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Roses that fail your expectations versus nice surprises?

strawchicago z5
last month
last modified: last month

I learn that roses which I spent time adoring & hoping to get often fail flat. Here's a list of roses that FAILED my expectations:

1) A Shopshire Lad ... spent years admiring its beautiful bloom. I had the fantasy of its being safe & thornless. It turned out to be a total flop & once bloomer. Such ugly foliage and so wimpy as own-root !!

2) Grandma's blessing (bred by Ping Lim) was an amazing beauty at Home Depot with more blooms than leaves. It was grafted on multiflora, and leaves turned pale in my alkaline clay. So I doused it with acid-fertilizer, then it came down with RRD.

3) Queen of Sweden. I had the fantasy that it's low-thorn, but the thorns are sharp & small boring no-scent blooms. So stingy that it's not worth my time watering. Mailed to a friend. What looks like beauty can be a nightmare afterwards !!

In contrast, there are nice surprises .. I didn't want them at first, but they bless me abundantly:

1) Poseidon: wasn't crazy about its lesser scent & color, but Pat Henry recommended that for vigor in cold zone. After 7 years I grow to love this rose and appreciate its abundance in blooms & low-thorn.

2) Blue Mist: wasn't crazy about a landscape bush, but it surprised me with sweet scent, and amazing bush-beauty.

3) Marie Daly: wasn't crazy about its bloom-form, but it surprised me with drought and heat tolerance, plus the most refreshing wafting scent.

What are some roses that don't live up to your expectations versus worthy surprises?

Below are the roses that lived up to my expectations: Evelyn, Dee-lish, Poseidon, Carding Mill, Golden Celebration, Comte de Chambord, Sweet Mademoiselle, Liv Tyler, Firefighter, Versigny, Annie L. McDowell, Pink Peace, Honey Bouquet, Big Purple, Bolero, Abraham Darby, Peter Mayle, plus red roses with tight petals that Japanese Beetles can't get inside: The Dark Lady, Munstead Wood, the Squire, W.S. 2000. Also Japanese beetles don't care for myrrh scent like St. Cecelia & Mary Magdalene.














Comments (77)

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    MInshen: Windermere was recommended to me decade ago by a poster for its constant flowering and amazing scent. Too bad it's not offered as own-root. Both White Licorice and Evelyn like it alkaline. One year local Menards had lots of White Licorice on sale as bare-root .. I should had bought it for my alkaline clay.

  • Minshen (8b/9a Victoria BC)
    last month

    Straw: I’m so happy to know that I’m not the only one finding Windermere awesome. I feel like he deserves so much more rave! No wonder neither Evelyn nor White Licorice like my garden. I’m not an expert on soil chemistry but I do believe our soil is more on the acidic side, because my hydrangeas are quite blue without any added amendments, though I think it’s quite clay-y too as opposed to sandy. It’s so fascinating what different soil can do to the health and performance of the same roses!

    strawchicago z5 thanked Minshen (8b/9a Victoria BC)
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  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
    last month

    Minshen, I love that picture of sonnenwelt. How is your area for blackspot?

  • Minshen (8b/9a Victoria BC)
    last month

    Hey Vapor!
    I don’t usually get too much BS in our climate, although some DAs like Abe Darby do so badly regardless. The Kordes are usually completely clean, while many other roses get a little bit of BS here and there but nothing that warrants attention. Sonnenwelt has stayed totally healthy so far.

  • rosecanadian
    last month

    Minshen - wow! I really love your sonnenwelt!! Mmmmm :)



  • Minshen (8b/9a Victoria BC)
    last month

    rosecanadian — thank you! Yes its been a great rose this year. Constant blooms too. Even got a nice scent. It’s so interesting that the same rose changes its look as it matures. I’m really glad I didn’t get rid of him last year after all! (And now I wonder if those that I did get rid of I should have given more time... hmmm)

    strawchicago z5 thanked Minshen (8b/9a Victoria BC)
  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw
    last month

    Hum, I think that one of my 4 Desdamona must go. I think it is an ok rose but it doesnt speak to me smd I have 3 more

    What was I thinking to get so many of them.

