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The Fairy Rose

Categories:Disease Resistant Roses Easy to Grow Fences and Walls Old Roses Roses

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‘The Fairy’ rose is grown in many gardens eighty years after its introduction and with good reason.

‘The Fairy’ is a tough, gorgeous garden rose that will help even the beginning gardener succeed. Covered with small pink roses (1″-2″) in wave after wave, ‘The Fairy’ rose is almost unstoppable.

Garden rose 'The Fairy'
The Fairy – Polyantha garden rose. Flowers are only 1 1/2″ wide but profuse.

‘The Fairy’ rose is a wonderful choice for gardeners who refuse to spray.

Disease resistance is outstanding. Despite the diminutive name and flowers, ‘The Fairy’ is a vigorous grower, with canes that sprawl and arch in all directions. Highly recommended garden rose.

Originally considered a dwarf by its breeders, John and Ann Bentall, ‘The Fairy’ rose over time can get big in a sprawling sort of way. If you have a hillside it can drape down, it can grow into a fairly large and spectacular rose (see photo below).

If you the need to mask or cover something (such as a chain link fence), this rose could be an excellent choice. Roses are produced throughout the entire season and while small, they are fully double. It will sucker and gardeners are often surprised how vigorous growth is…give this rose room to spread.

the fairy rose
Polyantha rose ‘The Fairy’ cascading down a hillside

Scientific name: Rosa x ‘The Fairy’
Common name(s): The Fairy, Feerie, Perle
Rose Class: Polyantha garden rose
Year Introduced: 1932 (Bentall, U.K.), introduced 1941 as ‘The Fairy’ rose by Conard-Pyle
Size: 3′ to 9′ feet tall
Fragrance: Mild
Disease resistance: Excellent, may get mildew in areas prone to such.
Bloom period: Remontant, flowers come in flushes throughout growing season.
Winter hardiness: 4b/9
Lineage: Paul Crampel x Lady Gay
Of note: Delicate flowers and name bely the tough and resilient nature of this rose. Extremely disease resistant and hardy. Vicious thorns. Gets much larger than often indicated…can sprawl and mound into a substantial mass 6′-9′ feet wide. Somewhat shade tolerant.


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