Papa Meilland

schifferle(5b NE Kansas)May 14, 2010

What can anyone tell me about growing this HT rose? My husband and I had the chance to smell this rose and we could not believe the strong heavenly scent from it. It was growing in zone 5b, but is a zone 6b rose. I normally like to grow own-root, minimal care roses. Is this one worth the trouble? I can't get over how wonderful it smells. I planted a couple Marchesa Boccella this spring, in part because it is supposed to have a strong fragrance, but my husband loves red roses. Any other alternatives to Papa Meilland possibly?

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john_ca(CA US9/SSZ14)

I have grown this wonderful rose 2 houses ago. It was selected from a population generated from a cross between Charles Mallerin and Chrysler Imperial by Alain Meilland in 1963. Two other breeders made exactly the same cross which led to the development of 2 other excellent roses, Mr. Lincoln and Oklahoma. I grew all 3 of these roses and they all shared the same rich fragrance (probably from Chrysler Imperial). This rose is on a very short list of hybrid tea roses selected by the World Federation of Rose Societies and has also won prizes in international competition in several countries. If you are not able to find Papa Meilland, you may want to try the more widely available Mr. Lincoln and/or Oklahoma. Each of these 3 roses is different-PM has a nicer, bushier plant and ML would grow to a very tall 8 ft with very long (4 foot stems). Oklahoma has very dark red flowers. Unfortunately, it appears that genes for strong fragrance may be linked to genes for disease susceptibility. Some of the less fragrant roses seem to have better disease resistance.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 7:33PM
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Any place with hard frost and real winter will struggle with Papa Meilland. It's very fragrant, worth trying, but I would not expect it to live long in zone 5 as a minimal care rose, ownroot or grafted. Grafted would be an advantage in colder climates. Here Crimson Glory (Kordes 1935) is considerd a good substiute, hardier and easier to grow. Etoile de Hollande, and a few others have this fragrance.

Some of the old hybrid perpetuals have this fantastic fragrance too; Souvenir du Dr Jamain, Charles Lefebvre, General Jacqueminot, Empereur du Maroc among them. Except for the emperor they are very winter hardy.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 12:38AM
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No other red rose smells like Papa Meilland. No question that this rose is my absolute favorite red. But one should have 3 or more PM because this rose is not that productive. Several people asked me cuttings and I just cannot fulfill the requests because I never have enough blooms. It is true though that one bloom can perfume a room and if cut at the right time it lasts long enough but this year I cut one too early and it didn't open and today I noticed a second one that was already half gone. I never had a half dozen Papa Meilland in my house:-(. Other roses already started they second flush with many, many blooms. Still, it is worth having it and if I had more real estate I would have minimum 3 Papa M.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 2:37AM
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schifferle(5b NE Kansas)

Taoseeker, I don't know how much care the Papa Meilland I saw is being given, but it is growing in zone 5b & looks fine. Maybe it is in a micro-climate where it is warm enough. I can grow lavender cotton (zone 6) in my herb garden & I think it's perhaps the same situation for that rose. Further North, own root, not grafted, generally do better. To me they're hardier and if it should die down to the ground, the same rose is going to grow back.

I'll look into all of your alternate suggestions. Thanks! I can hardly wait to smell my newly planted Marchesa Boccellas' pink blooms though to see how they compare.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 10:47AM
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wiseoldgus(almost z6 KC)

I grow a grafted Papa Meilland on the Kansas side of the Kansas City Metro area. It's against the south side of a shed so its protected from the winter winds. Winter protection is a thick layer of leaves. There is considerable winter die-back, but the plant recovers well.

I found own-root roses don't have the same vigor as grafted plants in bouncing back from the winter kill--especially over the course of several years. I have two own-root Red Masterpiece roses next to the Papa Meilland and they are considerably weaker. Of course, the grafted plants in our area need to have the graft knob placed several inches below ground level. Otherwise the repeated freeze-thaw cycles may separate the graft from the rootstock.

You will need to spray Papa against blackspot and water during our summers, but I don't pamper it by any means.

