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Sharifa Asma Rose review The right Roses David Austin english roses organic gardening
'Rose Review' Series Color: Pink David Austin roses Disease resistance: Poor Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: strong Hardy Highest rated roses by gardeners worldwide Rose: Shrub rose Shrub size: Medium (4 ft)

Sharifa Asma Rose Review | David Austin 1989

Sharifa Asma rose

29 USD

Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerance of shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • So fragrant
  • Very floriferous
  • Hardy
  • Almost trouble-free


  • 'Poor' disease resistance
  • Can fade to almost 'white'
  • She balls in the rain




English Shrub Rose – bred by David Austin


David Austin

A lovely rose with delicate blush pink, rosette-shaped blooms. Distinctive and beautiful fragrance with fruity notes reminiscent of white grapes and mulberry. Short, upright growth.

A beautiful variety with Old Rose charm. The blooms are shallowly cupped at first, gradually reflexing to form loose rosettes which are produced almost continuously. Its color is the most delicate blush pink, paling almost to white at the outer edges. The growth is upright and comparatively short, making this rose ideal for small gardens. It has good winter hardiness. The blooms have a distinctive, very beautiful and strong fragrance, with fruity notes reminiscent of white grapes and mulberry.

It forms a short shrub with bushy, upright growth and typical Rugosa foliage. It is ideal for planting towards the front of a rose or mixed border.

Named after an Omani princess at the request of her family.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced Sharifa Asma in 1989. For your information, in 1989 David Austin also introduced another very good rose, Sweet Juliet. According to David Austin Roses, he named rose ‘Sharifa Asma’ after an Omani princess. Other than that, very little is known about the name of this beautiful rose.

Sharifa Asma must be one of the classic David Austin roses. She certainly has some serious weaknesses. However, it is very hard to replace her place, even though David Austin has continuously introduced many newer varieties since 1989. Even in Feb 2020, Sharifa is still one of the most searched English roses.


Sharifa Asma must be one of the classic David Austin roses

The Right Roses |


Sharifa Asma rose: The pros

Sharifa Asma has four main strengths.

First, she smells just incredibly wonderful. Despite many serious weaknesses, she is still one of the most favorite English roses. We believe that her wonderfully beautiful fragrance is the main reason for her popularity. It is strong with  rich and tasty fruity notes of white grapes and mulberry.

David Austin has introduced 12 rose varieties best for fragrance including: Emily Bronte (2018), Harlow Carr, The Generous Gardener, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Gabriel Oak (2019), Gertrude Jekyll, Desdemona, R. Rugosa Alba, Claire Austin, Summer Song, Charles Darwin, The Poet’s Wife. According to our own experience, other David Austin roses are also heavenly scented, although they are not in David Austin’s list, e.g., Golden Celebration, Lady Emma Hamilton, Munstead Wood, Carolyn Knight. To a certain extent, Crown Princess Margareta also deserves a special mention.

We would like to make an extra comment regarding the fragrance strength of David Austin roses. For some David Austin roses, it may take them 2 or 3 years to live up to their true potential. For example, Princess Alexandra of Kent is extremely fragrant. However, in the first 2 or 3 years in your garden, her blooms hardly smell anything.

If you want some David Austin roses having an instant impact in terms of fragrance, you may want to consider 5 roses: Golden Celebration, Emily Bronte (2018), Lady Emma Hamilton, Munstead Wood, and Gabriel Oak (2019). They smell wonderful even in their first ever flush. You do not even have to put your nose into the blooms to detect their incredible scent. Just standing close to them is enough. Having 5 of them next to each other would make every morning of yours very delightful. Your garden is filled with their beautiful perfume.

If you really want us to rank those 5 incredibly fragrant varieties in terms of their fragrance strength, it is a tough job. The team at The Right Roses would include the first four roses (Golden Celebration, Emily Bronte (2018), Lady Emma Hamilton, Munstead Wood) in the first tier and Gabriel Oak (2019) in the second tier. David Austin may have a different idea. He thought that  Gabriel Oak (2019) was one of his most scented roses, while he did not include Golden Celebration, Lady Emma Hamilton, Munstead Wood into that prestigious list in 2019/2020. One of the possible reasons could be that David Austin would like to drive more attention to his newer introductions.

Second, Sharifa Asma is very floriferous. She repeats very well. However, certainly in terms of productivity, she may not be able to compete with recent introductions.

