Please share your experience with these Chinas

meslghJuly 29, 2014

I have an unexpected opening in my one rose bed (mostly I like having shade in Texas, but it does limit my ability to grow roses). I've been poring over the ARE website, trying to decide what I want to put in. Since everybody recommends Chinas and Teas and Polyanthas for Texas, I'm slowly working my way through what ARE has for these classes. I'm particularly interested in hearing about your experience (health, size, fragrance, rebloom, etc) with

Old Blush
Le Vesuve
Madame Laurette Messimy
Jean Bach Sisley

(I know, some of these roses are felt not to be Chinas or pure Chinas by some other rosarians/vendors.)

This will go in one end of a bed with Francis Dubreuil/Barcelona as the nearest rose, with Belinda's Dream and Souvenir de la Malmaison beyond that. I have a good 4 foot diameter available, maybe 5 feet at most. Height really isn't an issue.


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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Old Blush is pretty but for me it always mildewed, if nothing else right under the flower, which I really got tired of. I personally wouldn't plant it again.

You can forget about Le Vesuve for that area. It will spread and spread and its tiny but vicious prickles are not endearing when you try to prune it to stay smaller. I would say a minimum of six feet in width is required for this rose although in my garden the two I have are not particularly tall. I'm sure this rose would be even happier with 10-12 feet to play with.

I found the blooms on Madame Laurette Messimy to be too thin and fleeting when it's warm, and for that reason it did not appeal to me. I suppose a lot would depend on the temperature and perhaps even more the humidity in your area.

Jean Bach Sisley is a nice rose but didn't do well in the too-warm area where I planted it, so perhaps others can say more about this one.

I haven't grown Hermosa but from all reports it seems to be well-mannered, not too large, blooms often and stays compact. I don't know about the scent although I don't imagine that any of these roses are intensely fragrant, given their heritage. Still, they would be more fragrant in a humid garden than in my extra-dry region.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:03PM
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I've grown all except Le Vesuve & Arethusa, in coastal zn 9TX. I'm now in deserty zn 8 TX & still have Old Blush & Mme. Laurette Messime.

All were healthy & bloomed abundantly (no spray yard). The flowers are delicate & fry quickly in heat, but they are so abundant that the shrubs usually have blooms except in the very hottest part of the year (like now).

I guess my personal favorite would be Mme Laurette Messime, with Old Blush a close second because of the sheer abundance of bloom.

Jean Bach was very good back when I had it. My Hermosa wasn't as vigorous a plant though the flowers were pretty.

Others you might consider are Perle D'Or, Marie Pavie, Little White Pet--very good polys, even here. Mine have blooms even now.

And it's hard to beat Archduke Charles, Cramoisi Superior or Louis Philippe for fine Chinas in TX. Guess my favorite would be Archduke, as I like the cupped full blooms & the way it has light pink petals in the center that blush darker each day.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:28PM
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I don't grow any of the ones mentioned above but have been consider Ducher for my garden. Chamblees has it and they tend to sell what does well in Texas. Ducher is supposed to be a smaller china with white blooms and tolerates the heat. I am Se Texas where it is more hot and humid.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:36PM
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paparoseman(z8 WA. PO.)

I had Hermosa for about eight years. It is not very strongly scented but it does have thicker foliage than most Chinas. It tends to be an upright growing china rather than a wide grower like most other chinas. Mine got to six or feet tall with minimal pruning and perhaps three feet wide. The rebloom is pretty good even when not being watered very often.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:44PM
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Jean Bach Sisley always did well for me when I had it on the north shore (zone 9a) with intermittent but serious flooding and drought. The soil ph was lower than what I have now, but I never noticed Chinas to care that much.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:11PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Old Blush
Le Vesuve

Old Blush and Le Vesuve both mildewed for me, in my SoCal coastal are . . .

BUT THAT IS IRRELEVANT! You're in TX, and I have seen them in TX, and they are GREAT.