    I am also mot so impressed with Peach Swirl although it is new and I will keep working on getting more color out of it. Right now it is just bery washed out.

    Big surprise, Daybreaker. I love the the color and it just keeps pumping out the blooms.

    strawchicago z5 thanked Kristine LeGault 8a pnw
  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Minshen, I'm curious what roses you got rid of last year.

  • Minshen (8b/9a Victoria BC)
    last month

    Vapor: I got rid of Moondance — wasn’t particularly pretty or healthy at all. Lots of BS and die back. Regret buying that one. Francis Meilland I gave away last spring, because although the flowers are big and beautiful, he bloomed extremely stingy for me, and was just a super tall rose that only ever bloomed at the very top. New Dawn — too big, too thorny, blooms shattered faster than even the Austins. Going to yank White Meidilland later this year too after it’s done flowering — nondescript blooms that don’t speak to me. Will replace with Desdemona (that I can hopefully get next season).

    And of course, the knockouts, lol. I used to have three tree form (standard) pink knockouts at the very back of our foundation bed. They were vigorous and provided enough color but I really could use the space for something I truly love. So I sold those on fb, and felt super.

    I was on the fence about honeymoon arborose last year, and decided to give him one more season. Still waiting for his first flush this year to evaluate.

    Oh and I did also give away one All Dressed Up. I like this rose but I simply had too many.

    strawchicago z5 thanked Minshen (8b/9a Victoria BC)
  • Lynn-in-TX-Z8b- Austin Area/Hill Country
    last month
    last modified: last month

    A nice surprise - The first three do not seem to be very popular, but I liked what I saw and read about them and took the plunge...

    Siren's Keep (one of Paul Barden's)--- It could take filtered afternoon sun in a hot Summer climate and the purplish shade was unique...



    Threads N Craft - It became one of my favorites



    Hume's Blush Tea... Very dry heat tolerant and a workhorse- (wish I could find an image)

    Nigrette - It is not spoken of much on the websites I visit, but in person, this rose is a beauty!! If you are looking for a true, dark red, absent purple... what some refer to as a black/ red... it could be worth considering. Christopher is no longer active on this forum, but he put this one on my radar...



    Radio Times... I believe it was selected because what I really wanted was out of stock... It is one of my favorite David Austin Roses... I still frown when thinking about it being discontinued...



    Disappointment - Ascot

    I was hoping for beautiful bloom's like Diane's... Instead, all of my blooms were cherry red... That is not what I was hoping for...

    Harlow Carr- Thorn city... It was the last rose that I would prune, and sometimes I skipped it altogether...

    strawchicago z5 thanked Lynn-in-TX-Z8b- Austin Area/Hill Country
  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Wow! You are tough, Minshen! lynne, I have read and coveted most of those. Think they're hard to come by. I remember Cori ann used to grow threads and crafts and it was so beautiful in her garden. Is ascot always cherry red for you? Mine varies in color throughout the year. It does get a lot of blackspot though so disappointing there. I had read that, but thought I'd give it a try anyway. It's probably worth spraying that one. I Had Read That But Though tI'd give it a try anyway. It's probably where it's bring that 1. always cherry red for you? Mine berries and color throughout the year. It does get a lot of blackspot though so disappointing there. I had read that but thought I'd give it a try anyway. It's probably worth spraying that 1.

    I Had Read That But ThoughtI'd give it a try anyway. It's probably where it's bring that 1. always cherry red for you? Mine berries and color throughout the year. It does get a lot of blackspot though so d always cherry red for you? Mine varies in color throughout the year. It does get a lot of blackspot though so disappointing there. I had read that, but thought I'd give it a try anyway. It's probably worth spraying that one.

    strawchicago z5 thanked Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
  • Lynn-in-TX-Z8b- Austin Area/Hill Country
    last month
    last modified: last month

    @Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    I took one look at Ascot's much anticipated blooms and almost shovel pruned it... My husband stopped me. Six months or so later, we moved and it was left in the garden... versus gifted to neighbors etc. I have considered trying Ascot again (it was offered to me just yesterday) now that we live in a different state, but I must admit to being more than a bit apprehensive.

