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August 18, 2023

Orange David Austin English Rose on Bush

English Roses also known as David Austin Roses

For most people, when thinking of a rose, a classic English Rose is what comes to mind. While there have been many amazing rose breeders over the years, few have accomplished as much as the late David Austin.

He focused on combining the fragrance and character of the old roses with the repeat-flowering properties of most modern roses. Along the way, he and his legacy, have created more than 190 varieties with an astounding range of colors.  

It all started in 1961 with the introduction of the Constance Spry. Although David Austin (OBE) passed away in 2018 his legacy lives on and new roses are released every year.

Austin Roses or English Roses are not a recognized class of roses but they have introduced more than 190 cultivars.

We will look at the following aspects of these roses:

Details of the English Garden Rose aka The David Austin Rose



Common Name

English Rose - David Austin Rose 

Plant Type

Rose Bush

Light Requirements

Full Sun to Partial Shade

Ideal pH



4 to 10 feet


4 to 6 feet

Bloom Colors

Vast Range 

Flowing Habit

Repeat Bloomer 

Foliage Color


Blooming Season

Fall, Spring, Summer


Subtle to Bold

Suitable for Containers?


Maintenance Requirements


Propagation Method

Cuttings -Note they are Trademarked

Practical Use

Landscaping, Containers, Bedding

Orange Pink Boscobel David Austin Rose


Orange Charles Austin Rose

Charles Austin

Orange Yellow Lady of Shallot David Austin Rose

Lady of Shallot

David Austin Rose Hardiness

The primary goal of David Austin was to create roses that offer the best aspects of the classic old garden rose and more modern rose bushes. This gives you the best characteristics of the two. The aim was and still is to create continuous bloomers that are hardy, attractive, and have great fragrance. The shape and structure are also important. They have clearly done a fantastic job as most Austin Roses are spectacular and tick all the boxes.

In selecting and breeding roses with the best of a range of characteristics, hardiness is certainly one aspect that was considered. As a result, Austin roses are relatively hardy. One still needs to ensure that are planted and cared for correctly to avoid possible diseases, bugs, or other issues. More on this in our section on caring for David Austin Roses.

Something that should add to peace of mind is that, depending on where you purchase these roses, they come with a 5-year guarantee.  

David Austin Rose Sun Requirements

The wonderful thing about these roses is that many can handle a fair amount of shade. While this does not apply to all of them, given the vast number of hybrids, many spectacular roses will work if you have limited sun.

The general rule with roses is full sun or at least 6 to 8 hours a day. Many Austin roses will still do well with partial shade. This varies from one variety to the next so if that is a concern then do a bit of investigation first before selecting your options.

The first prize, for all of them, is full sun.

Where to Plant David Austin Roses

An important note to understand is that not all David Austin Roses are the same. There are multiple hybrids. So, while most are English Rose Shrubs, some do grow much taller. Most of the popular Austin roses grow to 4 feet in height but some are larger, and some are climbing or scrambling roses. Give some thought to the variety you are purchasing to guide you in finding the best spot. They generally come with all these relevant details. To learn more about Planting David Austin Roses see our post on the topic here.

Ideal Soil for David Austin Roses

As with all roses you want soil that drains well and is rich in organic matter. The ideal pH is 6.5.

Watering David Austin Roses

When first planted, you will want to water every few days, especially roses in containers. As they mature you can water less frequently until the temperature rises. Naturally, hot conditions cause the soil to dry out quickly. You can water once a week when it cools and 2 to 3 times a week when it is hot.

The amount of water is important. As a general rule give shrub roses and those in pots about 5 liters at a time. Climbers/ramblers and standard tree roses should be given 10 liters for each watering.

David Austin Rose - Temperature and Humidity

Due to their hardiness, these roses can handle a wide range of temperatures. Extreme cold calls for mulching at the base to prevent the roots from freezing. Smaller pots can be moved to a warmer spot if it is particularly cold. Hot conditions require more frequent watering.

They can handle high humidity, but this is an environment in which many diseases and pests thrive. Keep a close eye on the plants during these periods and take the necessary steps if you encounter any concerns.

Fertilizing the David Austin Rose

Fertilizing your roses will increase their resistance and reward you with more blooms. It need only be done twice a year, in early spring and then when the first blooms appear.

Granular feeds tend to be more effective. David Austin has their own specific rose feed that they recommend but any quality rose feed will suffice.

