Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Large Flowered Climbing Rose
Rosa 'Don Juan'

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Don Juan
Additional cultivar information: (PP1864)
Hybridized by Malandrone; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1958

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3 vendors have this plant for sale.

19 members have or want this plant for trade.

Modern Climber


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Bloom Color:
Dark red (dr)

Bloom Shape:

Flower Fragrance:
Very Fragrant

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Blooms repeatedly

Trained to climb

Patent Information:

Other Details:
Susceptible to black spot
Stems are moderately thorny

Pruning Instructions:
Blooms on new wood; prune early to promote new growth

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
By grafting
By budding

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There are a total of 47 photos.
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28 positives
5 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive davebert On Oct 15, 2012, davebert from Durham, NC wrote:

A great climber in the 10' to 12' range. Most flowers appear as 1 and up to 3 per stem, and are very suitable for cutting. This climber is best trained while new growth is young and pliable. Mature wood is very stiff and will break if attempts are made to wrap growth around a pillar or over an arbor. Disease resistance is good here in central North Carolina, the flowers resist balling during spring and fall damp weather and hold up well under the hot summer sun.

Positive MarcoPlo On Aug 26, 2012, MarcoPlo from Sudbury , ON (Zone 4b) wrote:

Very prolific grower. Dark Velvet Red. Extremely beautiful fragrance, somewhere between what a REAL Rose ought to smell like & fresh Raspberries!!!! Can't tell you enough how delicious this rose is. Survived a Canadian Zone 4a Winter after being cut back in the fall, covered in mulch & rose cones. They get light from 9am to about 1pm & grew back (second year) very tall & full of blossoms, with very little care upon the plants aside from good soaking every other day. I could not be more pleased with Don Juan!

Positive etherealsunshin On Jun 11, 2012, etherealsunshin from Wyanet, IL wrote:

I have this rose on a trellis under the edge of our 2nd story patio. It is three years old this summer and is blooming like crazy right now. I did have a problem with some bugs early in the spring and had to discard about 10 deformed buds that were eaten before I noticed and sprayed with an insecticide (Bayer). The japanese beetles were awful last fall and love devouring my roses, but a good spray-down with insecticide/repellent saved my roses and shrubs. I had to cut it down to the ground last spring after a brutal winter in zone 5a with -20 temps for a week, but it sprang back and got to around 6' by the end of the summer--and I wind the canes back and forth horizontally, so I'm sure some canes would reach 10' in a single growing season if they weren't so compactly trained. I judiciously winter-wrapped with straw and burlap, and then we had the mildest winter I can remember. Happily, I had almost no cane dieback this very early spring, and aside from some wind damage and late frosts killing some early buds, it's reached the top of my 7' tall trellis this summer and keeps going.
It's moderately thorny, so you'll want some gloves on when training to a trellis, and I've found that the canes stiffen rather quickly, so I start gently bending the longer secondary canes in the proper direction when they're young (just as I walk by, if I think about it) to make it easier to attach them when they finally get long enough to reach back to the trellis.
Don Juan reblooms sporadically throughout the summer, and the scent is sweet and heady. On a warm day, I can smell them a few yards away. I am not a fan of pinkish- or orange-red roses. I want a true red, and these blooms are dark, velvety red, very slightly fading to a dark magenta as they wilt. Generally, I don't see any magenta unless I am lax on deadheading. The blooms are large, well-shaped, and bloom in clusters of 3-5. I also love the glossy dark leathery foliage and the new foliage grows out in a gorgeous deep burgundy color. I have not had blackspot problems.
In zone 5a, I would recommend winter protection, as he is not cane-hardy in harsh winters, but will rebound in a season. I'll have to take some photos while he's in the first flush of bloom--I've already deadheaded a dozen blooms and they keep on coming! I apply a slow-release granular fertilizer on top of the river stone mulch at his roots every month or two during the growing season, and try to water well (soaker hose ring to avoid wet foliage) to support what has become a giant of a plant, but I'm lax on pruning out crossing branches and undersized canes, preferring the wilder and fuller look of foliage and blooms from top to bottom on my climbers.

Positive aubreysrose On Apr 7, 2012, aubreysrose from Bowling Green, KY wrote:

Beautiful deep red blooms. First rose to bloom this spring. Very disease resistant and low maintenance.

Positive theGardenNut On Mar 27, 2012, theGardenNut from Bloomfield Township, MI wrote:

We grew this in Windsor, Ontario. When we planted it, I was traveling so I could only provide limited care. It was planted on a fence. It grew to cover the fence in a season and we had season long, huge, fragrant red flowers in profusion.

One of the most fragrant, rapidly growing and hardy roses!

Positive amberroses On Mar 10, 2011, amberroses from Largo, FL wrote:

Very impressive. It does get BS in my Florida yard, but it always shakes it off. Nice smell too.

Neutral AZ_Alkmaar On Jul 18, 2010, AZ_Alkmaar from Westfield, IN wrote:

Beautiful rose, grows well in zone 5 too and survived several terrible winters. It is somewhat suscpetible to black spot, but disease does not spread fast and plus new growth compensate the loss. Attracts large number of Japanese beatls.