    I originally purchased Threads n Craft from Ludwig's via Agave... I do not remember if Cori-ann was a poster on the forum yet... I think she got her's from Palatine...

    strawchicago z5 thanked Lynn-in-TX-Z8b- Austin Area/Hill Country
  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
    last month

    Yes. I think Cori Ann was already posting as she started in 2016, the same year I did. She left left 2/3 years later. Ludwig's had their sale in 2017 if I'm not mistaken. There was a lot of overlap there and I know she did not get hers from agave. I had quite a few ordered from there and they canceled on me. I did wanna mention that my 1st blooms from ascot were nothing to write home about and I was also very disappointed, but it is a blooming machine now and extremely beautiful. It is a much darker shade of red consistently than say florentina which is more of a cherry red.

    strawchicago z5 thanked Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
    last month

    Sorry about the repetition above. I don't know if it's mine

  • Minshen (8b/9a Victoria BC)
    last month

    My first bordeaux bloom! Please don’t mind the rest of the dying bouquet. Doesn’t Bordeaux look perfect? And surprisingly very detectable nice fragrance too for a first year plant! I like the beautiful dark red color.

    strawchicago z5 thanked Minshen (8b/9a Victoria BC)
  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw
    last month

    Minshen, I agree that Bordeaux is beautiful

    Better get that one on my list.

    strawchicago z5 thanked Kristine LeGault 8a pnw
  • Nicole Fitz (Long Island z7)
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Loser: So far Kiss Me Kate has been a dud for me. She’s only 2 so she gets one more year to not be a giant brown stick insect with 2 sad buds on top.

    Winner: this Love Song was from the clearance rack at Stop and Shop and has literally never stopped trying to rise above her humble beginnings.


    strawchicago z5 thanked Nicole Fitz (Long Island z7)
  • rosecanadian
    last month

    Lynn - what a shame that Radio Times is going to be discontinued. I keep thinking I'd like to get one. Beautiful roses! I've thought about getting Nigrette (not available anymore where I found it before)...but there's not that much info about it. Does your have a great fragrance? Man...your Threads and Crafts is gorgeous!!! Oh my!!


    Minshen - wow! Your beautiful Bordeaux still looks beautiful!! It really outlasts the other roses as a cut flower!


    Nicole - wow!!! Your Love Song is a winner, for sure!! It loves what you're doing for it!! What's the rose behind it?

    strawchicago z5 thanked rosecanadian
  • Lynn-in-TX-Z8b- Austin Area/Hill Country
    last month

    @rosecanadian-


    I never sniffed Nigrette’s blooms (pre- back surgery… I was not bending over to sniff anything…). I remember my husband sniffing the blooms and making a positive comment about the fragrance…Radio Times was discontinued, like many other roses D.A. puts on the chooping block (:. I hope to replace mine in the near future.…I need to check to see if it is out of patent…

    strawchicago z5 thanked Lynn-in-TX-Z8b- Austin Area/Hill Country
  • rosecanadian
    last month

    Lynn - yeah, that's for sure. I'm so glad you're feeling better!!!! That's a good sign if your husband said something about the fragrance.

  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
    last month

    Bordeaux is a great rose here also for me and I believe for Daniela. It blooms a lot. Mine is in too much shade next to ballerina and does get a lot of black spot and cercospora so that is a drag. I'm thinking of switching her and Milano this year into m she gets black spot in her sun position. At least 1 of them can look good! nice because she smells wonderful. I Give up trying to type I just thanked you Lynn and wish you well on your back. I don't know what else I wrote.

    strawchicago z5 thanked Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
  • rosecanadian
    last month

    Vaporvac - :)

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    25 days ago
    last modified: 20 days ago

    About Face (grandiflora) failed my expectation since it's dull yellow in my alkaline dense clay, versus pretty orange for someone else with red loamy/sandy soil. Small comfort that below About Face takes heat well, blooms best when the temp is above 90 F.


