A Fragrant Bright Red Hybrid Tea?

Molineux(6b)July 17, 2014

So I'm planning this flower bed for our back yard patio and my husband says he only wants "real" roses. You know what that means - Hybrid Teas. It is my husband's right since the back yard is his to do with whatever he wants (now the front and side yards are M-I-N-E).

Not a problem. I happen to like Hybrid Teas (just not as much as my Antique & English roses). My husband has a preference for bright colors (orange being his favorite), so the design for the back yard is an explosion of oranges, yellows and reds with shocks of purples and blues scattered about for interest.

The construction of the patio is almost finished. It is sunken down, round in shape with a crescent shaped retaining wall (my cottage is located in a hollow). Along the retaining wall is where the flower bed is located and will get full Southern exposure. The plants go in it next spring.

I have chosen DOUBLE DELIGHT to be the star of this bed. Three of them to be precise, inter-planted in a mixed border with peppers & Roma tomatoes, and fronted by lavender & May Night salvia.

B-U-T there is room for two more roses and Husband wants red roses. BRIGHT, fire engine red roses.

( Sound of car coming to a screeching halt )

I have a rule. I only grow roses that possess strongly perfumed blossoms. Yeah, I know. Ain't no such thing as a strongly fragrant bright red rose.

Red Hybrid Teas fall into one of two categories:

1) Bright red cultivars with little-to-no fragrance (Igrid Bergman, Olympiad, Opening Night, Veteran's Honor) .
2) Sinfully fragrant, velvety dark red cultivars that turn shades of burgundy & purple (Chrysler Imperial, Crimson Glory,.Mister Lincoln, Oklahoma, Papa Meidland).

Well there is FRAGRANT CLOUD, but it isn't a true red (more like an orange-red flushed with this weird violet tertiary tone; fantastic fragrance though).

So I've decided on VETERAN'S HONOR. It is true red, has killer form, and good vigor provided the gardener is willing to spray for black spot. Among the bright reds it offers up the most fragrance: a light-to-medium fruity scent. It just bugs me that I have to break my garden rule.

Why can't hybridizers come up with a bright red FRAGRANT Hybrid Tea?

Image of Veteran's Honor by Seil-z6b-MI at What is the Best TRUE red rose??

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Double Delight is soooo beautiful, Molineux. I just planted one and it is blooming is heart out. Gorgeous, fragrant, blooms that look hand painted. You picked a beautiful one to be the star of your patio area. I love mine!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 6:54PM
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jasminerose4u, California(9b)

Have you seen Firefighter? It might not have as beautiful of a form as Veteran's Honor, but it is VERY fragrant. Funny, my daughter also asked for a "real" red rose. She meant Hybrid tea and fragrant. Firefighter meets her definition.

I can't detect much of a scent with Veteran's Honor, but that could be because my zone is very dry and hot. It is a very nice rose too.

This post was edited by jasminerose4u on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 19:04

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:34PM
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jasminerose4u, California(9b)

Here is a link to information about Firefighter hybrid tea. The rose was named for the Firefighters who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

I'm told this rose takes awhile to get established and then takes off in its third year. My rose is in its first year, but I have enjoyed some fragrant blooms. I hope you enjoy whatever rose you choose!

Here is a link that might be useful: Firefighter hybrid tea on HMF

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:42PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Finally I saw 'Francois Rabelais'. This was my chosen red (from pictures) and it was a screaming orange red that shouted across the parking lot. Don't know if it's that color in other climates. Not an HT unfortunately. Meilland.

When I saw and smelled 'Firefighter' I was smitten. Hard to capture the red for a true representation.