Get the rose and enjoy it. The scent is incredible.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 8:40PM
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artemis_mo(z5b MO)

I am also in the KC area and my PM barely made it through the ridiculous winter cycles of snow /65 degrees /ice storm. Seems the winter repeated this scenario several times. I will likely add another. Can't live without that fragrance.
If you want an own root PM, check with Roses Unlimited.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 10:55PM
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the_bustopher z6 MO

I have Papa Meilland and Oklahoma. Both are very fragrant, dark red varieties that deserve a place in the garden. Winter here and especially early spring can be a wild roller coaster ride, and the plants do need some protection.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 12:22AM
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I have grown Papa Meilland and Deep Secret for over 5 years. They are almost identical in color and smell, and both are my favorites. Oklahoma has more purple hue and smells different. I left my home and garden for 3 years and when returned back last summer, both roses were blooming. Deep Secret is more robust and gives many more flowers than Papa, but both are awesome.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 2:59AM
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Hi again schifferle

Marchesa Boccella does very well ownroot. It will be interesting to see how Papa Meilland will do ownroot in your garden. I would almost suggest getting one grafted too for comparison. Climates make roses behave very differentlym and ownroot might be the best option in some areas. Sometimes I feel it's a mistake to rate either ownroot or grafted as better than the other. In my experience it does all depend on the variety, location, and even rootstock used. I happily grow roses ownroot, any hybrid tea included, but I need a bit of luck doing that in my climate :-)

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 5:38AM
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Ceterum's comment about Papa Meilland being a stingy bloomer is absolutely correct in my experience. Perhaps that's due to the heat in my zone 8 garden. IMHO, PM's seed parent, the fragrant and more prolific 'Chrysler Imperial', is the superior rose. It's my best fragrant red by far.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 10:39PM
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Fragrance truly is to die for! I wrote about Papa Meilland in this article:

Here is a link that might be useful: Papa Meilland

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 9:21AM
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schifferle(5b NE Kansas)

"'s a mistake to rate either ownroot or grafted as better than the other. In my experience it does all depend on the variety, location, and even rootstock used." That's true although it happens to be my experience in my yard anyway that own-root do great. As a generalization, it is said that own-root tend to do better up north and when there's winter kill down to the ground (something I've never experienced with the roses I have), the variety of rose you planted is what is going to grow back. I had a grafted rose in my yard which was put in by the former owner. As much as I tried, I couldn't stop the root stock from putting up shoots. Later, it also developed Rose Rosette Disease and got shovel pruned. Now I only have own-root in my yard.

If PM needs a lot of spraying, I'm probably going to have to look into the other suggestions. BS & mildew rear their ugly heads too much around here. I want to spray as little as possible. If only it didn't smell so wonderful, it would be an easy decision!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 1:11PM
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mike_in_new_orleans(9a/ coastal LA)

Shifferle, please excuse the belated response, but I just saw this thread while looking for references to Red Masterpiece, a rose I just ordered today own-root from Heirloom. My climate is completely different from yours, but here's my 2 cents' worth anyway.
I have Papa M on its own roots. Mine is lanky, kind of tall, not at all a landscape bush, and the blooms blow very quickly on the bush. Also not the most prolific (mine is just 2 years old) but not horribly stingy either. Produces in flushes every 5-6 weeks, but just a couple or few at a time. If I manage to notice and cut the buds at just the right stage, they will complete the bloom cycle in a vase, and as cut flowers they are terrific! Mine have lasted a week and a half in my climate-controlled office. They start out rich deep red but transform into intense deep purple--not the ugly bluish faded red but dark purple. The scent lasts nearly the entire life of the cut flower. Beautiful form, too!
BUT...seeing as you are concerned with spraying--which this one needs, I'll second the above comment about Deep Secret. This rose has considerably smaller blooms, and they don't last quite as long for me cut. But the fragrance is equally fantastic, and the bush is far hardier than Papa M. (a lot thornier too, but nobody's perfect, lol). The color is wonderful intense red in the center with black shadings on outer petals. The centers are not pinpoint exhibition, but the half-open blooms look wonderful. I'm about to replace Deep Secret with that Red Masterpiece I mentioned, because the heat here is too much for the plant--it looks dried out much of the time compared to the other roses; might be a bit susceptible to chemical burn, too, and I spray! But in your climate it should do great--at least give you quality spring and fall blooms and make it through the winter well. I've never seen disease on mine. Best wishes, whatever you choose.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 2:00AM
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