Recommended Roses for Mississippi Gardens
Story by Pam Collins / Photography by Dr. Gary R. Bachman / Courtesy of Mississippi State Extension
Mississippi can be a challenging environment for growing spectacular roses. However, some roses do grow well in our hot, steamy, humid climate. Let’s look at some roses that Mississippi rosarians praise for their tenacity and beauty. Some are antique; some are classic hybrid teas; some are modern selections. They are all sturdy and dependable.
What to look for:
• Vigor – how easily they grow, sturdy top growth, strong root systems
• Form, true to type – landscape shrub forms, exhibition-style habit, ramblers, climbers, size
• Disease resistance – blackspot, powdery mildew
• Heat resistance – toleration of southern heat and humidity
• Persistence – Is it more than just a short-term perennial? Can it survive if spraying is not religiously practiced?
How do you want to use a particular cultivar in the garden?
• Exhibitions and competitions?
• Cut flowers?
• Formal garden?
• Trained to a pillar or arbor?
• Cottage garden?
• Scrambling on a fence or in a tree?
• Landscape shrub?
What is your personal tolerance to maintenance routines?
• I am willing to suit up and spray every 10 days, no matter what.
• I am willing to spray some or most of the time, but life’s little jobs come first.
• If it gets really bad, I’ll try to do something with it.
• I can live with blackspot if it can.
• I believe in laissez-faire, beauty without work.
Hybrid Teas (Chinensis)
Barbara Bush – Coral pink to salmon, long oval buds, large double blooms, 35 petals, light fragrance, 5 feet tall, upright growth habit, long stems, dark green leaves
Chrysler Imperial – 1951 Portland Gold Medal, 1953 AARS winner, 1965 Gamble Fragrance Award - Deep red to crimson, strong damask fragrance, continual blooms summer to fall, long pointed buds, high centered blooms, 50 petals, one bloom per stem, dark green, glossy foliage, bushy growth habit (3 feet high x 2 feet wide), not long-lived, prone to dieback, needs full sun, MSU Veterans Memorial Rose Garden
The McCartney Rose – 1988 Monza Gold Medal, 1988 Le Roeulx Gold Medal (Belgium), 1988 Geneva Gold Medal, 1988 Bagatelle Gold Medal, 1993 Nantes Fragrance Award, 1996 New Zealand National Rose Trial Ground Winner – Medium pink, double, strong fragrance, blooms from late-spring to mid-fall, 4-6 feet high, space 3-4 feet apart, Magnolia Botanical Gardens at the North MS R&E Center
Marijke Koopman – 1978 The Hague GM winner – Medium pink, 25 petals, tall, upright growth habit, strong foliage production, MSU Veterans Memorial Rose Garden, on Fortuniana rootstock
Memorial Day – 2004 AARS winner – Orchid pink, very large (5-inches dia.) and double, 50+ petals, strong damask fragrance, long cutting stems, medium tall, upright, bushy growth habit, strong foliage production, MSU Veterans Memorial Rose Garden, on Fortuniana rootstock
Mr. Lincoln – 1965 AARS winner – Deep, velvet red, 35 petals, very strong damask fragrance, repeat blooming, tall vertical growth habit (4-6 feet tall x 2-4 feet wide), long stems, tendency to blue in strong sun
Rio Samba – 1993 AARS winner – Orange/yellow bicolor, 20-25 petals, light fragrance, pointed oval buds, 5 feet high, medium green pointed foliage, strong foliage production, MSU Veterans Memorial Rose Garden
St. Patrick – 1996 AARS winner – Yellow, develops signature yellow-green color in hot weather, 5-inch flowers, 30-35 petals, unfurls slowly, repeat blooming, long upright stems, grey-green foliage, Magnolia Botanical Gardens at the North MS R&E Center
Tahitian Sunset – 2006 AARS winner, 2006 Rose Hills International Rose Trials GM – Peach-apricot-yellow-pink blend, 5-inch blooms, 25-30 petals, very fragrant, height listed from 6-8 feet high x 3-4 feet wide, upright growth habit, dark green foliage, semi-glossy, black spot resistant, strong foliage production, MSU Veterans Memorial Rose Garden
Veterans Honor – Dark velvet red, 25-30 petals, long stems, large dark green foliage, may grow over 6 feet high, MSU Veterans Memorial Rose Garden, grown on Fortuniana rootstock
English Roses (Chinensis)
Golden Celebration – Deep yellow, double, cupped, very fragrant, heavy bloom in spring, repeat blooming, reported from 4-8 feet high x 3-4 feet wide, Magnolia Botanical Gardens at the North MS R&E Center
The Pilgrim – Soft yellow, double, quilled, many petals, may develop button eye, very fragrant, very floriferous, repeat blooming, vigorous, robust growth, strong upright stems, 5 feet high x 4 feet wide, up to 8 feet in hot climates, Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station, Crystal Springs
The Prince – Dark black red, double, quartered, many petals, very fragrant, re-blooms in bursts, blooms nod on long slender stems, spreading growth habit, 2 feet high x 3 1/3 feet wide, Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station, Crystal Springs
Bill Warriner – Salmon orange, large flowers, repeat blooms, light fragrance, 4 feet high, strong foliage production, MSU Veterans Memorial Rose Garden