Your gardens sound wonderful.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 2:03AM
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Hrose(6 A)

good luck to you your going to need it planting Hybrid teas in zone 6B you will get lots of winter damage almost every year the roses will restart from ground up so don't expect big full rose bush that you see in pictures on internet that are grown in California I speak from experience

I shovel pruned almost all my Hybrid teas this year and planted hardy Canadian shrub roses which are now loaded with blooms

I think shrub roses are better for landscaping better viewed from far and up close much better diseases resistant alot more care free

Hybrid teas are good for taking pictures of up close viewing and unfortunately diseases magnets not winter hardy

I wish I had been givin this advice before I wasted my money and time on Hybrid teas but its hard to avoid them almost every garden center sells mostly Hybrid teas I guess their easier to sell

This post was edited by Hrose on Fri, Jul 18, 14 at 12:17

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 12:03PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

'Alec's Red' is almost fluorescent and has good fragrance. I haven't grown 'Firefighter', but people seem to agree it is more fragrant than VH.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 4:26PM
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Thank you Jasminerose4u and Iris_gal for suggesting FIREFIGHTER. I did seriously consider this rose for the bed but ended up ditching it as an option because of the color reports I've read on a couple of threads here on the Roses Forum. According to a few posters Firefighter's bloom color while very true in hue, lacks the vibrancy found with Ingrid Bergman, Olympiad, Opening Night or Veteran's Honor. I've grown DOUBLE DELIGHT before, and the color is very "hot". For a red rose to hold its own visually in the design the color needs to not only be very pure but also vivid as well.

As for Hybrid Teas in zone 6b. I've been told to try burying the graft beneath the soil line. Grafting is necessary on Dr. Huey as very few HTs grow well on their own roots in our heavy clay soil (although to be honest I'll probably try one own root just to see what happens). The entire lot is also susceptible to black spot. So buying grafted plants, burying them deeply and spraying with fungicides are essential to success. At least that is what I've been told. I had no problem with them back when I lived in zone 7b.

Image of Double Delight by Countrygirl_SC-7 at Hortiplex.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 4:53PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I grow about a dozen or so HTs here in Zone 6 (Kansas). If it helps, I bury the grafts 1-2 inches and I do not add protection in winter, although the neighbor's oak leaves are blown randomly into my back yard and thus probably provide some haphazard protection to some of them.

Yes, the HTs often have to be pruned back to about 1-2 ft high, occasionally (like last winter which was brutal) back even to 2-4 inches. But they always spring back and grow fine, although they will never be TALL. Mine are usualy 3-4 ft tall by the end of summer--actually a nice height since I don't like straining up 6-8 ft high to smell a rose!

(Note: some of my HTs are taller than 3-4 ft.--such as Peter Mayle and Berolina, but I usually deliberately plant the somewhat shorter HTs because I don't want real tall ones.)

I also pick HTs that have some BS resistance, though none of my HTs are outstanding in that respect, but I don't have a lot of BS problems--not even on my Double Delight. Of course, Patrick may have more BS pressures where he lives, so I can't say for sure about that. However, I noticed that Firefighter was listed as saying it has good disease-resistance. Perhaps some of the others do also--I haven't checked them.

Just my two cents on growing HTs in Zone 6. Actually, I usually prefer growing Austins and Kordes roses, plus some hybrid musks and polyanthas and such.

I agree, Patick, DD needs a red bright enough to compete with it. I have mine across the path from a Clements shrub called Braveheart. That full-bodied red works good with DD--though I realize a shrub is not what you are looking for. Colorwise, however, it works fine.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:22PM
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Hrose(6 A)

Kate you mentioned Berolina rose which is one of the roses I shovel pruned it was a black spot magnet in my zone it was the first HT rose to show signs of black spot and the stems completely naked by end of August AND completely dead come spring time lol HT roses are a joke

when I decided to plant roses I imagined have big rose bushes with many blooms and green leaves not diseased ones also not having to start over most yrs from ground up

to each their own I planted hardy shrub roses and am never going back to HTs well I still have two left in the ground and two in planters which I can move into garage so I don't have to worry about cane die back

This post was edited by Hrose on Fri, Jul 18, 14 at 21:40

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:38PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Sorry to hear you had such poor luck with your HTs, Hrose. Obviously, everyone's mileage varies in these matters, doesn't it.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 9:30AM
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Has anyone looked at Grande Amore. I like it. Beautiful true red with a nice clean scent and healthy deep green foliage. One of the better reds I've grown.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:34AM
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Hrose(6 A)

sure does Kate...sure does

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 1:53PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Ken, I have admired that rose on Palatine's web page many times--it's on my reserve list in case I ever need another red non-shrub rose. Glad to hear you recommend it. It looks gorgeous to me.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 4:02PM
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Hrose(6 A)

another point I want to make a rose that has to be cut back every year wont reward you with nearly as many blooms then one that's fully grown and doesn't need cutting back

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:13PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Sorry to hear about your HT roses HRose. I remember all your questions and how determined you were to have a HT garden. I wondered how that went in your zone.