    Below Orange Solitude (gradiflora bred in Denmark) gave me 2 surprises: It blooms in cluster, nice orange, plus the scent improved from bug-spray the 1st year to clove/fruity in 2nd year. I like below Solitude better than About Face.



  • rosecanadian
    25 days ago

    Oooh!! That's lovely!!! Pink and orange together in one rose!! Love!

    I tried About Face in three different yards...hated it in every place we lived.

    strawchicago z5 thanked rosecanadian
  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    Below Young Lycidas (grafted on Dr. Huey) failed my expectation: too wimpy and floppy and had to be supported by a cage. The scent is fantastic. So wimpy that I should had planted in a large pot. It died through my zone 5 winter in dense & wet clay. Unless a rose is vigorous (like Lavender Crush on Dr.Huey), then it can grow its own-roots above the graft bunion. But I like Young Lycidas better than own-root Madame Isaac Pereire (takes 10 times more space).


    Below rose Prairie Harvest is a nice surprise: always healthy as 8th-year-own-root. At first the bloom was boring & less petals, but it improved, see below:


  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA
    22 days ago

    Straw, that photo of Prairie Harvest convinced me I want it. Soft yellow with faint pink edges are the best yellows for me. 10 yr. Golden Celebration, own root, is a sparse, stingy dud and 1 yr. Julia Child, own root, died to the ground, leaving 1 cane, but making an impressive comeback. are both too yellow for my garden. I like Julia better than GC. I don't know why I never considered Prairie Harvest before.


    strawchicago z5 thanked flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA
  • mmmm12COzone5
    22 days ago

    strawchicago, tell me more about Prairie Harvest. Is it cane hardy? How much does it flower? Full bush picture would be great. How long did it take for it to get to be a rose you like? It and Moonlight Romantica are my current two choices for when I have a spot open up for a yellow rose.

    strawchicago z5 thanked mmmm12COzone5
  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    Below is bush-shot of Prairie Harvest, it has very pretty leaves & cane-hardy. Took 2 years before the flowers have more petals, but it was my fault since I planted it in the worst spot possible: hard clay with rocks below. I don't get the reddish edge on yellow unless I use high-phosphorus chicken-manure. But I quit chicken-manure since I burnt a few roses by putting a thick wad on top.

    Prairie Harvest' leaves are so glossy & pretty that it looks good even without flowers. It's drought-tolerant & I rarely water it. Can't take a bush-shot since it's on a steep hill against my house-siding, so I can only take a partial pic. from below the hill. Never see any diseases for the last 8 years as own-root. Got Moonlight Romantica as own-root from Roses Unlimited, looks nice so far, will post a bush-shot of it when the bloom opens.


  • rosecanadian
    22 days ago

    Straw - wonderful yard shot!!! Your Prairie Harvest looks beautiful!! :) :)

    strawchicago z5 thanked rosecanadian
  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
    22 days ago

    I love those peonies and irises as well! Do you know which peony that is? Someone else grows Prairie Harvest I think. Is that joey? They also said it was a great rose unless it was you Straw and I'm getting confused.🙄😄

    strawchicago z5 thanked Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
  • joeywyomingz4b
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    Not me Vaporvac, I have Buck's Mountain Music which I love, but Prairie Harvest is on my wish list for next time I make an order. I'm guessing you haven't gotten my message, trying to get hold of you about those Harison cuttings.

    Mountain Music this morning


    strawchicago z5 thanked joeywyomingz4b
  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    AOk, it is July so if it is a rose that will be a good one ( after a few years ) then you should know by now, right ?

    We just came through some extreme heat and most of my roses werent fazed but a couple really crisped up.