Positive Aquarius247 On Jun 8, 2010, Aquarius247 from Lake Alfred, FL wrote:

This rose has been growing by my front door for the past 20 years and it still blooms profusely with large, deep red, fragrant roses. It has needed little care except occasional spraying for black spot.

Positive echinaceamaniac On Apr 6, 2010, echinaceamaniac from (Clint) Medina, TN (Zone 7b) wrote:

This rose smells so good. I can't believe how intense the rose fragrance is. It smells like what I think a rose should smell like. The blooms are HUGE. I can't recommend this one enough!

Positive chgogardennut On Mar 23, 2010, chgogardennut from Chicago, IL wrote:

This is my first attempt at growing roses especially climbing roses. I brought this and many other roses on a whelm at a huge local hardware store. This was a bare root in a bag. It grew wonderful all last summer! My concern was it going to survive the winter! Most of the roses that I put in previous winter (2008) did not survive! I live in Chicago, Illinois (Zone 5). To my delight, it has survive and starting to bud!

I am anxious to see how well it is going bloom especially after I relocate it!

Positive eli_buda On Oct 29, 2009, eli_buda from Buda, TX wrote:

My Don Juan is planted in front of our picture window in the front of our house. Not knowing how well the plant would grow we planted two of them side by side about three feet between them. To our surprise both plants took off, it double in size within the first year, we live in Zone 8-9 12 miles from Austin TX. The rose bush has now grown up to the second story of our home and going strong. We could not be more pleased, the beauty and the fragrance is amazing!

Positive miaroxc On Aug 17, 2009, miaroxc from San Rafael, CA wrote:

I am having a hard time getting flowers from this rose after the first in spring. It seems that there are very few 5 leaflets. Mostly 7 and some 9. Any suggestions?

Neutral Joan On Apr 6, 2009, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

Editor's Note

Plant Patent number 1864 has expired
Neutral dwelrod On Mar 29, 2009, dwelrod from Baxter, TN wrote:

both of my don juan roses are very healthy but i cant get them to grow in a climbing habit.

Positive kdaustin On Sep 25, 2008, kdaustin from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Still quite possibly the best climbing red rose. Luscious red velvet flowers, wonderful fragrance, extremely healthy plant. Does occasionally get some mildew, but "shakes it off" normally. Wonderful first rose for the nervous new rose person, as long as it gets 8 hours of sun and half decent soil it will perform. I grow this on my back fence along with Lady Banks and Climbing Old Blush, this one outperforms the Climbing Old Blush, and blooms longer and is far more manageable than Lady Banks, though I love Lady Banks. Good rose for smaller areas too, very manageable size for a climber.

Positive goofybulb On Jun 13, 2008, goofybulb from El Paso, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

In a pot outside, and regular watering, this is a very rewarding rose to have in Miami. Beautifully shaped blooms, the flowers last longer than other roses that I have, and the scent is wonderful. Also, it seems more resistant to black spot (at least mine was) than other roses that I've tried.

Positive bungalow1056 On May 31, 2008, bungalow1056 from Winston-Salem, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is a fantastic rose. The color is a true, deep, velvety red. New growth is also tinged red. I am training mine as a pillar. It has a distinct upright growth habit. The scent on this one is amazing, a little fruity/citrus, a little spicy with a heaping dose of classic tea. It smells just like a deep red rose should.

Positive Forensicmom On Apr 21, 2008, Forensicmom from Millersville, MD wrote:

This was planted last spring and performed wonderfully. However the voles decided to have it for dessert. The roots were TOTALLY eaten. I thought it was dead so I pushed it back in the ground, added some rootgrow and left it along ALL winter. To my surprise, it grew back and has tripled in size. It's now totally covered in buds and full of that beautiful dark purple new growth.

Positive marsue On Mar 17, 2008, marsue from Isabella, MO (Zone 6b) wrote:

Don Juan is a beautiful dark red large-blossomed rose. We planted two of these climbers in the spring of 2007 and they doubled their size in just 6 months. Although other comments indicate that Don Juan is very fragrant, mine was only slightly fragrant. Perhaps the fragrance will be heavier the second year of growth. Also, my Don Juan has very large, sharp thorns on it. However, I love this rose in spite of the thorns!

Positive cloverlymd On Mar 17, 2008, cloverlymd from Silver Spring, MD wrote:

I grow this in a rather shady spot, and it doesn't repeat much for me. It's worth it. Beautiful deep red with a good scent.

Positive shellabella On Jul 1, 2006, shellabella from West Central, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I love this climber. The blooms are a brilliant red and it has given me no problems with black spot or anything else. My Don Juan is on Fortuniana rootstock which I understand is a very good rootstock for successful Roses in Florida.

Neutral jamie68 On May 29, 2006, jamie68 from Vancouver, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I find this rose more prone to blackspot than almost any other that I grow....but when in bloom....and when he hangs on to his leaves....he is a pretty sight!

Positive ladyannne On May 1, 2006, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

A profuse, reliable climber, one of the first roses to bud. Deepest red imagainable.

