Shocking Blue floribunda in HOT climate

wintercat_gwJuly 25, 2012

I'd greatly appreciate feedback from people in zones 9-10 about this rose:

Does it repeat well in temps in the high 90s and 100+?

Does the colour fade in the heat?

Any other info that's relevant to this rose in high heat will also be most welcome.


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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)


I've read the patent for 'Shocking Blue' and it has the plant characteristics I have found work best in my high temp summer garden. It has thick petal substance and leathery foliage.

Although hybrid teas are dismissed by many who grow roses, I have found that they are the best class of roses that provide the plant characteristics needed for high temp, arid climates. I have no disease in this garden with these roses. It should be noted that not all HTs have the thick petal substance that I think is necessary to keep the blooms from crisping.

I also treat young plants differently than I do roses that have matured as they are more susceptible to any kind of stress. (I've put a link below explaining transpiration rates. My post to the thread was dated July 23.)

I also break most of the standard rules for pruning because they are directed for higher bloom production. I want denser foliage so if a shoot produces clean foliage, I leave it even when it is thin. I have found that once I adopted this practice, most of my roses do not go dormant when the temps hover around 100 degrees. The denser foliage provides shade within the plant and for the plant base.

Since I live in the mountains, my night temps drop sufficiently for the plant to rehydrate itself. Adding more water to the root zone doesn't help that process. If your temps do not cool at night, you may have to experiment.

For most roses, the blooms are smaller in high heat because the plant is using its resources to stay alive rather than to bloom.

As for fading, it depends on the rose. I haven't grown 'Shocking Blue', so I can't pass along any information.


Here is a link that might be useful: Transpiration

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 4:50AM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

I can't advise the OP about heat, but for those in mild, damp climates, this rose gets petal blight after a rain and the flowers turn brown.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 9:36AM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)


I would expect more diseases in milder climates. Those climates are both kinder to diseases and roses.

I wouldn't even begin to know how to grow roses in your climate or what roses would work.

I have had a few bs mongsters that totally defoliated in spring, but the roses that managed to refoliate before the heat hit had no problems with bs or any other disease. Those roses that did not refoliate in time are gone ... the heat killed them for me.

As for other diseases, the heat has kept them under control, except for canker. Canker and rose curculios are my biggest problems in this garden.


My rose life started in "Rose Heaven" ...SOCAL ... and I had a very, very steep learning curve to find what works in this climate. I couldn't find anything in books or online to help me, so a lot of it was trial and error.

Of course, your post about soils and nitrogen really, really helped me move forward.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 11:35AM
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Lyn, many thanks for two extremely useful posts. I've printed them so as to be able to refer to them after I plant this rose next January.

Michael, there's not a drop of rain here all summer long. I'd gladly forgo not only Shocking Blue but all of my roses for summer rain.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 7:06AM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)


We don't get summer rain either. Well, normally. This year we have had two days of rain during our "dry season"... Weird weather year.

With no summer rain and poor soil, I've had to let the roses teach me what they need to thrive. I am always experimenting to find what works here, because I have not been able to find a source of information that seems to focus on growing roses in my kind of climate.

One of my wonderful surprises, and don't ask me why I am surprised, is that I have found that as the roses mature they can handle almost any stress better than the younger roses. In glacier slurry, they reach that kind of maturity about a year later than roses grown in milder climates and better soil.

Patience is as important in this garden as water.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 5:54PM
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Update - and not a cheerful one, but if it benefits anyone in future - at least my mistakes will not have been in vain.

I planted 4 bare roots in January. It's an amazingly vigorous plant. By April they had dozens of buds, but the leaves were almost disfigured with blackspot. Apparently there's no need for summer rain. The humidity level here does the job just as well:

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 6:43AM
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Continued (I upload photos with the Browse Button and whenever I tamper further with the message - the photo disappears).

The 4 bare roots were grafted - probably on rosa Indica (nursery doesn't divulge this secret for some reason).

The colour of the blooms was such a sickly mauve I couldn't stand it anymore, plus the petal blight made it worse. a week or so after the blooms started opening en masse, the plants lost most of their leaves. At this point I chopped all the blooms and hoped the plants will refoliate by was of giving them a second chance. I was really looking forward to this rose.

Last Friday I SPed all four because the new leaves were showing signs of disease before reaching 2 cm length even. As i said, it's an amazingly vigorous plant and it refoliates pretty quickly but apparently it just can't take the humidity.

Lynn - many thanks for your help. I thought you might like an update. BTW, on HMF it says this is an almost thornless rose. All 4 of mine were armed to the teeth.

Michael - thanks for your warning. You were absolutely right. I join you in warning anyone living in humid enough areas - SB really doesn't like it.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 6:52AM
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One more important point - The blackspot & petal blight were DESPITE regular spraying. I grew up in a farm and and used to food plants being sprayed, so i think nothing of spraying ornamentals. I've seen a lot of soul searching about spraying here and on the OGR forum, but I don't have such compunctions.

My iceberg, for instance, is regularly sprayed Spring and Fall, plus less regular spraying in high summer. it's leaves aren't always a sight for sore eyes, but it doesn't defoliate and the blooms are snow white without petal blight.

SB was sprayed once a week, plus towards the end I also gave it a fungicide called Bavistin mixed with the irrigation water. Didn't help any.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 7:05AM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)

Thanks for the follow-up.

I have found that some of my roses will get bs with a wet/damp spring and lose their foliage, too. However, if they refoliate before the summer heat hits, I usually do not have any disease problems later in the season, since we do not get high humidity or summer rains in my climate. Of course, if they don't refoliate to survive my high summer temps, that rose is the wrong rose for my garden.

HMF is a database that compiles information about roses from several different sources into one rose page. Plant characteristics shown on the rose pages on HMF come from a written publication, a REFERENCE or from the plant patent, if available. In this case, the patent states that the plant has few thorns. Sometimes, HMF will add a plant characteristic provided by a site user.

I am sorry you were disappointed with your roses.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 7:31PM
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Lyn, I'm attaching another photo. With a magnifying glass you can see the thorns on the bare part of the stem - not the stem that's next to my hand, but the thinner stem that's above the shade. It starts slightly right to the centre of the photo, and runs to the left almost horizontally above the centre of the photo.

Not only isn't SB "thornless (or almost)" as HMF says - it's pretty thorny. Did it bite me when I killed it! Well, so would I if someone tried to kill me, so I richly deserved it.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 7:15AM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)

I believe you about the rose having thorns. That happens a lot in the rose world. There are a lot of variables that can impact this plant characteristic.

In my own experience, when I was pruning at the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, I worked on one rose that was heavily "armed with thorns" on one side of the cane and completely thornless on the other side of the cane. In my own garden, I have found that often as a cane ages, it often has more thorns, but that's not consistent.

I personally don't have enough botanical knowledge to even guess at all of the variables that could influence plants once deemed thornless to being found to have lots and lots of thorns.

My suggestion is that you post a comment to the HMF site about your experience and I will add a NOTE to the rose page. Without any other REFERENCE or COMMENT, I can't just add something from another forum.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 3:31AM
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I went through the registration process TWICE and I keep getting stuck at the "pending email confirmation" stage.

Could that be because I'm not a real human? How come HMF knows I'm a cat trying to pass itself as a real human?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 6:55AM
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I had shocking blue for one growing season. I ended up giving it away just can't stand to look at it. It was a BS magnet and no matter what I did, it just worst. Don't get me started the blooms. Good riddance!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 4:48PM
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