First prize rose

grambuJanuary 11, 2014

I have recently purchased and planted a "First Prize " rosebush without looking up information on it. I now see it is mildew prone--which is nothing I want in my small garden. Question has anyone grown it without problems. Should I just replace it with another pink floribunda? Do you have any favorites? Next time I will read before just looking at the pretty picture! Judith

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Really need to know about where you live. Some area's of the U.S. are more prone to mildew then others. Haven't grown it up here in Ga., but dealt with it in S.E.Fl. It never had any mildew problems down there. First Prize is a Hybrid Tea. There are a ton of pink floribunda's out there that are pretty much disease free. It all depends on what you want.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 1:15PM
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dan_keil_cr Keil(Illinois z5)

I don't see it on my plant. I've had it 20 years.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 4:38PM
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Powdery mildew is rampant in coastal California but not anywhere else I've been. I had First Prize - which BTW is a terrible rose although its' occasional blooms have perfect HT form - in CT and never saw a speck of PM on it. In z6b CT First Prize didn't bloom well, had trouble opening and was weak. Here in CA who knows but I would avoid it on general principles.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 8:55PM
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It can have massive, beautifully formed flowers on occasion. It got its name, First Prize, as it was pretty much an exhibition rose. Each decade has its exhibition queen. The 1970's was First Prize. The climbing sport isn't a great plant, but better than the bush and can have even more massive, exhibition quality flowers than the bush. It's quite prickly, very prone to mildew (as are many of its offspring), liable to rust where that's an issue and known to black spot fairly easily when grown where the strains it has no resistance to proliferate. But, why shouldn't it be expected to be a fungus magnet? The variety was introduced 44 years ago when spraying regularly was the rule, and J&P, its introducer, frequently released exhibition type blooms on so-so plants. Where it's happy, it can be stunning. Kim

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 9:35PM
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I have tried this beauty several times. It does not do well for me. Mine performs like Henry 's . So pretty.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 9:50PM
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Desertgarden- NW Las Vegas Z9a @ 2300 f


First Prize is a highly recommended rose for my area. It is very lovely and heat tolerant. Ive grown it in two different gardens here, and it was clean, but due to the aridness, there is less disease pressures like black spot and mildew. YMMV.


This post was edited by desertgarden561 on Sat, Jan 11, 14 at 23:47

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 9:55PM
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Same here, Lynn. I've always had it in hot climates & it did well. I don't spray. I've got a potted body bag from last year that I'll put in the ground soon. We're pretty deserty so I don't anticipate much disease problem here.

It has huge, picture perfect "classic" high-centered HT blooms. Not much fragrance but a very pretty bloom with lots of substance.

So, guess it's one that very much depends on your zone, disease pressure & your expectations of how a rose should perform.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 11:36PM
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the_bustopher z6 MO

As others have mentioned, First Prize is a good show rose when the flowers are right. In fact, it was the top show rose in the country for 17 years and was only dethroned by Touch of Class when it got going. I have had reasonably good luck with it in the Midwest, but it is winter-tender and needs extra protection from the cold.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 9:24AM
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I was given this rose as a gift and loved it. We live in southern indiana and it was only a foot or so tall. I planted it in full sun and put my egg shells and coffee grounds on it daily but no special soil or other care. It grew within a couple years to a strong, constant producer of healthy flowers. We moved and I'm currently trying to find a replacement. I did not cover it or do anything special during cold weather. No issues with mildew.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 8:09PM
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