Positive woodspirit1 On Mar 15, 2006, woodspirit1 from Lake Toxaway, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Don Juan handles some shade a bit better than others. I gave one to my SIL and it took off like a rocket, a red rocket.

Positive Larabee On Nov 9, 2005, Larabee from Houston, TX wrote:

This is known as the must-have rose for my area. When I decided to start growing roses, this is the one that EVERYBODY recommended first. Its climbing manner and large flowers put on quite a show--it looks like it's trying to show off and be fancier than my other roses. It requires little attention other than dead-heading. Though it can get spells of blackspot (nearly all roses do, in our humid climate), that doesn't seem to slow it down.

Positive hpoplin On Jun 1, 2005, hpoplin from Wellston, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

My favorite rose, never seems to stop growing. Don't have any problems with thorns on the stems, make beautiful cut flowers usually with sem-long stems. The smell is great, although not strong.

Only issue, the grasshoppers and aphids seem to love the flowers more than I do. Have to use insecticide to keep them away, and as much as it grows, it seems to be a constant job keeping the insects off the buds.

Positive rh3708 On Jan 6, 2005, rh3708 from Westmoreland, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

I like this Rose it is a good climber and easy to take care of.

Neutral okus On Sep 26, 2004, okus from (Zone 8b) wrote:

It seems to grow fairly slowly, but the flowers are gorgeous.

Positive ladyannne On Sep 20, 2004, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Vigorous grower, displays the most brilliant deep velvety red fragrant flowers. I can always count on a bloom for a bouquet. Introduced in 1958, disease resistant.

Positive yayaqueen On Apr 18, 2004, yayaqueen from Harker Heights, TX wrote:

Don Juan was the very first rose (the patriarch) planted in my garden...3 years now he's been living happily couched in the corner of the backyard in full sun. We're in zone 8 in central TX. Mine is a climber and the only pruning I've done is to remove dead limbs. I do not prune my climbers and my research shows that you shouldn't except to keep them in bounds and remove dead tissue. Don Juan has exploded in huge, 5-inch, deep red flowers--the most fragrant in my garden. I have 86 roses now...adopted in the past 3 years since the bug bit me! If they don't have fragrance, I don't want them. Don Juan more than earns his place in my garden...I have a total of 5 now...all climbers. I would not have a garden without him. Everyone needs at least one.

Positive Paulwhwest On Apr 16, 2004, Paulwhwest from Irving (Dallas area), TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I got this rose from a local nursery last year. It has grown extremely vigorously, putting out big long canes, and lots of blooms.

Its parentage is: New Dawn seedling X New Yorker

Positive patp On May 30, 2003, patp from Summerville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Our Don Juan climbing rose is red, very fragrant and quite beautiful. This is its second year growing in full sun on a wire fence in Summerville, SC (USDA Hardiness Zone 8).

Positive Eirlys On May 28, 2003, Eirlys from Hamilton, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have had great success with growing a climbing rose named Don Juan, in Hamilton, Ontario. However, the only rose of this name that I have ever seen or read about is a beautiful red colour. This rose had a lovely scent and grew prolifically its first year. I had it growing against a wire fence in a southeast-facing garden. For the following two years, it again grew well, doubling its reach. Vesey's catalogue describes it: "Stronly fragrant, this velvety dark red, double cupped rose (35 petals), is high centred to flat with 4 inch blooms. Growing up to a height of 12 feet, the repeat bloomer features dark, glossy, leathery foliage."


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Huntsville, Alabama
Saraland, Alabama
Mesa, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Cabot, Arkansas
Malvern, Arkansas
, British Columbia
La Jolla, California
Perris, California
San Diego, California
Sebastopol, California
Brooksville, Florida
Clearwater, Florida
Deltona, Florida
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Maitland, Florida
Miami, Florida
Panama City, Florida
Port Orange, Florida
Seminole, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Wauchula, Florida
Wellborn, Florida
Winter Garden, Florida
Marietta, Georgia
Roswell, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Cobden, Illinois
Wyanet, Illinois
Evansville, Indiana
Westfield, Indiana
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Alexandria, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana (2 reports)
Kenner, Louisiana
Mandeville, Louisiana
Eden, Maryland
Millersville, Maryland
Silver Spring, Maryland
Redford, Michigan
Bay Springs, Mississippi
Madison, Mississippi
Pontotoc, Mississippi
Kansas City, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Amityville, New York
Honeoye Falls, New York
Durham, North Carolina
Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Ashland, Ohio
Ada, Oklahoma
Edmond, Oklahoma
Wellston, Oklahoma
Greater Sudbury, Ontario
Baker City, Oregon
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Warminster, Pennsylvania
Chapin, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Prosperity, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Hixson, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Lafayette, Tennessee
Maryville, Tennessee
Medina, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Broaddus, Texas
Buda, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Elgin, Texas
Harker Heights, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
League City, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring, Texas
Willis, Texas
, Virginia
Mc Kenney, Virginia
Mc Lean, Virginia
Pearisburg, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Sterling, Virginia
Winchester, Virginia
Chelan, Washington
Vancouver, Washington

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