Are you drawn to the simple elegance and fragrant beauty of roses? Do you wish you had time to cultivate an extensive rose garden? If you’re interested in roses, but don’t have the time to tend a large rose garden, don’t fret. Consider planting one or more of these hearty hybrid roses that even the casual or novice gardener can cultivate successfully.
1) The Knockout Rose is perhaps the most highly praised of all hearty hybrid roses. The Knockout Rose delivers a high performance with a minimal amount of care. It is one of the most disease resistant roses available, with almost no reported instances of insect infestation, or cases of mildew, black spot, or other fungal diseases. The Knockout Rose is also very cold hardy, requiring fewer daily hours of sun than most roses. Its flowers range from light pinks to deep magentas, and they provide frequent flowerings with minimal care during the growing season.
2) The Betty Prior Rose is rumored to be the Queen of England’s favorite rose. And why shouldn’t it be? The Betty Prior is an all-around sensible choice – with its long blooming season, and compact size (usually reaching a height and spread of roughly 3 feet), it’s an excellent choice for the rose-lover in search of a beautiful and hardy rose bush. The Betty Prior blooms in a profusion of pink clusters that slowly fade to white over the course of the growing season. The Betty Prior is known for providing well-spaced flowers that are ideal for cutting and putting on display all year.
3) Another excellent choice is the beautiful Belle Poitevine Rugosa hybrid rose. The Belle Poitevine, originally from Russia, is a vigorous rose bush that tolerates poor soil and long periods of shade. It has large and leathery dark green foliage that complements its beautiful, richly pink, almost magenta, blooms. The flower of the Belle Poitevine is admired for its crinkled petals, long pointed buds, and its large and loose nearly double blossoms. The rose bush gives repeat flowerings, and makes an excellent hedge. The Belle Poitevine is also an excellent choice for gardeners who long for a fragrant rose garden, as this hybrid rose has a very strong, perfumed fragrance.
4) Another Rugosa-family hybrid that is praised for its ability to thrive in less than optimal conditions is the Rugosa Magnifica hybrid rose. The Rugosa Magnifica is a hybrid of a rose that dates back to 1905. It is drought tolerant, cold hardy, and because of its prickly thorns, works well in areas where wildlife may interfere with your garden. Unlike most roses, the Rugosa Magnifica is very salt-tolerant, doing well along saltwater bays, oceans, and coasts. In warmer southern climates, heat hardy version of the Rugosa Magnifica may also be found.
With its upright posture, the Rugosa Magnifica makes an excellent decorative shrub, although it can grow up to 5 or 6 feet tall. Its green foliage is very dense from spring through summer, and then turns a lovely golden color during autumn. During the blooming season, the Rugosa Magnifica produces a gorgeous, nearly doubled bloom. Its flowers are large (from 3 to five inches) and a deep, silky crimson red color. Rugosa Magnesias are very disease resistant, and provide more than one flowering during the season.
5) One of the loveliest and heartiest hybrid roses is the Nearly Wild hybrid rose. As its name implies, the Nearly Wild is a tough and lovely rose that is a favorite with Rosarians who love it for its wildness. The Nearly Wild is technically a Floribunda that grows into a thick and bushy shrub, usually growing only to about 2 to 3 feet and spread. It blooms with large (usually over 3 inches, and larger in cooler climates) showy pink flowers.
The Nearly Wild is an all-time favorite with gardeners because it blooms in late spring and continues until the winter frost, thus creating a stunning display nearly all year. It gives off a light, apple-like scent and is very disease resistant. The Nearly Wild works great as a low hedge plant because of its relative low growth and spreading nature. And, with its large pink blooms, the Nearly Wild makes an excellent specimen plant.
photo of Hybrid Tea Rose “Dream Come True” by Drew Avery / CreativeCommons