    So big dud and always had been for me is Ebb Tide. It was in a pot and was pretty lackluster. This year it got moved to a 4x4x3 planter box. It fried, it has black spot and the only blooms that it has had this year were about an inch across. It has never been great but now it is just taking up space. If it isnt any better by fall it is doing the shovel dance and Purple Lodge gets a bigger home.

    Adobe Sunrise got 2 blooms and notjing more

    Not even a sign of new growth. Thid one was new last fall and I really wsnt it to work out becaise the bloom colors are beautiful. Its funny because it doesnt even look or grow like a regular rose. Fingets crossed on that one.

    Big surprise is Our Anniversary. Shiny, pretty , leaves and a quick rebloom. The color is awfully pretty too.

    Hot Cocoa gets my vote for my favorite new rose. The foliage, the bush shape and the color just .ake me smile

    I have a new baby HC sitting on my deck so I can smile twice as much.

    I shoveled a mini that was just plain ugly. I dont mess around with ugly lol



    Our Anniversary


    Hot Cocoa

    strawchicago z5 thanked Kristine LeGault 8a pnw
  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    22 days ago
    last modified: 21 days ago

    Kristine: Love the deep color of your Hot Cocoa. Rose park had a bed of Hot Cocoa, but the color is reddish brown (not pretty like yours). How's the scent of Hot Cocoa? So glad that I stay away from Ebb Tide after seeing it did well for a sandy soil for person (I have rock-hard clay). Thanks for the info.

  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    22 days ago
    last modified: 20 days ago

    Vaporvac: I don't know the name of that deep red peony (got from Walmart mix). Prairie Harvest pic. was taken this spring as 8th-year-own-root in only 4 hours of evening sun. Yellow can take shade best.

    Joey: Looks like Queen Nefertiti is best for full sun & hot & dry climate, since it's NOT best for my wet clay with rose-slug in rainy weather. I SPENT 2 HOURS DIGGING for drainage in below spot, but it doesn't like my humid weather (6 days of flooding & non-stop rain), and came down with rose-slug. The scent is pure delight, very exotic (myrrh and floral, better than St. Cecilia). It's in 4 hours of evening sun:


    Close up of Queen Nefertiti bloom, I would recommend this rose for hot & dry & fast-draining soil, plus full-sun which I don't have. The rabbits don't eat the bush since it's prickly.


    Rouge Royal is a nice surprise as own root. Last year I almost killed it by planting it in an entire bag of cow manure: it came down with blackspot and lost all leaves (too much phosphorus). So I had to move it to my alkaline clay, and now it's 100% clean. The repeat is fast, about 1 week to its current 2nd flush. Pic. below is taken today July 1 after week-long of rain & humid weather. I constantly lime Rouge Royal since it likes alkaline. The scent is super-strong raspberry rose, I can smell it 4 feet away.


  • rosecanadian
    21 days ago

    Joey - such a great color on your Mountain Music!! Love it!!


    Kristine - shovel dance... :) :) :) The petals on your HC and OA are so lustrous!! mmmmmm :)


    Straw - oooooh!!!! Super strong raspberry fragrance from SUCH a gorgeous rose!!! I really want this rose!!

    strawchicago z5 thanked rosecanadian
  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    21 days ago

    Carol: You'll like Rouge royal, it's small for the pot. Zephrerin Drouhin (climbing) surprises me by having blooms from 1st week of May until now, July 1. Pic. Taken today. Scent is old-rose with a touch of raspberry, can smell its blooms from far away. Gets my vote for the longest flush: 2 months.

    Roseseek's creation: Below Lynnie to the right is a CONTINUOUS BLOOMER as 10th-year-own-root, in only 3 hours of dappled sun. Left of it is FlowerCarpet which is eaten by rabbits, this FlowerCarpet got tree-root invasion (I solved it by digging down and putting cement blocks), but due to calcium-depletion the tissue are softer so rabbits devour.

