Low Maintance Roses for the Southeastern US

Most gardeners and landscapers are reluctant to promote or plant roses because of the care roses generally require. However, this is not always the case. There are roses which are easy to grow and do not require spraying. Of course, as with most plants and shrubs, you should prune, fertilize and mulch roses. Our rose society undertook the planting of Earth-Kind® roses at Bogan Park where we hold our annual Rose Day and Rose Shows. We planted Earth-Kind roses which were introduced to our society by Bobbie Reed, a Master Rosarians, about ten years ago. Bobbie is from Texas and "visits" Chamblee Rose Nursery in Tyler, Texas, who also promotes and sells Earth-Kind roses. Since then Karen Radde, a Master Rosarian, has presented at least two talks on Earth-Kind® roses at Rose Day. Karen also consulted at The University of Georgia Botanical Garden and selected several roses including Earth-Kind for their garden. Below are links to articles and websites on roses which the average gardener can grow. There are three efforts which are cited below - Earth-Kind roses, which are the most well-known in the US, University of Tennessee Extension, which tests new introductions for the Southeastern US, and ADR which is based in Germany. Roses Unlimited in South Carolina includes ADR roses.

Earth-Kind Roses

Texas A & M undertook the project of finding roses which would grow almost everywhere in the county, but they must satisfy other requirements - They must be repeat bloomers and they must require little care including no spraying, they must grow in various soil conditions and different climates. Roses were not restricted to new roses; any rose providing it met their requirements could be designated as Earth-Kind®. Roses are grown in many areas of the US to determine roses which are disease resistant, are repeat bloomers and require minimal care. Below are links with a short description of each.

Description of the testing and the results including a summary of the Earth-Kind roses by Gaye Hammond of the Houston Rose Society
Article by Bobbie Reed discussing Earth-Kind roses originaglly authored around 2005 last updated in 2009.
Texas A & M Earth-Kind website

Low Maintance Roses for the Southeastern US

The University of Tennessee Extension has also conducted and is conducting tests to determine roses which are disease resistant in the Southeastern US. These roses are recent introductions and are often available at nurseries.

UT webpage summarizing the results

Allgemeine Deutsche Rosenneuheitenprufung, ADR, Roses

Lastly, there is the ADR award for outstanding roses in Germany. Roses may receive an ADR designation if the rose passes the tests. Pest and disease resistance is one of the main criteria. From BKN STROBEL "This mark stands for new breeding performances of healthy roses."

"Today the ADR is a working group that consists of representatives from the German nurseries association (BdB), rose breeders and independent trial gardens. This performance testing for roses is considered to be the most difficult in the world. In eleven trial gardens, all over Germany, the roses are tested without pesticides for more than three years."

"Ongoing tests in the different categories such as resistance to fungal diseases (e.g. black spot and powdery mildew), the ornamental value and hardiness lead to an overall assessment. Only roses that have been convincing regarding their resistance to diseases and flowering characteristics are honored with the ADR predicate, however not for eternity. Even after receiving the award, the varieties must prove themselves again and again, otherwise the predicate is denied." BKN STROBEL

Both Roses Unlimited and Regan Nursery sell ADR roses and there are undoubtably other nurseries as well. Testing is similar to that for Earth-Kind roses except there is probably not the variation in climate and we do not know about variations in soil conditions.

http://www.adr-rose.de/html_english/index.htm Performance Testing of New Rose Varieties in Germany