Polyanthas and poly-teas in colder zones?

Ispahan Zone6a ChicagoSeptember 21, 2011

I think I have fallen in love with polyanthas and especially poly-teas. But will the likes of 'Mlle. Cecile Brunner', 'Perle d'Or', 'Marie Pavie' and 'White Pet' grow and thrive in my zone?

Growers in colder zones, please share your experiences! :-)

Thank you,


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Mlle Cecile Brunner has grown here in zone 6a Dayton, Ohio since about 1984 at a local park where I volunteered. I have grown Marie Pavie and it survived a few years although I think it was the clay and, possibly, the neutral soil that did her in rather than the cold. Katherine Ziemet which is similar to Marie and was planted at the same time still survives.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 5:56PM
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Ispahan, polys were originally bred as bedding roses for harsh climates. The Danes, Dutch and Germans created then en masse to use for public plantings. When researching one you're interested in, look it up on Help Me Find. If it originated in a colder, Northern European country, I'd expect it to be potentially more suitable for your climate than one originating in France or some other Mediterranean climate. Not that the Mediterranean ones can't be hardy enough, but if the seedling was selected, demonstrated hardiness to climates more similar to yours, your chances should be better. Fortunately, most are available primarily own root so should they freeze or be eaten to the ground, they should spring back from their roots.

Because your season starts later and is shorter than warmer ones, perhaps some of the Seven Dwarf series might work well for you as they begin flowering later and finish sooner than more temperate types. I'd expect many of the Lens Hybrid Musks, which are more accurately Hybrid Multifloras, might do well for you also. Originating in Belgium, which should be a climate more closely comparable to yours than the south of France, they should be more cold hardy and smaller plants than they would be here in Southern California. These also tend to begin flowering later and finish earlier than many of the British counterparts. Length and timing of flowering season will have an effect on the plant's ability to withstand harsh environments. Starting later would mean the probability of the first flush of soft growth being frozen off by later freezes should be lower. Finishing their flowering earlier would help them to harden off and be in better shape to endure the increasing cold.

Teas and polys with stronger Tea influence, I'd expect to be less hardy, therefore less suitable for your area than the polys more closely tied to their original multiflora ancestors. Kim

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 6:12PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Mlle Cecile Brunner died here at a local historic estate, as did Perle d'Or. White Pet was doing OK at another historic estate, but I haven't been there yet this year.

The closer to pure multiflora any rose is, the more trouble it has with a non-acidic soil. So I'd definitely check pH before dipping more than a toe into any of the polyanthas. And having killed my share of Lens HM, I'm not real into those.

If you look at a USDA zone map of Europe, most of what we think of as 'Northern Europe' is surprisingly warm. Any place remotely near water in Western Europe is at least a zone 7, so going by what they grow over there really doesn't get you very far over here. Now if somebody started importing roses from Moscow, that would be a very different matter. It's far enough inland to get continental cold as we know it.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 6:48PM
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The Mills Rose Garden in Syracuse grows Mlle Cecile Brunner. It's 3-4 feet tall there.

I grow Clotilde Soupert as a small bedding rose, it's about 20 inches tall. It's a lovely rose, but compact.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 7:39PM
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wren_garden(zone 5b/6)

My Marie Pavie is finishing it's 3rd season of blooming her head off. My zone and weather is similar to yours. Niagara Falls/Buffalo NY great lakes snow country. The MP is in a raised bed built of 2 rows of cinder block. She sits at the end of the 5X12 bed with only one foot of soil between the cinder block and the root ball. I do cover the bed with a thick cover of Autumn leaves for winter, but no other special care. She is the first to bloom in the spring and is still blooming now. She gets a shape up prune in spring and dead heading after full flushes of bloom. I'd say she is 4+ feet tall now. Clean and disease free. She is fast becoming one of my favorites.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 8:36PM
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I have a couple of polyanthas and they have come swimmingly through the last couple dreadful winters. Last winter we had snow cover for more than 40 days, which is unusual for NJ, and Perle D'Or, Verdun, and Miss Edith Cavell were just fine.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 8:40PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

If you do have cane loss, I'd expect the polys would do fine as small dieback shrubs. I think that's the way mike_rivers grows them in Lansing.

I've grown several and they were cane-hardy here--The Fairy, Katerina Ziemet, Marie Pavie etc. Maybe the Kosters had some cane damage back when we had colder winters.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 10:53AM
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seil zone 6b MI

I don't have any of the ones you list but I do have 3 polys that are doing great here, Blanche Neige, Verdun and Zenaitta. We really like them because they're so healthy, hardy and bloomiferous! We're going to get more polys as we replace some of the other classes that aren't as healthy and hardy for us.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 4:28PM
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I should add that Clotilde Soupert struggles here although it does survive for several years. I am on my second or third one. I just LIKE it. Addictions can be difficult. Also I spelled Miss Zeimet's name wrong. Pickering has it as Katharina.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 11:52PM
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AnneCecilia z5 MI

Besides the many varieties of Fairy roses, I have White Pet and Marie Jeanne. White Pet has been in my raised bed garden for 10 years. It is a petite rose in stature as well as bloom but comes back faithfully year after year with no winter protection but snow. Marie Jeanne has been with me for 6 years in a less than ideal location, receiving only morning sun. She hangs in there - small, it's true, but blooming every year.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 7:05AM
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I've noticed that our Polyanthas will drop their leaves as the weather cools in preparation for winter--you might look for this as a sign of better cold resistance. Tender varieties of roses will hold their leaves and keep right on blooming until stopped by hard frosts.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 8:29AM
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I forgot about The Fairy! I have one that was here when we moved in 26 years ago, and it was far from new then. When I expanded the garden, I discovered that it had been growing in underground piles of rocks. Last winter it was buried under snow from January to March. It is still blooming now, after our bizarre summer weather - this is one tough rose. I think it would do fine in Chicago.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:28AM
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Expanding on the previous post, the one poly I grow which exhibits autumn foliage coloring then goes fairly deciduous is Pink Pet. Kim

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:42AM
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