    Below 2nd FlowerCarpet doesn't get its calcium stolen by trees, so rabbits leave it alone & not eaten. I really need to enrich my soil where tree-roots once invaded.


  • rosecanadian
    21 days ago

    Your ZD blooms for 2 months!! That's fabulous...I would love to smell the wafting fragrance. Nothing wafts here except for tree blossoms. I really like the coral blooms of ??Flower Carpet?? !!!! That is a really pretty rose...and you have really managed to figure out rose leaves!! Every rose you have is clothed in wonderfully glossy, healthy leaves!! I'm so proud of you!!!!

    strawchicago z5 thanked rosecanadian
  • aerbk7b
    21 days ago

    Straw — beautiful garden! Question about ZD - what do you think contributes to it’s long bloom for you? Is that typical?

    strawchicago z5 thanked aerbk7b
  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw
    21 days ago

    Straw, I will have to check the scent of Hot Cocoa. It is short and I am old and stiff so the whole bending over thing doesnt hapoen too often.

    strawchicago z5 thanked Kristine LeGault 8a pnw
  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw
    20 days ago
    last modified: 20 days ago

    Sorry Straw, I get no fragrance from HC.

    strawchicago z5 thanked Kristine LeGault 8a pnw
  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    20 days ago
    last modified: 20 days ago

    Kristine: Thank you !! I detected zero scent from Rose park's Hot Cocoa despite someone said it has a cinnamon scent.

    aerbk: Per your question: "Question about ZD - what do you think contributes to it’s long bloom for you? Is that typical?" My Zeph. Drouhin is a 6th-year-own-root and it's on a steep hill so I planted it deep (at least 6 inch. below ground), then I piled up a big bag of top soil yearly to prevent soil erosion. The soil there is wet thanks to thick layer of clay on top to seal moisture. As Zeph. Drouhin matures the blooming period gets longer since its roots go deeper to the rocks below for minerals.

    The minute Zeph is done blooming with one cane I brutally chop it off down to 2 feet. So Zeph has more water & nutrients to pump out blooms on young canes, rather than wasting it on a dozen older canes." Below is Zeph Drouhin this early May, in only 4 hrs. of sun. Blooms last long in bouquets, up to 4 days. Still blooming now as of July 3.


  • aerbk7b
    19 days ago

    Straw - beautiful! But I guess that means not the same bloom results training as a climber? My
    Mother had 2 over an arch that were beautiful, but not that long a bloom period...

    strawchicago z5 thanked aerbk7b
  • rosecanadian
    19 days ago

    GASP!!! What a picture!!! Glorious!!

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  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    16 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    Roses that failed my expectations such as small & matte leaves Queen Nefertiti is NOT best for my dense & wet clay. My clay pH is alkaline in dry spots, but becomes acidic when rain water at pH 4.5 can't drain well in poor-drainage spots. Re-post pic. of wimpy Queen Nefertiti infested with sawfly/rose-slug after week-long rain this July. I need to move it the 2nd time to a drier spot !! Fixing the hole with a bag coarse sand wasn't enough for this very thorny Queen Nefertiti:


    In contrast, GLOSSY & DARK GREEN and LARGE leaves Rouge Royal loves its soaking wet alkaline clay location. Large leaves means it needs more nutrients that clay can offer. Glossy means it prefers soaking wet. Dark green means it prefers alkaline pH.


    I figure out below code for OWN-ROOT roses after realizing that roses which failed my expectations (Lady of Shalott) is not best for my dense clay. I had to move it 3 times, plus fixed my clay with a bag of coarse sand before own-root Lady of Shalott bloomed.

    MATTE leaves like Carding Mill means it needs faster drainage & drier soil to stay healthy. Pale means it needs lower pH to bloom (acidic rain) as own-root. Lavender Crush has matte leaves and is prone to Blackspot like Carding Mill unless the drainage is fast. Matte leaves won't be best in poor drainage clay.