If I was in TX, I would be growing Old Blush in every possible spot. It's that good. And I need to find a photo I took, of Old Blush, Cl., in Drippin' Springs, TX. It was a traffic-stopper.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:20PM
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catsrose(VA 6)

I've grown all of them--I love chinas. Hermosa seemed the most touchy. Arethusa struggled for several years in a horrid spot but took off like a kid in a candy store as soon as I transplanted her. Le Vesuve was a very happy baby until the meter man stepped on her and broke to the soil line. I'm replacing her this week from RU. JBS gets very twiggy. My Old Blush struggles some, but it's the soil, I think. But it's also full sun and I'm starting to think that chinas like a bit of shade.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:49PM
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You might want to look at Clotilde Soupert. I have the climber and it is amazingly healthy & well scented. Now that it is established, (5 years) it blooms in repeated flushes. One of my top performers in my no spray garden. Fantastic foliage.

Here is a link that might be useful: Scented Beauty

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:06PM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

I can't really say much for 'Mme Laurette Messimy', since mine was planted only last Summer, was cut to the soil line in our crazy Winter, and I'm in a totally different climate. But be aware that some nurseries are selling an imposter. Look through the pics on its HelpMeFind page and you'll see two different roses. One looks like a slightly paler version of 'Comtesse du Cayla' with yellow at the petal bases, and has a Tea-like shape to the flowers even if short on petals. This is the correct rose. Some of the pics by Marcir seem to actually be 'Comtesse du Cayla' -- they look rather orange, but that may simply be that gardener's growing conditions.

The imposter is a semi-double pale pink that opens flat. It may very well be a great rose, but be aware that you may not get the one you're expecting. I think Antique Rose Emporium is one of several nurseries selling the imposter under this name.

The link below discusses the differences. Mine came from Vintage Gardens. If you really want that one and can't find it else where -- and you're patient -- I may have a rooted cutting. A piece of mine snapped a few weeks ago, and I decided to try and root a back-up. As of now, it's one thin stem about two inches above the soil line, but it looks like it's growing new leaves.



Here is a link that might be useful: mme laurette messimy rose

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:42PM
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alameda/zone 8

One of my favorites is Mme. Berkeley. It doesn't overwhelm - and when it is blooming all over the bush, it is lovely. Also like Mrs. BR Cant and Mon. Tillier. Won Fang Yong blooms a lot for me. Have an Old Blush - it blooms a lot but not large blooms. My Hermosa is small but lots of blooms - like it! Don't think many roses bloom a lot in this heat - Caldwell Pink is doing great, as is Belinda's Dream.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:21AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I like the apricot roses, and the bloom on Arethusa is very pretty -- for a few hours. It blows very fast in Tulsa, and Texas is even hotter.

Old Blush and Hermosa were ok, but not outstanding.

Jean Bach Sisley and Le Vesuve are pretty, but one if not both have mean thorns.

I love Perle d Or, Ducher, Madame Antoine Marie, Rival de Paestum, Georgetown Tea, Marie Van Houtte, Thomas Affleck. Many I can think of are wider than 5 feet.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 5:44AM
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I can say for sure they do not have the correct Madame Laurette Messimy , RU does. I would choose out of the list you posted Old Blush Or Hermosa. As stated Neither have huge blooms, and Arethusa does blow fast but is beautiful while there. I would also recommend Ducher. FYI I was recommended the same roses and ordered some, but decided to order what I wanted, gallicas , HP, and mosses and most have done very well for me. Only one did not. So if something else catches your eye order it it doesn't hurt ImO to try it out.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:24AM
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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

A rose that looks a lot like 'Old Blush', is fairly compact, and is reported to do well in TX is 'Natchitoches Noisette'. It does very well here in the SC Lowcountry, and is near the top of my list of roses to purchase next...

Including a link below to an earlier thread with some photos I took of 'NN' growing in a local park. I'm not sure why this found rose is considered a Noisette instead of a China, but it must have made sense to someone.

Something I would research for shadier spots of your garden is Hybrid Musk roses. Some do quite well in shady Southern gardens, so that might be a consideration if you'd like a rose elsewhere in your garden. I would ask the folks at ARE about suitability for your local conditions, but I see that they have a nice selection of HM's in stock...

Here is a link that might be useful: Earlier thread on 'Natchitoches Noisette'

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:25PM
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I really appreciate all the responses; the wealth of knowlege here is fantastic and very helpful.

Ingrid, I had heard that Old Blush mildewed in California but not in Texas. Thank you for the warning about Le Vesuve. It looks lovely, but it sounds like I just don't have room for it.

