One of the most popular rose cultivars of all is Rosa ‘Bonica’, which is a floribunda rose, meaning that it produces many roses on one plant during its flowering season.
This shrub is highly fragrant, an easy variety for beginners, and has a long flowering window.
Interested in growing this rose? Here’s what you need to know.
At A Glance: What You Should Know About The Bonica Rose
‘Bonica’ is one of the most award-winning roses, having entered into the Rose Hall of Fame, and winner of both the German ADR rose trail and the All-American Rose Selections.
It’s also known as ‘Bonica 82’, after the year it was introduced, and MEIdomonac.
It was created by Marie-Louise Meilland of Meilland International in France, which is perhaps best known for breeding the ‘Peace’ rose.
It grows as a vigorous shrub, able to reach between 3 and 5 feet high when it matures, spreading up to 6 feet wide.
‘Bonica’ has a wide variety of uses in garden landscaping, as it’s suitable for pots as well as in the ground as a shrub or flowering hedge.
You can even get a climbing variety, which can reach further than 12 feet high, suitable for walls, fences, and large archways or obelisks.
The blooms themselves are pale pink, fading to white, and can get as wide as 7.5cm, featuring a lovely, sweet scent.
‘Bonica’ is renowned for its long bloom time, flowering up until October if the weather allows, and is suitable in USDA zones 4b through to 9b.
It also produces plenty of winter color, bearing crimson rose hips well into spring, which also helps the bird populations in your garden, providing them with a great food source in the leaner months.
How To Care For a Bonica Rose
Bonica roses need rich, fertile soil with good drainage, which stops problems such as root rot, a fungal disease which is capable of killing your rose faster than anything.
Water your rose so that it doesn’t dry out completely, but allow the soil to dry out somewhat in between, as this will help prevent water pooling at the roots for too long.
This may be as often as weekly, or more depending on the climate, the size of the rose, and the soil it’s grown in.
This cultivar has a typical sunlight requirement, in that you’ll need to provide it with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight most days in order for it to stay healthy.
It will tolerate some shade, but it is more likely to be vulnerable to disease such as powdery mildew, or rust, where excess moisture can form.
If you want to grow a Bonica rose in a container (see also Best Roses For Containers), choose a good-quality, rich compost to grow it in, and make sure the container is large enough for the rose.
It’s also worth bolstering the health of your Bonica rose during the growing season by applying an appropriate, balanced fertilizer during the flowering season.
One of the best fertilizers you can get for roses is (probably unsurprisingly) a specialist rose fertilizer. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but if you get one that’s specially made for roses, this will make a difference.
Be wary of overfeeding your roses, or you’ll cause the plant to only produce foliage instead of foliage and flowers, so always follow the instructions.
Deadhead at least some of the fading blooms during the flowering season, and this will encourage the plant to produce more flowers.
If you want to see rose hips, don’t deadhead all of the spent blooms, and let them form into these striking red hips.
Bonica is a reliable floribunda rose that will fill your garden with double roses in the most striking shades of pink, all the while being easy to grow, and resistant to disease.
Just make sure you pick the right position to grow your Bonica rose in, and it will happily flower for years to come.