    Below is 10-year-own-root pale & matte leaves Carding Mill taken 2nd flush, end of this June:



    Pale GLOSSY leaves like thornless 6th-year-own-root Twilight Zone stay healthy even in poor-drainage clay. GLOSSY means it does best in soaking wet clay. PALE means it needs acidic rain to bloom well as own-root:



    GLOSSY dark-green leaves like below 5th-year-own-root Betty White. GLOSSY means it likes soaking wet, and Betty White died in a dry-winter with no snow. DARK-GREEN leaves mean it prefer high pH to bloom. My glossy leaves Anna Promise also died through a dry winter & same with my 1st Bolero (glossy leaves). I really need to water the glossy leaves during dry winter. Below glossy & dark-green Betty White blooms well with horse manure at pH 8, in soaking wet dense clay:



    Below DARK GREEN leaves Dee-lish (7th-year-own-root). DARK GREEN means it blooms well with higher pH, Dee-lish blooms very well with biochar at pH over 8. Leaves are NOT glossy so it can handle hot & dry better. Note the marked venation on the leaves (like Augusta Luise which does well in hot & dry).



    Below is VERY DARK-GREEN, MATTE leaves Stephen Big Purple when it was a young own-root. With very dark green leaves, Stephen Big likes my alkaline clay at pH near 8. It has matte leaves (like Austin Leander) so it needs fast-drainage.



    Hot & dry and sandy: tiny leaves consume less water & less nutrients. Matte leaves do well in fast drainage. Polyanthas like Marie Daly is drought-tolerant. Easy Does It has small leaves and does well for a sandy soil person. Drought-tolerant Earth-kind roses or China with small leaves & single-petals such as Mutabilis. Or less petals-China such as Old Blush. Small leaves & less petals and prickly Rugosa can handle dry and sandy, thus known as "Beach rose".

    Rainy and sandy: tiny leaves consume less nutrients in sand that leaches out nutrients. Hybrid musk with SMALL and PALE leaves are best. Pale leaves bloom best with acidic rain.

    Since rain leaches out both nitrogen and calcium in sandy soil, single-petals and less leaves roses are best. KORDES ROSES also thrive in wet & acidic and sandy & fluffy soil. I had to fix my wet clay with a bag of sand for Poseidon to be continuous blooming as own-root.

    Below Pale & tiny leaves Blue Mist is always healthy in loamy soil but needs acidic rain to bloom. I had to fix my pH 9 tap water with vinegar & sulfate of potash & acidic gypsum for blooming:



    Hot & dry and alkaline clay soil: Large, matte, and dark-green leaves like The Squire, Gene Boerner, About Face, Solitude, Stephen Big Purple, Intrigue, Perfume Delight, Double Delight. Large leaves has vigorous own-roots that can push through dense clay better.

    Wet & poor drainage alkaline clay: Large, glossy and dark-green leaves like Betty White, Anna Promise, Pat Austin, Rouge Royal.

    Wet & poor drainage acidic clay: Large, glossy and light-green leaves like Twilight Zone, Princess Anne. Below is Princess Anne, never see blackspots despite being in poor drainage clay with acidic rain accumulated. Leaves get very pale if watered with my pH 9 tap-water.



    For more info. on the best types of own-roots for one's soil and climate, see below link:

    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/6141435/own-root-types-your-mistakes-and-successes-in-growing-roses#n=83

  • ann beck 8a ruralish WA
    10 days ago

    Strawchicago...The more I read, I often wonder if poor performance of roses is often due to a micro-climate issue and micro-climate soil. I originally layed out my rose beds according to color, but ph might have been a much better way to do it


    Biggest surprise was how much weather and soil and newness can cause a rose to fool you. I got Madame Alfred Carriere last year we had cold, cold weather, probably the wrong soil and her nearly thornless canes were very thorny, with no blooms...I worked with High Country Roses and we decided she had to be miss-labeled...they sent a new one this year BUT...my original shot up in the hot weather, lost thorns and bloomed correctly...giving roses several years seems to be wise!


    strawchicago z5 thanked ann beck 8a ruralish WA
  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    10 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    Ann: Agree that low-thorn own-root roses prefer fluffier & loamier soil, and HATE my DENSE CLAY. Frederic Mistral is low-thorn and it gave me only 2 blooms for 1st year despite getting big. So I fixed the soil with a bag of coarse sand plus sulfate of potash and it gave me 40+ blooms per flush.