Bluegirl, deserty zone 8 TX, about where are you? How large is Old Blush for you? And, where did you get Mme Laurette Messimy? Do you know which version you got? I have more comments and questions, but I'll limit myself.

Boncrow, when I read the older threads, it sounds like Chamblees used to carry more OGR's in the past. I wish they still did (although, I do like how nice and large the ARE roses are).

Paparoseman, your description of Hermosa sounds so tempting (unlike Bluegirl's comment that it lacked vigor for her)! Wonder if it is one of those location/climate/etc things. What is your zone 8 like?

Evenie, did you move within Louisianna? I didn't know that New Orleans had alkaline conditions (or is it merely less acid?).

Jeri, your post sent me looking for how large Old Blush gets in Texas. It would be neat to have such a historic rose, particularly if it lived up to the name Old Pink Monthly.

Catsrose, so which is your favorite China and why? What do you think it takes to make Arethusa happy? Nobody talks much about it, can you tell me more about it?

Thonotorose, I was thinking that Clotilde Soupert might be too similar to Souvenir de la Malmaison in appearance; what do you think?

Christopher, thank you for the warning about Madame Laurette Messimy. From following the thread you linked, it sounds like the one ARE sells doesn't match the photo in their catalog.

Judith, how large do Old Blush and Hermosa get for you? Feel free to share more about Mme Berkeley. I think I would love Mrs B R Cant, if only I had the room!

Sammy, how large does Arethusa get for you? How about Thomas Affleck? And do you think that Thomas Affleck would look good next to Francis Dubreuil?

Alana, I would be willing to get something that just captures me, even if it isn't said to do well here (but best of all possible worlds is to find a rose that really speaks to me and the consensus is that it likes it here).

vmr, 'Natchitoches Noisette' is on my list of maybes. In your experience, is it fragrant? How large does it get?

I hope y'all made it through my long post. Thanks to everyone for your help. I look forward to reading more about chinas and other roses!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 1:59PM
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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

I don't know about fragrance for 'Natchitoches Noisette', although ARE says of it: "the myrrh fragrance is outstanding". And HMF says, "strong, pepper fragrance". When I saw it, it was in the middle of a flower bed at sunset, so I wasn't ideally positioned for sniffing flowers. I can't really give you its size, but it looked compact and well-mannered.

I don't grow it yet, myself, but the person who supplied the ID from the Parks department said it was consistently disease-free and one of the best bloomers of quite a few roses, and I'm taking that to heart... Their plant came from ARE.

Good luck,

Here is a link that might be useful: HMF link to 'Natchitoches Noisette' info

This post was edited by vmr423 on Wed, Jul 30, 14 at 14:28

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 2:27PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

Arethusa has never been wide for me, and at most it is maybe 5 feet tall. It grows well, and is Earthkind, so had a great reputation. However, the blooms blow so fast that it has not been that enjoyable for me.

Thomas Affleck seemed to be also about 5 feet. It is starting over this year like so many more of my roses.

I do not think that Francis and Thomas would look bad together, but if Francis is the dark red I think she is, I think she would look better beside a white or a lighter color than another red. Isn't Francis a deep red? I had to take her out for some reason. I thought it was heat, but if those of you in Texas grow her, it was probably the cold.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 2:45PM
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vmr, 'Natchitoches Noisette' is looking very promising! Thanks for the additional information. I hope that I can find somewhere around here to see it in real life, as you have.

Sammy, I would very much like to find room for Thomas Affleck in my garden, but as you recalled Francis is dark red, and I'm afraid they won't look good side by side. Maybe I can "cram him in" between Belinda's Dream and Souvenir de la Malmaison. Hmm, I wonder how wide he would get for me?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:18PM
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alameda/zone 8

I keep my Old Blush trimmed taller and slimmer, due to where it is located. It is first to bloom, last to quit. My only gripe is that is has a lot of deadwood that needs to be trimmed out from time to time, but it is a good rose.

Hermosa, I got from Chamblee's sale bin last year so it is still small, but has healthy leaves and nice blooms. It needs to be closer to edge of border so I am moving it in the winter - can see it better and think it will thrive more - its too close to some large ornamental grass. I really like it.

