Relandscaping - Need help with rose selection in Zone 5 garden

powerflowersApril 29, 2014

I've grappled with a number of knock outs, as well as some very thorny climbers along my garage wall, for the past 10 years. I'm tired of getting bloody pruning them, but they've done so well I haven't had the heart to yank them out. My roses have no scent either (another strike). Last year we relandscaped and I planted perennials and hydrangea. This year I want to start tackling rose replacements, but only with thornless or near thornless varieties. I need help with selections that do well in a Zone 5 garden. Since I have this chance to start over, I really want to make good decisions about my selections because I know I won't do it again. Please, please help!!!

Here are my must have qualifiers (in order of importance):
Zone 5 hardy
Only thornless or near thornless varieties
Continual bloom or excellent rebloom all season long - No one & done bloomers!
Fairly disease resistant (I will feed and deadhead, but won't spray otherwise)

These are my preferences, but are not deal breakers:
Scent (Any scent at all would improve what I have now.)
Apricot/salmon, cerise/pinks/blushes, yellow or purples, maybe red.
Full blooms rather than single petal blooms
Thick foliage, glossy if possible

Here are the locations I want to plant with thornless roses:
1. Climber for 8 ft trellis on chimney wall w/ 6 hours sun mid morning to afternoon. My top choices here would be Abraham Darby, Cornelia, or Golden Showers. AD is listed as thornless (or almost) at HMF, but I've seen photos that look pretty thorny. Would you consider him almost thornless? Others to consider?

2. Climbers for both sides of arbor - must be shade tolerant. (Morning sun and late day sun only). Also, moss likes to grow in this area. Will the soil carry too much moisture for roses? Here I was thinking Zephirine Drouhin or Cornelia.

3. Bushes for a thornless rose hedge 20 ft wide - full sun (10+ hrs) with unshaded western exposure. This will be below windows against a wall of my home so height will need to be maintained at 4 feet or less. My preference here is Heritage but I'm concerned about heat tolerance and rebloom capacity in this very hot spot. Also thought about Reines des Violettes, but have read mixed reports on whether it is a one/done bloomer or a repeat bloomer. Will it rebloom in Z5? Iceberg sounds like it might do well as a hedge too, but I was hoping for a color other than white since I already have a lot of white hydrangea in the yard. Other suggestions for thornless, reblooming hedge roses?

4. I also need a short thornless climber against a patio railing. Gets lots of full sun but only has about a 4Hx4W fence railing to grow on. Suggestions?

5. One large bush to block view of neighbor's unsightly yard. 5-6 hrs sun. Must bloom and grow vigorously and have dense foliage as well as thornless nature. Space to fill is 6-8 ft wide x 6-8 ft tall. Should I give up on a rose bush here and just go with a reblooming lilac? Suggestions?

6. I also have 6 other spots for varied individual thornless bushes which I will maintain at about a 2-3ft x 2-3ft max size. In these locations my main goal is to get thornless continual bloom machines that have great color and scent that will perfume two patio areas. All spots get 5-6 hours of sun at various times in the day. A couple will be planted under tree canopies but still get adequate light. I've been looking at Marie Daly, Valentine, pink Gruss, Lynnie, Golden Celebration (I've seen this listed as thornless. But is it?). Your thoughts on these or others?

Any help you guys can give me would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

For one of those spots, consider Austin's Mortimer Sackler--pink; disease-resistant; nearly thornless; decent re-bloom. I keep topping it off so that it will be a tall shrub, but it is obvious it wants to be a climber, although not a really tall one I don't think. You need to check out some details at the Austin site, but most Austin's are hardy to Zone 5. Can't remember one way or another about fragrance, but the Austin site can tell you. I seem to also remember that Austin lists it under shade-tolerant roses--mine is in mostly sun and performs very well.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 5:14PM
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the_morden_man((Z4-Z5) Ontario, Canada)

Abraham Darby, Cornelia and Golden Showers are not cane hardy in zone 5. They will suffer significant dieback in most winters.

Here are a few choices I can think of off the top of my head:

John Davis- large sprawling shrub that can also be trained as a climber. Will not suffer winter dieback in zone 5.

Therese Bugnet- Large upright vase shaped shrub that is taller than wide. Can easily grow 6-8' in height when mature and 3-4' wide. Has red canes that can add winter interest. Will not suffer winter dieback in zone 5.

Zepherine Drouhin- Bourbon climber that will tolerate shadier locations than most roses. Is very beautiful, but typically a hot mess of blackspot and mildew or both.

John Clare- An Austin rose with next to no prickles. Prolific bloomer, little scent.

Jacques Cartier- Not prickle free, but doesn't have many. Great rose, not grown enough IMO. Good bloomer, good scent, disease resistant and very hardy.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:29AM
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Thanks for your posts!

Kate - I had actually looked at Mortimer Sackler but HMF and several other sources had him listed as Z6b and I'm Z5a so I didn't think he would work here. Sure is a beautiful looking rose though!

Morden Man - Disappointing to hear that about Abraham Darby and Cornelia. Does either grow vigorously enough to climb back up an 8 ft trellis in the course of a season, even with some dieback?

Out of curiosity, is it true Abe Darby is 'nearly thornless' (doesn't look it in photos I've seen, but gosh the blooms are beautiful). Also, I have the same question about Golden Celebration? Lots of thorns or dieback?

Also, do you think John Clare or Jacques Cartier could be used for a rose hedge up against my house (w/ direct western exposure)? Would one thrive better than the other in prolonged direct heat? How do they compare in terms of rebloom? Both of them looked gorgeous in the photos I pulled up. For the thorns on Jacques, would you say he's as thorny as a knockout? (Just trying to get a comparison since I think my knockouts have absolute claws, but I guess someone else could think they are fairly tame depending on the varieties they grow.)

Would Heritage or Reine des Violettes work for a reblooming rose hedge?

Thanks again for the input!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 4:09PM
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