Since 2010, David Austin has remarkably improved the standard of his breeding, which led to a much-improved quality of the newer introductions. To be precise, the team at The Right Roses believe that Princess Anne is the one that marked a major breakthrough in quality at David Austin. As a result, we always treasure Princess Anne so much in our garden. The recent introductions are healthier, more floriferous, and seems more fragrant. Of course, in terms of fragrance strength, David Austin can choose the varieties they would bring to the market.

David Austin has introduced 2 climbing roses and 1 rambling rose, being best for flowering, including: Mortimer Sackler, Iceberg, Malvern Hills. In addition, some shrub roses can rebloom extremely well, including Harlow Carr, Olivia Rose Austin, Princess Anne, Thomas a Becket, Gabriel Oak (2019), Kew Gardens, William & Catherine, Lady of Shalott, and Roald Dahl. The team at The Right Roses would like to add three more varieties being best for flowering, including Royal Jubilee (2012), Princess Alexandra of Kent (2007), and Boscobel (2012). All of those varieties are extremely reliable and repeats so well. In terms of flowering, you cannot do any wrong at all by choosing some wonderful varieties such as Gabriel Oak (2019) and Roald Dahl. Eustacia Vye (2019) is fabulous in this sense as well.

Third, Sharifa Asma is hardy. Much better than average. She can do quite well even in zone 4 in the US, which is very good. We can recommend a few varieties for the colder climates, e.g., The Mayflower, Gertrude Jekyll, The Lark Ascending, The Generous Gardener and Susan Williams-Ellis.

Fourth, Sharifa Asma is almost a trouble-free rose. She is really that good. You cannot do much wrong with her. Therefore, she can be a great rose for those gardeners who are new to roses. In this sense, you may want to consider a few other very reliable roses such as Roald Dahl and Olivia Rose Austin.

Sharifa Asma rose: The cons

Sharifa Asma rose has three main weaknesses.

First, also the biggest one is her ‘poor’ disease resistance. It sounds very scary when you have a rose with such as bad health. This is also the reason why we said above that she is ‘almost’ a trouble-free rose. If she had a better disease resistance, she would be truly a perfect rose. Wonderful fragrance. And, so gorgeous blooms. Floriferous. We cannot really ask more from a rose. Sharifa Asma has a serious trouble with mildew, no matter how much you spray.

Second, her blooms could fade to almost white in the heat. Many David Austin varieties have this problem. It is such a pity for us. They are so wonderfully gorgeous that many gardeners find it impossible to fully describe their colors. It is just that they may not be able to keep those colors in intense heat. For example, The Lady Gardener. A fabulous variety. Nonetheless, sometimes we cannot believe that it is actually The Lady Gardener when we see her in the warmer climates.

Third, her blooms would ball a lot in the rainy weather. Therefore, she is not the right rose for the rainy climate.

Sharifa Asma rose in different climates

To be updated.                                                     .

Sharifa Asma rose: The similarities

Sharifa Asma looks slightly similar to two varieties.

First, it is The Generous Gardener. We know, it is a climbing rose with a different bloom form. However, they both have an incredibly tasty perfume. The great news is,  The Generous Gardener is so healthy. So, if you are worried about Sharifa Asma’s poor disease resistance, you may want to consider The Generous Gardener.

Second, it is Wisley 2008. They look quite similar to us. However, certainly Sharifa Asma smells so much better than Wisley 2008.

Sharifa Asma rose: The details

Height & Spread: 4ft x 3ft Color: Pink Fragrance: Strong
Fragrance notes: Fruity notes reminiscent of white grapes and mulberry Flowering: Repeat Flowering Suitable for containers: Yes
Sun exposure: Full sunlight Bloom size: Medium (2 – 3.5’’ or 5 – 9 cm) Disease resistance: Poor
Zones: 4-11 Petal count: 90 Sub type: English Old Rose Hybrid

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Karen Schmidt
Karen Schmidt
1 month ago

I was surprised to see that Sharifa Asma is cited as having poor disease resistance. I’ve grown her for years in my Northern Michigan no-spray garden and have found her to be quite disease resistant, very hardy, and a super rebloomer. I added a second one last year I liked it so much. I have over 125 roses so when I add a duplicate of one it reflects its value in the garden.

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