Helen's Rose Rosa helenae

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
Helen's rose


Rosa helenae, commonly known as Helen's rose, is a species of flowering plant that is primarily valued for its visual appeal. This plant features a robust and sprawling habit with long, arching stems that are equipped with sharp thorns, a characteristic shared with many roses. The foliage of Helen's rose is rich green, with leaves that are typically pinnate, comprising multiple leaflets per leaf which offer a lush, full appearance. The flowers of Helen's rose are particularly striking. They are typically produced in generous clusters, adding a dramatic flair when the plant is in full bloom. Each flower is composed of five petals that can vary from pure white to a creamy, pale yellow. These petals are soft and velvety to the touch, exuding a delicate and sweet fragrance that is often associated with rose blooms. Helen's rose has the ability to create a cascade of blooms that attract pollinators and serve as a beautiful ornamental feature in gardens. In addition to the flowers, Helen's rose can produce ornamental red or orange fruit known as "hips." These hips can add visual interest to the plant after the flowering season has ended, providing color and texture to winter gardens or natural areas. The plant's overall appearance reflects a certain wild elegance, lending itself well to naturalistic plantings or as an informal hedge or barrier when all size-related considerations are excluded. Its ability to thrive and flower profusely also makes it a popular choice among garden enthusiasts looking for a durable and appealing addition to their landscapes.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Helen's Rose, Sweet Briar.

    • Common names

      Rosa helenae.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Rosa helenae, commonly known as the Helen Rose, is not known for being toxic to humans. Roses, in general, are not poisonous and do not typically cause adverse reactions if ingested. However, it's important to note that the plant can have thorns that may cause physical injury if not handled carefully. Ingesting significant quantities of any non-food plant out of curiosity or by accident can potentially cause gastrointestinal discomfort simply because the human digestive system is not adapted to processing them. But the Helen Rose itself does not contain toxins that are harmful to humans when touched or ingested in small amounts.

    • To pets

      Rosa helenae, or the Helen Rose, is generally considered non-toxic to pets as well. Roses are not poisonous to dogs, cats, and other domestic animals. However, similar to humans, the thorns can cause physical injury to pets. If a pet were to chew on the plant, it might experience mild gastrointestinal irritation due to the plant's fibrous nature, but there is no specific toxic principle that poses a significant threat to animal health. If a pet were to ingest a large amount of the plant, symptoms might include upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea, more due to the plant matter than any inherent toxicity.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      10-15 feet (3-4.5 meters)

    • Spread

      6-10 feet (1.8-3 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Rosa helenae, also known as Helen’s Rose, adds visual interest to gardens with its large, climbing habit and profusion of delicate, sweet-scented flowers.
    • Habitat for Wildlife: The plant can serve as a habitat and food source for various insects, including bees that are attracted to its flowers for nectar and pollen.
    • Landscape Use: Helen’s Rose can be used effectively for landscaping purposes such as covering walls, trellises, arbors, or fences, offering a natural and romantic look to any setting.
    • Cultural Significance: Often selected for its beauty and fragrance, it may be included in cultural and ceremonial activities like weddings or festivals.
    • Variety of Colors: It provides gardeners with a variety of flower colors that can complement the existing design of gardens and outdoor spaces.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Components in Rosa helenae may exhibit properties that reduce inflammation.
    • Antioxidant: The plant might contain antioxidants, which can help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Rosa helenae is sometimes used for its fibrous stems, which can be turned into a natural rope or woven material for artisanal crafts.
    • In certain cultures, the hips of Rosa helenae might be used to make a natural dye, which can impart a subtle color to fabrics or artwork.
    • The dense thorny thickets of Rosa helenae can provide nesting sites and protection for small birds and wildlife within gardens and wild landscapes.
    • Owing to its vigorous growth, the plant may be employed as a natural barrier or living fence to delineate property boundaries or simply discourage trespassing.
    • The fragrant flowers of Rosa helenae can be used in potpourris or sachets to naturally scent drawers and wardrobes.
    • Some gardeners plant Rosa helenae as a rootstock to graft more delicate rose varieties onto, as it is known for its hardiness and vigor.
    • The petals of Rosa helenae may be used to flavor certain specialty desserts or beverages, such as rose-infused teas or garnishes for cakes, when culinary-grade petals are available.
    • Dried petals from Rosa helenae might be incorporated into homemade paper, adding texture and aesthetic appeal to the craft.
    • Bees are attracted to the flowers of Rosa helenae, and so it can be used in gardens to support local pollinator populations and increase biodiversity.
    • During traditional celebrations or ceremonies, Rosa helenae petals could be scattered for decoration or to create a biodegradable pathway.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Rosa helenae, commonly known as Sweetbriar or Helen's Rose, is not typically referenced within Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Helen's Rose is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Love: Rosa helenae, commonly known as the Helen's Rose, traditionally symbolizes love due to the universal association of roses with romantic feelings.
    • Beauty: As with many roses, Helen's Rose is also a symbol of beauty, representing the elegance and aesthetic appeal of its delicate features.
    • Devotion: Helen's Rose can represent devotion, reflecting the commitment and loyalty associated with its perennial growth.
    • Inspirational: The blooming of Helen's Rose often symbolizes inspiration, as it encourages people to appreciate the beauty in nature and possibly their own lives.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Roses, like the Helen's rose, should be watered deeply and infrequently, promoting strong root growth. Generally, watering once a week with about an inch of water or roughly 0.6 gallons per plant is sufficient. However, during particularly hot or dry periods, the frequency may need to increase to twice a week. It's important to water the base and avoid wetting the foliage to prevent fungal diseases. Be sure to check the soil moisture level; the top inch should be dry before watering again.

  • sunLight

    Helen's rose thrives in full sun to partial shade, requiring at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Planting in a spot that gets morning sun and afternoon shade is often ideal. They can also tolerate full sun all day, provided they have enough moisture. Avoid spots that are too shaded, as this can reduce blooming and increase susceptibility to pests and diseases.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Helen's rose does best in moderate temperatures and is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 10, which translates to minimum winter temperatures of -20°F to 30°F. They can survive extreme temperatures of as low as -20°F when well-dormant but prefer a more comfortable range between 60°F and 70°F during their growing season.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Helen's rose in late winter or early spring, just as new buds begin to swell. Pruning is essential to maintain plant health, shape, and to encourage vigorous blooming. Remove dead or diseased wood, thin out crowded branches, and cut back remaining canes by about one-third to one-half. The best time for a more extensive pruning is when the plant is dormant, typically in late winter.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Helen's Rose prefers a well-drained, fertile loam with a pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.0. It's best to mix garden soil with compost and organic matter to enrich it. A layer of mulch can help retain moisture and suppress weeds.

  • plantRepotting

    Helen's Roses planted in containers may need repotting every 2 to 3 years or when they become root-bound. Ensure a larger pot is used each time to accommodate the growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Helen's Rose thrives in average outdoor humidity levels. As a garden plant, it generally doesn't require specific humidity adjustments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in a sunny spot; water when the topsoil feels dry.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in a sunny area with well-draining soil; water regularly.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Rosa helenae, also known as Helen's Rose, begins its life as a seed, which, when conditions are suitable, germinates and develops into a seedling. The seedling grows through vegetative growth, producing shoots, leaves, and thorns typical of rose plants. As it matures, the plant enters a stage of flowering, where it produces fragrant white or yellowish-white blossoms that attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Following pollination, the flowers develop into fruit, known as rose hips, which contain the seeds for the next generation. These hips mature and eventually drop to the ground or are dispersed by wildlife, allowing for seed dispersal. The plant undergoes a period of dormancy in colder climates during the winter months, resuming its growth cycle with the return of warm weather.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-early summer

    • Rosa helenae, commonly known as Helen's Rose, is typically propagated by hardwood cuttings. This is done during the plant's dormant season, which is usually in late fall to winter. To propagate Helen's Rose using this method, choose healthy, mature stems from the current or previous year's growth. Cuttings should be about 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm) long, containing several buds, and should be taken from the upper part of the plant to ensure that they are of good quality. The lower end of the cutting is cut straight across below the bottom bud, and the upper end is cut at an angle above the top bud to differentiate the top from the bottom and to encourage water runoff. The cuttings are then planted in a well-draining rooting medium, such as a mix of sand and peat, ensuring that several buds are above the soil surface. To help retain moisture and protect the new cuttings, a clear plastic covering can be used until roots have developed.