    Same with low-thorn Poseidon: refused to bloom in dense potting soil with SOLUBLE fertilizer, so I planted in my soaking wet clay made loamy & fluffy with a bag of sand, and it's a continuous bloomer.

    Lavenderlace in Texas has both sand and clay in her garden. She reported that low-thorn Jude is miserable in clay, but blooms abundantly in sand. Yves Piaget is low-thorn, and it's a fantastic bloomer for those in hot & dry & loamy soil, but Yves seedling became a wimp in my dense clay.

    The soil texture (rather than pH) can matter with low-thorn roses.

    Dense clay is too rich in minerals and make roses thornier. Low-thorn roses have cluster root (like multiflora) and these cluster roots can't expand in cemented & dense clay.

    Deep Purple (Kordes rose) is thornless and became wimpy in my dense clay, I had to replant it in fluffy potting soil.

    Firefighter (low-thorn) bloomed best when I made my clay fluffy by mixing in acidic pine park. My first Firefighter was 3' x 2' and gave me 40+ blooms as 1st year own-root in clay made fluffy. My 2nd Firefighter gave me only 2 blooms in dense clay !!

    Same with thornless Annie L. McDowell and low-thorn Marie Pavie: both bloomed best in fluffy potting soil, and become wimpy in my dense clay.

    Folks in high-rain & sandy soil can grow fabulous low-thorn roses like Jude the Obscure, Heritage but both are very wimpy as own-roots for heavy clay. Below is low-thorn Firefighter which was most vigorous with clay made fluffy with pine-barks (the deer ate all the leaves):



  • aerbk7b
    10 days ago

    Straw - these last posts had me googling low thorn roses. Heirloom Roses has this list of no/low thorn ones. Though I wouldn’t say CPM is low thorn — I am constantly getting stuck by her. Would you say yours is low thorn?

    Ann — I used to have Mme Alfred Carriere growing in a huge trough/box we build on a roof deck — up a fire escape. Think the drainage was pretty good in that. Unfortunately she got killed by an ice storm one year. But your post makes me thing I should try her again, given our conditions…

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  • strawchicago z5 thanked aerbk7b
  • strawchicago z5
    Original Author
    10 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    aerbk7b: thank you for that link. I agree that CPM IS NOT LOW-THORN, it has such huge thorns but spaced a bit far apart. CPM had blackspot for the first 2 years in my dense & alkaline clay, then I made the top 7 inch. fluffy by digging in gypsum and sand. After that it has been clean for the past 8 years (it's 10th-year-own-root). Below is CPM in 4 hrs. of sun:

    Charles Darwin is very low-thorn and it was stingy in my dense clay .. could not get it to bloom unless I douse it with SOLUBLE fertilizer. During spring rain, Chicago Botanical's loamy alkaline soil has the best blooming Charles Darwin, Heritage, and Souvenir de Mademoiselle (all these are low-thorn).

    I'm growing Leander (low thorn) in a pot and it has cluster thin roots & can't take heavy soil. I had to mix in perlite to make the potting soil fluffier for root growth. When I plant it in the ground, I'll use the entire bag of coarse sand.

  • ann beck 8a ruralish WA
    8 days ago

    So I am trying to figure out where to plant a grafted Belinda's Blush because it has no thorns, but is grafted and has no fragrance. It would be perfect if it had fragrance and no thorns...It would go right by my front walk, with it's leaching lime for the DR. Huey. Off to test the orchard soil...well drained and probably alkaline...so good for Dr. Huey and will be protected from deer.

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