Gardening is so individual. One person might be happy to have a 3 foot tall max plant while another is disappointed that they did not get a 6 foot tall one like the ones they have seen in other gardens. And I am sure there are some roses that will keep all of their green leaves in the snow banks while others loose their leaves and go dormant.

It often seems like what we really want is what some one in different conditions has.....boy do I want those lush green gardens I see, guess I will have to be happy with the green in a drought I do have.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 7:44PM
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jasminerose4u, California(9b)

I went to Otto and Son's Nursery today in Filmore, CA and checked out their red roses. There was a heatwave lately of 100+ degrees Fahrenheit, so most of the roses were looking faded. It was a good test to see which roses were looking there best. Double Delight was faded pink and white, but still pretty. Firefighter was a close distance away and was also a faded-pink, but not as pretty. I was disappointed, because I didn't think it matched very well with Saint Patrick, a greenish-yellow rose I planned on having as its companion. Right now I have Firefighter in a pot in partial shade, because it is so young, but will eventually be placed in full sun. I no longer think Firefighter is heat tolerant in my zone, but I still think it would be a good match with Double Delight in a cooler zone. Even the older blooms were fragrant. The red roses looking the best in heat were today were Grande Amore and Ingrid Bergman. The staff there said Grande Amore starts out dark red and fades to a lighter red, not pink. Ingrid Bergman was very nice and they were showcasing it at the front of the nursery. But unfortunately, there was no fragrance that I could detect.

This post was edited by jasminerose4u on Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 3:32

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 7:47PM
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Hrose(6 A)

kippy the hippy really you remembered those posts that was years ago...wow

I don't know of any roses that keep their leaves in snow banks I was talking about HTs losing their leaves during summer due to black spot

anyway back to topic here is a HT the original poster might be interested in

Always and forever I've posted lots of pictures so far

I guess you could say its "BRIGHT fire engine red rose" also very velvet tho the fragrance is light

This post was edited by Hrose on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 20:38

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 8:36PM
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the_morden_man((Z4-Z5) Ontario, Canada)

Patrick, I don't have a rose recommendation for you as both of the reds I would suggest, Grand Amore and Bishop Desmund Tutu, are not fragrant roses.

However, I do have a recommendation on understock. If your soil is heavy clay which I assume is somewhat acidic as well and you are now also in a colder zone, then my recommendation is to avoid Dr. Huey understock altogether and get your roses grafted on multiflora instead.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 9:41AM
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seil zone 6b MI

Thank you for the compliment of using my pic, molineux!

I agree they need a good fragrant one. I had the grandiflora, Crimson Bouquet, and while it bloomed heavily for me even that one didn't have the fragrance it's name would suggest.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:14PM
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Kes Z 7a E Tn

I know I'm coming late to this and it might not be helpful now, but what about dame de coeur? I don't grow this one but my mother does and it's one of her favorites. She lives in middle Tennessee, so z 6b/7a. Not only is it fragrant and attractive, it is also tough, adaptable and reasonably disease resistant. If it does well for my mother it ought to do well for almost anyone who is able to grow HT's.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:26PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

I have heard the 'acidic clay soil means no Dr. Huey' but I can attest that the Dr. Does quite well here in our red acidic clay. Too well, in fact.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 3:08PM
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the_morden_man((Z4-Z5) Ontario, Canada)


Huey will do well enough in acidic clay, but my real concern is that it is not very suitable to colder climates. It will typically decline rapidly or die off altogether in 3 years up here. I can't really say how Huey performs in US zone 6b long term as I have no experience in such a scenario, but I do know that multiflora will not have any cold related issues and would probably be better suited overall when you add acidic clay into the mix.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 9:06PM
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