Here is photo of Mme. Berkeley. The bush stays a nice, pretty size and shape, and the blooms seem to come all at one time so makes the blooming bush a standout. Always healthy - I like this one even tho the color is "quiet". I got another one of these and look forward to growing it out. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:30PM
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meslgh, I think Old Blush should be grown just for the history of it, if for no other reason. It is a big life donor.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:36PM
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IâÂÂm not going to be much help with mature size since most of my OGRs are only on their second year here in my hot/humid Zone 7 garden, but I did want to say that I grow both Arethusa and Natchitoches Noisette. I love the color and flower form of Arethusa, but it does blow/fry quickly in my heat. It blooms a lot though, so new flowers are regularly replacing the blown ones. Fragrance is only mild to my nose. I much prefer my Natchitoches Noisette. I am completely enthralled with it. Fragrance is wonderful, and it has the sweetest blooms almost non-stop. Pictures donâÂÂt do it justice.


Natchitoches Noisette

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 6:27PM
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Hermosa was beautiful but always had black spot I gave it to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens they didn't have any better luck with it

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 8:47PM
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My Mme. Laurette Messime is from Chamblee's, in 2002. It doesn't look like the 'real' MLM, as I can't detect any yellow on the petal bases. But it certainly is a fine, happy rose.

I'm NW of SA, & have only been here ~4 yrs. Previously lived sw of Houston, about 30 yrs.

Old Blush here is new, an ARE plant. It's about 3.5' tall, a bit narrower & blooms all the time, in full sun.

I hauled MLM up from the old place. She's about the same height, about 3.5' wide.

I also added Natchitoches Noisette last year--it's been a heavy bloomer, very happy rose in full hot sun.

If you want some baby plants, I've been running a bunch of cuttings under mist & have Little White Pet, Clotilde Soupert, Mme. Laurette Messime, Old Blush, Marie Pavie, a few teas, etc. These are little just-rooted babies, but if you'd like some, e-mail me & I can send in a couple of months when it's cooler.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:47PM
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porkpal zone 9 Tx

I am in Texas; my Old Blush is huge (no trimming) but very healthy and reliably the first to bloom each spring. I highly recommend her. Natchitoches Noisette also blooms generously on a somewhat more compact healthy plant. None of my roses get sprayed and generally get minimal care. Either would require diligent pruning to fit into your available space, but it would be worth it as they are great roses.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:19PM
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The only one on your list I grow is Le Vesuve - here in my garden it is healthy without spraying, blooms from Jan to Dec. An old specimen grew with NO CARE at all for over 30 years in my garden - here is Cass Bernstein's famous picture of it (sorry if you have seen it before, but perhaps some folks have not).


    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 1:06PM
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I moved from just north of Lake Pontchartrain to just south of it. The soil is like night and day. The northshore is built on horribly dense and acidic clay, while my house in the city is built on this soft mush that will grow just about anything. The only problems with the soil here are salt and nitrogen pollution from the Katrina floods, and a very high soil pH. Either way, the Chinas always do well for me. As long as they get some good summer heat and it doesn't hit single digits in the winter, they are happy.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:54PM
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organic_tosca(9/Sunset 14)

Somebody mentioned Mrs. B.R. Cant and Mons. Tillier - they are really GREAT roses, but they do get big, at least in the Sacramento Historic Rose Garden. They are big favorites of mine (but then, I have so many favorites). When it comes to Old Blush, the thing I have always loved about it is that it actually has (to me, anyway) a look of the roses seen in Chinese art, on vases, screens, fabrics, etc.

Anyway, all three of these roses do very well here in the Rose Garden, and Sacramento has very hot weather.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 6:52PM
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paparoseman(z8 WA. PO.)

Sorry to not respond to your question about my exact climate conditions earlier. It is mild for the most part during winter with temps bouncing around from the mid/high twenties to the mid 40's most of the time with a good amount of rain each month during the fall/winter/spring. Then right around the end of June the water from the skies drops way off until some time in September.

Our highs during the summer run around 80 or just under. Hermosa was planted RIGHT next to a wood fence to the north of the bush which of course does not hold heat like a cement wall does but I think it moderated the temperature around the bush a little.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 8:45AM
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I SO appreciate everybody giving me all this information, and the photos are beautiful! I only wish I had room to grow all the roses that everyone is enthusiastic about. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:00PM
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