Best Roses for our area or forget it?

tristateMay 4, 2012

Has anyone had good luck with a particular variety of roses-preferably one that is more on the "no fuss/no muss" category? I'd like to plant some around the deck in an unfenced area which gets a lot of sun. Watering would be via a drip system.

Once planted, there is plenty of unobstructed space (both height and width) for them to grow and develop over many many years.

Equally imporant, does anyone want to dissuade me b/c of awful experiences? Anecdotes which may save me a couple of hundred bucks are appreciated.

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Well, I am far from an expert on roses, but having tried and failed with many kinds I can tell you what I've had some success with. First of all, you don't say which zone you are in, that is important because for me, in zone 5 most of the hybrid teas and floribundas don't winter over well. Of course, lazy gardener that I am, I don't bother with winter protection, that might help. I do find rugosas the easiest by far, extremely hardy, never need spraying, very fragrant. But - VERY thorny. Canadian roses are hardy for me, I've grown Morden Blush very well, no die back and it is a lovely rose. A pretty much foolproof rose for me is the polyantha "the fairy" very low maintenence, very hardy, absolutely covered in bloom all summer. It is a very full, bushy plant, roses grow in sprays and there are hundreds of them! I let mine grow to about 3 feet, I am not sure but I think they might get a bit taller than that. If you are looking for a good rose to plant around a deck, hardy, low maintenence and covered in flowers, the fairy would be my choice. Tiny roses, but lots of them in a lovely light pink. No fragrance though, but I guess we can't have it all. It is fairly easy to propagate too, and believe me, if I can propagate it, anyone can! Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 6:06PM
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hpny2: I'm in zone 5-so your ideas are right on target (and the admission of no overwinter protection is the admission I'd make too!) The polyantha sound and looked like a gorgeous bush and I liked reviews that said it was non stop bloom from June through frost. How's the Japanese Beetle/aphid issue? Does it have more or less pest problems than rugosas? No scent is a bummer. How do the rugosas smell?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 2:56PM
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I have 2 rugosas, Magnifica, a dark fuschia, very fragrant double, and Belle Poitvine, medium pink double, very fragrant. Booth bloom heavily in June, with sporadic bloom in summer. Nothing bothers the rugosas, once in a while the japanese beetles are on the flowers but for the most part,they leave them alone. The flowers aren't good for cutting because of the many, many large thorns but they are very fragrant. I use my rugosas in places I want to screen, the magnificas border between my yard and an overgrown vacant lot. My Belle screens my garbage cans, its about 4 ft tall and 5 ft wide, very full bushes but if you have to do a lot of weeding and work around them, watch out for the many, many sharp thorns. My fairys don't seem to get the japanese beetles at all, I don't know why. But they can sometimes get a bit ratty in late summer, probably because I never spray them, I am a lazy gardener but I also try to avoid pesticides and chemicals as much as I can. If I sprayed them once in a while it would probably take care of it. All in all, they are a reliable, low maintenence rose though. The roses are great for cutting, one stem will have a spray of several tiny roses. The flowers themselves are about the same size as a mini rose, but lots more of them on the bush. Like any rose, they do have thorns but nothing like Rugosa thorns. Roses can be very high maintenence, so I am always looking for tough, reliable roses and these seem to be as low maintenence as I've been able to find.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 7:39PM
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hpny2: Your post is super-thanks. I'll be on the lookout for the polyantha fairy. I've found a good website with pictures of other polyanthas and see they have developed some really rich colored ones.
The warning about the thorniness of the rugosa is the biggest turnoff for that species. a couple of last questions: When did you plant the polyantha and did you order from catalogue or buy at hd/nursery? How long before it became bush sized (not just canes)? Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 11:13AM
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I've had my fairies for several years now, but they grow very fast, the first year they were almost as big as they are now. They grow very quickly, a very vigorous plant. I didn't buy mine locally, for some reason they are hard to find in the stores around here. But I have seen them, sometimes the Home Depot and Lowe's stores have them, and Adams Fairacre farms sometimes has them. I did get one for my mother at the Phantom Gardener in Rhinebeck last year. I think I ordered mine from Chamblees if memory serves. I have had them for a long time. Another rose that people seem to like a lot is the Knockout rose, which comes in both singles and doubles, red or pink. I bought one and planted it 2 weeks ago, so I can't say how well it will do for me yet. Supposedly, its pretty low maintenence and hardy. Knockouts are sold everywhere, easy to find them locally. We'll see if mine can take my lazy gardener's approach!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 5:48PM
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Knock roses have my vote hardy, nice blossoms, can take anything moody mother nature throws at them. Best part is I can pick them up on clearance at the box stores. Had my heart and budget broken buying climbers from nurseries pampering them come spring there dead. Companion plant garlic, parsley, morning glories to deter j. beetle.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 11:44PM
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What are "knock" roses?

I have great love for rugosa roses. They smell fantastic and root easily. I float the flowers in a shallow bowl to scent an entire room. Nothing fazes them.

I also have luck with Zepherine Drouhin, a climber that performs well in part shade. It flowers well if the stems are trained sideways, not straight up (this goes for all climbers). And they have no thorns. Smells great, too.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 1:37PM
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I've also had good luck with Zepherine Drouhin. I have them trellised sideways and they look like they survived this past winter just fine.

I cut them back in late Fall and don't give them any winter protection. I'm in Poughkeepsie so we do get a bit of winter up here.

And they smell great!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 4:19PM
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