Iceberg – 1958 Baden-Baden GM, 1958 NRS GM, 1983 World’s Favorite Rose – White, semi-double, moderately fragrant, blooms late spring through summer repeatedly, height listed from 8-15 feet high (is also listed as 3-4 feet high x 2 feet wide), recommended spacing 8-10 feet, can be trained to climb, foliage light green, glossy, resistant to black spot and rust, strong foliage production stems nearly thornless, tolerates poor soil, Mississippi Agricultural, Forestry and Experiment Station (MAFES) North Farm Entrance Garden, on Fortuniana rootstock
Lavaglut – Dark maroon red, double, slightly fragrant, comes into bloom late spring to early summer, blooms repeatedly, bushy growth habit, 2-4 feet high, 2-3 feet wide, foliage dark green, glossy, resistant to black spot/mildew/rust, strong foliage production, MAFES North Farm Entrance Garden, on Fortuniana rootstock
Queen Elizabeth – 1955 AARS winner – Medium pink, double, slightly fragrant, repeat blooming from late spring through early summer, tall upright growth habit, reported from 4-12 feet high x 2-3 feet wide, stems moderately thorny, foliage glossy, dark green, leathery, susceptible to blackspot and mildew, prone to dieback, Magnolia Botanical Gardens at the North MS R&E Center
Sunsprite – 1972 Baden-Baden GM, 1979 Gamble FA, 1988 James Mason GM – Bright yellow, fully double, very fragrant, repeat blooming, growth habit reported from 2-4 feet high x 2-4 feet wide, bushy growth habit, strong foliage production, light green, resistant to blackspot/mildew/rust, stems moderately thorny, MSU Veterans Memorial Rose Garden, Shrub Roses (Synstylae)
Ice Meidiland – White semi-double to double, 20-25 petals, no fragrance, blooms repeatedly, 18-24 inches high x 24-36 inches wide, arching canes, groundcover, very good disease resistance, vigorous growth, Magnolia Botanical Gardens at the North MS R&E Center
Knockout – 2000 AARS winner, 2002 Anerkannte Deutsche Rose – Cherry red blooms, dark purple-green foliage turning burgundy in fall, resistant to blackspot, drought tolerant, bushy growth habit, 3 feet high x 3 feet wide, Magnolia Botanical Gardens at the North MS R&E Center
Lady Elsie May – 2005 AARS winner – Deep rose coral color, semidouble, 12-14 petals, light fragrance, repeat bloom through fall, self-cleaning, 2-3 feet high x 2 feet wide, upright, spreading growth habit, vigorous, dark green, waxy foliage, resistant to blackspot/mildew/rust, strong foliage production, MSU Veterans Memorial Rose Garden
Magic Meidiland – Deep magenta pink blooms, semi-double, 20-30 petals, clustered, no fragrance, glossy bronze foliage, very disease resistant, 2 feet high x 6 feet wide, groundcover, vigorous growth, Magnolia Botanical Gardens at the North MS R&E Center
Old Garden Roses (OGR) – from classes known prior to 1867
Ballerina – Synstylae, Hybrid Musk, 1937 – Pink blooms with white centers, single, large sprays, continuous flowering, slightly fragrant, compact, arching, bushy shrub, listed from 3-6 feet high x 2-6 feet wide, can be trained as pillar rose, thick foliage production, orange-red hips in late fall, resistant to blackspot/mildew/rust, shade tolerant, tolerant of poorer soils, Magnolia Botanical Gardens at the North MS R&E Center
Mrs. B. R. Cant – Chinensis, Tea 1901 – Red to silvery rose color, blush at petal base, 3 inches, double, occasionally quartered, 50+ petals, moderately fragrant, continuous flowering April to frost, long flower stems, very large upright, bushy growth habit, listed from 5-8 feet high x 4-6 feet wide, foliage medium sized, dark green, semi-glossy, vigorous growth, resistant to blackspot/mildew/rust, stems moderately thorny, tolerant of poorer soils, Magnolia Botanical Gardens at the North MS R&E Center
The Fairy – Synstylae, Polyantha,1932 – Pink blooms fading to blush white in summer sun, small, globular in trusses, not fragrant, continuous flowering April to frost, groundcover, spreading growth habit outward and downward, not suckering but canes will root where touching ground, 3-4 feet high x 2-4 feet wide, foliage small like boxwood, medium green, serrated edges and very glossy, very disease resistant, tolerant to shade and poorer soils, very thorny, Magnolia Botanical Gardens at the North MS R&E Center
Veilchenblau – Synstylae, Multiflora Rambler, 1909 – Bluish purple to red purple fading to a grey-blue, streaks of white, semi-double, stamens displayed, blooms en masse in early summer, moderately fragrant, vigorous growth, can scramble into trees, tolerant of shade, tolerant of poorer soils, healthy foliage, good foliage production, listed from 10-15 feet high x 12 feet wide
Zéphirine Drouhin – Chinensis, Bourbon 1868 – Cerise pink blooms, very fragrant, large semi-double blooms, spring and fall flowering, repeat blooming, copper purple new growth, dark to grey-green, mature foliage, dull surface, thick and healthy, long canes, climber, thornless, reported from 10-15 feet high x 6 feet wide, tolerates shade, but best in sun, tolerant of poorer soils
Lady Banks Rose – Banksianae, Rosa banksiae lutea, from China c. 1825 – Pale yellow, small, double flowers, cascading blooms in mass once in mid-to-late spring, slight fragrance, abundant, healthy foliage with a large, climbing growth habit, long arching thornless canes, 20 feet high x 10 feet wide, trains well on large stout arbor, bark exfoliating with age, nearly evergreen in mild winters, highly disease and insect resistant, tolerant of poorer soils, drought, reportedly resistant to deer
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