When it comes to tough roses, “tried and true” it can’t get better than “brand-spanking new.” This year’s EarthKind Rose of the Year is a case in point.
“Perle d’Or,” a polyantha rose which was first introduced in 1894, recently got the nod as the 2007 “EarthKind Rose of the Year” by Texas Cooperative Extension’s EarthKind team.
Dr. Steve George, Extension horticulturist at Dallas, said the honor created by Extension horticulturists recognizes the best performers in their EarthKind Rose program.
“The title comes only after years of field research during which roses are grown and evaluated under very tough conditions,” George said. “They aren’t fertilized or pruned. They must survive and thrive with little irrigation, and must never be treated with pesticides.” The result are winners that are so easy to grow that anyone, even a novice, can enjoy great success with these outstanding cultivars.
“Perle d’Or, this year’s winner, is a peach-colored, very double, repeat blooming rose,” he said. “It is also very fragrant. It usually attains a manageable size of about 4 feet wide and tall. Its winter hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture cold hardiness zones 6-9. Its only limitation is that it usually doesn’t do well in areas with high saline (salty) irrigation water. ”
The rose is very healthy and produces flushes of blooms from spring through fall, right through summer’s heat, George said.
Like all EarthKind roses, Perle d’Or does best in a location with at least eight hours of direct sun daily and good air flow over its foliage, George said. It is very heat- and drought-tolerant once established.
“Of all the old garden roses that we have tested, Perle d’Or is one of my most favorite,” he said. “We recommend planting this wonderful old rose throughout Texas.
“Perle d’Or makes a medium-size, very full, very handsome landscape shrub. Its growth habit and shape are very attractive even with no pruning. Plant it in groups of three or five in the middle of a bed or border to create a strong design element.”
All the EarthKind roses are true winners because they return so much for so little care, George said.
Two new additions to the list of EarthKind roses for 2007 are: Ducher, an 1869 pure white China rose, and Georgetown Tea, a repeat blooming pink blend rose, he said. Both cultivars are recommended for USDA cold hardiness zones 7-9.
The EarthKind Environmental Landscape Management System was created by Extension to help provide beautiful landscapes with minimal maintenance and maximum environmental safeguards, George said. The entire list is available on the Web at: http://earthkindroses.tamu.edu
David Rodriguez is County Extension Agent-Horticulture, Bexar County. For more information, call the Master Gardener ‘Hotline’ at (210) 467-6575 or visit our County Extension website at http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu, click under Horticulture and Gardening.