Pruning Your David Austin Rose

Pruning is much the same as with other roses. The goal is to deadhead blooms as they develop past their prime, remove dead or broken branches, and maintain a pleasant shape.

David Austin Rose Pests and How to Treat Them

While hardy, you might still notice pests from time to time. Look at your roses often and if pests are present treat them with a quality pesticide.

David Austin Rose Diseases and How to Treat Them

The most common issues you might encounter are black spot, rust, and powdery mildew. What is important is that you inspect the plant regularly. Catching the problem early makes it easier to eradicate. Treat with a quality fungicide and reapply if necessary.

We have a post with more information about Caring for David Austin Roses.

Popular Varieties:

  • Constance Spry
  •  Canterbury
  •  Heritage
  • Golden Celebration
  • Grace
  • Queen of Sweden
  •  Lady of Shalott
  • Dame Judy Dench
  •  Shropshire Lass
  •  Charles Austin
  •  The Pilgrim
  •  A Shropshire Lad
  • Jubilee Celebration
  •  Strawberry Hill
  • Boscobel
Pink Shropshire Lad David Austin Rose

Shropshire Lad

Mauve Strawberry Hill David Austin Rose

Strawberry Hill

Yellow The Pilgrim David Austin Rose

The Pilgrim

Here are a few others to look at:

2023 Releases

Every year sees a host of exciting new delights from David Austin and 2003 was no exception.  Here are the highlights:

  • Dannahue

This is a delightful bushy English shrub rose with prolific medium-sized apricot blooms. It grows to around 4 feet. The blooms have a subtle fruity fragrance.

It is ideal for borders or low hedges and great in pots. It can grow against a wall and can handle a fair amount of shade.

A £10,000 portion of the Dannahue sales will go to Grow2Know. This is a not-for-profit organization that strives to “inspire, heal and educate through horticulture”.

  • Penelope Lively

This beauty has a gentle pink bloom with a classic and elegant shape. It also grows to roughly 4 feet. The blooms produce a medium old rose slightly fruity fragrance.  It is a repeat bloomer and bloom she does, putting on a spectacular display. The bountiful blooms turn a shade of lavender with time. They are attractive cut flowers.

Penelope Lively is also useful for borders and hedges as well as making a fantastic container rose.  It is also shade tolerant provided it gets some sun.

  • Nye Bevan

The soft yellow blooms have a gentle Myrrh fragrance. The open cup flower structure is striking and has a mass of gold stamens in the center. They are medium in size. It is a repeat bloomer with abundant blooms from late spring until the cold sets in.

It works well in pots or as a border or hedge.

The rose was named in honor of Britain’s National Health Service founder Aneurin (Nye) Bevan.

  • Elizabeth

 Elizabeth produces clusters of gentle pink to apricot flowers that gradually fade to near white. They are medium-sized blooms that form a classic rosette and have a noticeable slightly sweet old rose fragrance.

They are perfect for pots or hedges and boarders. This beauty can handle wind making it a versatile option for tricky areas. It has a healthy appearance and attractive shape, growing to roughly 4 to 5 feet. It was named for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to mark the 2022 Platinum Jubilee, sadly just before her death.

  • Bring Me Sunshine

As the name suggests, from the Morecambe and Wise hit of the same name, this rose shrub has bright orange-yellow flowers. The blooms are large and striking with a medium to powerful Myrrh aroma.

It can be used for hedges and borders and works very well in containers. Elizabeth can handle partial shade.

Other beauties include:

  • Vanessa Bell

This is a medium-sized shrub with masses of cup-shaped pale yellow blooms. They gradually fade to near white. The blooms have a green tea fragrance. This rose was introduced in 2017.

  • Bathsheba

A compact climbing rose, Bathsheba apricot to yellow flowers with a medium Myrrh fragrance. It grows up to 10 feet. It grows vigorously and was introduced in 2016.

  • Gabriel Oak

If you are looking to add a touch of dramatic color coupled with a delightful fragrance then this is a good option. The large flowers are a deep rich pink and exude a powerful fruity perfume. It is a medium shrub that grows vigorously with lush green foliage.

  • Silas Marner

This is a trouble-free rose that will give an abundance of medium pink blooms year after year. The petals are ruffled and there is an eye in the center, adding to the beauty of each rose. It is a medium-sized shrub that works well for pots, mixed borders, or low hedges. The blooms are medium in size and have an Old Rose fragrance.


That should give you a lot more information on English or David Austin Roses. There is more detail in our specific sections about caring for and planting these beautiful roses.  

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