White’ is available in one- or five-gallon sizes from Plants Express.
10. Meizorland Drift
Preferable to a snow drift but just as pretty, ‘Meizorland’ is a cross between a ground cover and a miniature rose.
The plants grow about 12 to 24 inches tall and then drape over bald spots and rocky terrain in a two- or three-foot circle.
The bitty blossoms are bright white and bloom starting in late spring, continuing throughout the summer and on into fall.
Along with the generous, persistent flowering, ‘Meizorland’ offers drought and cold tolerance, and amped-up disease resistance.
You can get your Drift® in white in a one- or two-pack of three-gallon containers from My Perfect Plants.
11. Pope John Paul II
These tea roses are elegant enough for an audience with the pope, but they’re also at home in a cottage garden or growing in a large container on an urban patio.
The flowers may be as large as five inches across, on stems that have few thorns. And the shrubs themselves attain four or five feet in height at maturity, spreading about three feet.
And while tea roses always seem so delicate, this bush is sturdy and disease resistant, blooming often in spring and again in early autumn.
‘Pope John Paul II’ is available in five-gallon containers from Plants Express.
12. Radwhite Knock Out
As the Chumbawamba song goes, “I get knocked down, but I get up again…”
When you love white roses but don’t want to fuss over their care all season long, consider the hardiest type on the market, the Knock Out®.
Drought-resistant and self-cleaning (no deadheading here!), they reach their mature height of about four feet quickly, and fill out to about four feet in diameter, too.
These relentless bloomers will spend most of the time from late spring to early autumn in flower.
In warmer areas, they may start blooming in early spring and keep up the display through late October or early November.
You can expect ‘Radwhite’ to bloom in flushes that take five to six weeks from start to finish.
Depending on where you garden, they might stop blossoming and then resume at least five and as many as seven times during the growing season.
That’s a lot of flowers from one tough shrub, And while they aren’t long-stemmed or particularly glamorous, they have a fresh color and are suitable for bud vases and centerpieces.
Fierce and beautiful, these bushes set a fine example for us all.
‘Radwhite’ Knock Out is available from Nature Hills Nursery in two-gallon containers.
13. Sea Foam
Catch the wave… This heat-resistant ground cover will crest at a height of at least two feet, though it grows much taller in warmer areas.
It also spreads as much as six feet at maturity, which lets it flow over a sloped area of your landscape, or a rocky spot.
The creamy white flowers are a sort of salt-water seafoam hue. These have an old-fashioned appeal, and the petite, dark green leaves are appealing even when this low-growing rose is not in bloom.
‘Sea Foam’ is sold in five-gallon containers from Plants Express.
I’m not sure why this rose is associated with the concept of tranquility.
This vigorous shrub has showy flowers – some might say dramatic – that are rounded and have a lavish 110 petals apiece.
And the blooms are abundant, in pure white with a blush tinge at the center.
‘Tranquility’ is one of the captivating “new/old” roses bred by Englishman David Austin. At his death in 2018, he left behind a legacy of rose varieties that combine the elegance and fragrance of a traditional tea rose with the improved disease resistance and profusion of blooms on newer hybrids.
Learn more about Austin’s quest and the history of modern-day English roses in our guide.
Introduced in 2012, ‘Tranquility’ grows exuberantly and quickly, reaching about four feet tall and equally as wide at maturity.
This is the ideal size and look for a rose border, whether you decide to plant it next to other white-flowered ornamental shrubs or near bright red or fuchsia blooms.
This rose bush will have the pollinators abuzz and the family flower designers clamoring to pick and present.
Maybe it’s the light apple scent from the flowers that gives this cultivar its soothing name?
‘Tranquility’ is available as bare root stock from Burpee.
15. Whipped Cream
‘Whipped Cream’ is downright decadent, but enjoying the blooms will add zero calories to your daily intake.
The plants are a manageable size, growing two to three feet tall and spreading about the same distance at maturity.
The bush’s semi-double blooms emerge with a light pink tinge on the buds, then blossom with creamy white petals and bright yellow centers.
As a floribunda, ‘Whipped Cream’ is a cross of hybrid tea and polyantha roses, producing more blooms than the standard tea roses and more intricate, petal-heavy blossoms than polyanthas.
Unlike its namesake, this ‘Whipped Cream’ refills itself. The faded blossoms drop on their own, without deadheading, and then the bush flowers anew.
The blooms waft a light, sweet fragrance with each successive flowering.
This variety is also resistant to black spot and mildew, if those have caused trouble for your other rose bushes.
‘Whipped Cream’ is available from Nature Hills Nursery in three-gallon containers.
16. White Drift Rose Tree
So, it turns out you can contain your excitement for white tree roses! Small-space gardeners, this rose is for you.
Pruned into a small tree, it can happily occupy a container in a sunroom or on the patio – anywhere that needs glamming up.
It flowers over the entire growing season, right up to late fall. And its double-blooms in a copy-paper shade of white don’t require deadheading.
The tree will grow up to four or five feet tall and spread some three or four feet as well.
A three- to four-foot tree can be purchased from My Perfect Plants.
17. White Simplicity
Are you part of the KISS club of gardeners? You know, with the motto, “Keep It Simple Sweetie?”
Okay, that might not quite be the typical meaning for the acronym… but if you share the philosophy, get a look at this variety.
‘Simplicity’ is commonly referred to as a hedge rose. It has dense branches and reaches about four or five feet tall when full-grown, spreading about three feet.
It makes a worthy landscape shrub for anyone who wants both ease and appealing white blooms to bestow on their loved ones – or to gaze upon from the patio or backyard.
It is covered with cream-colored blossoms continuously throughout the growing season, an ideal addition for a border or to provide a focal point within a perennial flower bed or beneath a bird feeding station.
White ‘Simplicity’ is available in a five-gallon container from Plants Express.
White Roses Can Delight
When you’re a dedicated gardener, a profusion of white roses to arrange, share, preserve, and look at from your window is a luxury that’s within reach.
Even if you’re not a home flower arranger (or maybe it’s time to start?) you’ll never regret growing these gorgeous perennials.
And if you’re watching your pennies, being able to pick such lovely flowers continuously from spring to fall is a big payoff for the price of a shrub or two, as opposed to purchasing pre-made bouquets from the store.
What about you? Are you already growing a favorite white rose variety – or two, five, or 15?
It would be kind if you’d share which types you like the best in the comments section below, so all of us rose lovers can find new favorites. Or maybe you’ll just help us confirm that we’re already growing the best of the best!
The comments section is also open for questions not covered in this piece.
And if you’re looking for more rose-growing advice and tips, you can’t go wrong reading these guides next: