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The Purple Tiger Rose

Rose cultivators have been growing a lot of unique and exciting varieties of roses over the years. Some of these have colorations and patterns unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Recently, Tiger Roses have started popping up in some very bold hues. These roses have stripes that mimic their animal namesake.

The Purple Tiger rose is a striped rose you can grow in your garden and here’s what you need to know to do it.

Purple Tiger roses on a shrub
It’s easy to see why the Purple Tiger rose has its name.

History of the Purple Tiger Rose

The Purple Tiger rose was created by Jack E. Christensen in 1991 by crossing the ‘Intrigue’ and ‘Pinstripe’ roses. This rose was later distributed by the Jackson & Perkins Co. under the “Purple Tiger” name.

Now let’s get into what makes the purple tiger rose so unique.

Light purple blooms on an Intrigue floribunda rose.
The ‘Intrigue’ floribunda rose.

Characteristics of the Purple Tiger Rose

Purple Tiger roses are actually a variation of the floribunda rose. These roses get their name for a very obvious reason. Every tiger rose has a unique striped pattern that resembles the stripes of a tiger. The Purple Tiger rose is one of the most sought-after varieties of Tiger roses because it’s bold purple and white coloration.

The Purple Tiger rose is a very manageable variety of rose, typically growing between 2 to 3 feet tall with a spread of about 2 feet. There are reports of Purple Tigers reaching heights of 4 feet, which is still a manageable size for a rose shrub. This makes this rose a great choice for gardens with limited space.

The Purple Tiger rose is also known for its deep green foliage the flowers pop against. The purple and white stripes of the flowers are very visible against the deep green background of this particular type of rose.

Closeup of a Purple Tiger rose bloom.

Growing a Purple Tiger Rose In Your Garden

When you get your new Purple Tiger rose bush, there’s a good chance that this will be a bare-root plant. This means that the plant was shipped to you with exposed roots and should be planted in mediately.

Purple Tiger roses need to be planted at the level of the soil. This means that the crown of the plant is not submerged into the ground but is kept level when you are putting soil back in to the whole you planted the rose bush in.

These roses will need some more water while they’re being established, but after they’ve been established they prefer a moderate moisture level in their soil. Your roses are also going to need a little TLC in order to make sure that they grow in the most ideal way.

If you live in a particularly cold climate, you might have trouble growing Purple Tiger roses. These roses do best in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9. This means that colder, more northern climates are going to have a difficult job raising these particular flowers. Gardeners have reported that they can grow these roses in colder climates, but you need to take special precautions including pruning back the bush fairly substantially each winter.

Purple Tiger roses blooming.

When To Plant

Roses are a type of plant that goes dormant during the winter. During dormancy, the rose bush might look like it is dead or dying but it is actually perfectly healthy. This is how the plant conserves energy throughout the colder months. You can think about dormancy being like hibernation for plants. In a sense, Purple Tiger rose bushes just take a long nap to the cold winter months.

In order to get ready for dormancy, your rose bush needs to be thoroughly established in its new soil. This process can take longer than you’d expected for a recently transplanted rose bush.

This means that you’re going to want to plant your rose bush in the spring. Try to plant as early in the spring as possible to give your rose as much time as it can use to establish itself in its new soil. The later in the spring you plant, the more you risk your rose bush not being able to successfully go through dormancy.

If you have to plant your roses very late in the season, or even in summer, you should consider taking extra precautions including and keeping the rose bush in an indoor greenhouse through its first season.

Person spreading soil around newly planted rose shrub.

Purple Tiger Rose Bush Care

Here are a few tips you’re going to need to keep in mind if you want to take care of your Purple Tiger rose bushes.

The first thing you should learn is how to care for roses in the winter. In order to prepare your Purple Tiger roses for colder months, add a hearty layer of mulch at the base of this shrub. This protects the rose from winter temperatures. This layer of mulch should be removed immediately when Spring weather arrives. If the layer of mulch stays on through the spring, it can cause serious damage to your rose.

Throughout the bloom season you need to deadhead spent blooms. Regularly removing old blooms makes room for new flowers to form.

Roses are also susceptible to a wide range of diseases. In particular, they’re fairly vulnerable to black spot and powdery mildew. Roses are also common targets of a variety of pests including beetles and aphids. The specific challenges your roses face depends on your local climate.

Here’s a great tip for beginner gardeners who want to give their roses the best chance at survival. Look around your local community for a regional rose society. This group will be dedicated to growing roses in your area and they can help you best prepare your garden for your new roses. They are also very knowledgeable when it comes to local pests and diseases.

Side view of a Purple Tiger rose.

Pruning the Purple Tiger Rose

You should prune these roses for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons to prune Purple Tiger roses include promoting new branching and new flowering in the new season as well as managing damaged and dead branches from the winter.

You’re going to want to prune this particular rose bush after it has exited winter dormancy. This is typically around early spring. When the Purple Tiger rose bush begins to leaf out, that is the exact time you want to begin your yearly pruning.

Different Varieties of the Purple Tiger Rose

Here are a few types of roses that share some similarities to the Purple Tiger rose.

Alfred Sisley

This particular cultivar of rose bush was named after the impressionist painter Alfred Sisley. Paying homage to Sisley’s use of color, this rose is a stunning combination of deep reds and warm oranges. It retains the same kind of tiger striping pattern that we see in Purple Tiger roses.

The Alfred Sisley rose offers a coloration you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the rose world.

A pink-orange striped Alfred SIgley rose.

Perfume Tiger

The Perfume Tiger rose was created around the same time as the Purple Tiger rose. This rose has the classic tiger coloration including the very noticeable striping. It doesn’t produce nearly as many flowers as many of the other floribunda roses, yet the Perfume Tiger rose is known for its wonderful scent. It has a powerful, captivating aroma even though the flowers are small and fewer in number when compared to other floribunda roses.

The Perfume Tiger rose can be a great choice for people who are less concerned with an overabundance of flowers and more interested in a rose that provides a beautiful fragrance.

Bouquet of bright pink striped roses similar to the Perfume Tiger rose.

Creating Bouquets & Decorating With the Purple Tiger Rose

These roses have a very noticeable and very bold style. This not only makes them attractive to people looking to create bouquets and decorate, but it also makes them an exciting challenge for bouquets and arrangements.

A mixed bouquet with several purple flowers including a purple striped rose.

You can either highlight the unique coloration and stripes of these roses, or try to blend it into a more cohesive whole using other vibrant roses to contrast with.

Where To Buy

You can find these roses, and their flowers, in a wide range of markets.

Where To Buy Purple Tiger Rose Bushes

You can buy bare-root Purple Tiger roses at a variety of online nurseries. These locations can ship fully grown Purple Tiger rose bushes straight to your doorstep. You can then transplant the plants into a container or into your yard.

Where To Buy Purple Tiger Rose Bouquets

Purple Tiger roses have picked up a lot of popularity in florist shops. They make a great choice for bouquets and decorations for events like weddings. If you are looking for Purple Tigers to decorate with, you should contact your local florist shop and speak with staff about ordering the roses


Closeup of a Purple Tiger bud just beginnig to open.

Tiger Roses are a departure from from other varieties of roses. Their striping pattern and bright colors bring a specific, unique style to a garden space. If you want to make a bold statement, a Purple Tiger rose is certainly one way to do that.

Do you grow Purple Tiger roses or any other Tiger Roses in your garden? If so, we’d love to hear all about them in our comments section below!

Excited for more rose content? Then keep reading all about these beautiful flowers, how to take care of them, and more on our roses page!