Never Crimson only Cerise *whine*

poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)August 7, 2014

Can I just complain here because I know you all are the only ones who can relate?
I have bought so many "crimson" roses that are only cerise. I'm so sad. I just want some crimson roses that are truly crimson.
Here are the crimson IMPOSTERS:
Maggie, Darcey Bussell, Munstead Wood, Dark Lady�

Here are my true crimsons:
Oklahoma, Francis Dubreuil (Barcelona), Nigrette, Ascot was close enough for me�
I'm going to have to get another Mister Lincoln�
Anyone have crimson roses that are REALLY crimson and do well for you?

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seil zone 6b MI

Color, like scent, is in the eye (or nose) of the beholder. It's a personal thing. Besides that color can be affected a lot by conditions too. So it's a tough call. I really liked my Crimson Bouquet. To me it was very crimson and it was a good bloomer as well.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 7:45PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Braveheart is a good modern shrub rose--stays red, beautifully red.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 7:51PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Take as an example Ingrid's disappointment with The Dark Lady. In her desert conditions, it's bright red. In my coastal climate, most of the time, it really IS a deep red. Prospero is a beautiful deep red here most of the time -- I cannot successfully photograph it.

But the truth is, as Seil says, color is greatly influenced by location. You'd perhaps have better luck by checking gardens in your area.

The Hermitage has a pretty decent garden of Old Roses, you might take a day trip there, to see what's blooming for them.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 8:46PM
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Susan, when you observed the cerise blooms, was the foliage the right color? Often, when the plants experience chlorosis, the flower color is way off, too. I've had MORE than my share of crimson, burgundy and violet roses which were cerise to pastel pink, all the way to white, often with lighter, more yellow foliage. I HAD to have Chianti. The photos were incredibly seductive, yet when I finally obtained it, I could NOT get anything deeper than cerise from it. The light intensity and heat were too great in that garden for anything deeper. With quite a few, though, by increasing the iron and nitrogen, basically acidifying the soil and moving them to shadier situations, I could get the expected colors. No guaranty those are your issues, but hopefully, they'll give you some direction in which to look. It's a shame to spend the money on the blamed roses only to find out they won't do what you hoped.

Perhaps the offenders might provide close to the expected colors in spring and fall? Hopefully, they will. Kim

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 1:30AM
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cecily(7 VA)

Wait until October -- you may be pleasantly surprised.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:28AM
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poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)

Ok y'all. Thanks for the tips. As for color in the eye of the beholder, I do agree with that, but the color photos on the Austins show crimson and my roses are cerise. The foliage looks really good Kim. I just got them at S&W for $10 each and they have been well fertilized etc. Foliage is gorgeousâ¦
So if I want to increase the iron/nitrogen and acidify the soil (without having the knowledge of a chemist like some folks here have) is there a way to do it without killing my rose? Maybe I'll experiment with one I don't really care for?
I remember this discussion about Reine de Violettes. Mine is ceriseâ¦I purchased some soil acidifier with iron to use on my chlorotic roses as I couldn't find chelated iron. But I've been too afraid I will damage my rosesâ¦although some of them are super chlorotic.
I still don't know why I am afraid to "experiment" and "fail". You'd think I would've lightened up by nowâ¦.
I guess I will just start monkeying around. And maybe cooler temps will help.
I was particularly disappointed in Maggie as it is the same color as my beloved Parade. Matter of fact, all the impostors are the color of Paradeâ¦.which I like but it's too much!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 11:10AM
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Crimson Glory. Here is a pic. Also, it is incredibly fragrant.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 11:19AM
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LoveâÂÂs Promise is the only red I grow that comes close to the dusky, velvety black red of my Francis Dubreuil. Mr. Lincoln is definitely a deep red hereâ¦no cerise tones in my garden, but doesnâÂÂt really have that dusky darkness of FD. It is rather blackspot resistant for me considering itâÂÂs an HT. A very good performer in my garden. Rouge Royale is a lovely bright redâ¦can be a bit cerise at times, but usually just a nice rosy red â¦nothing like the cerise color of my Maggie. I do love Maggie, but whoever said she was red either has a different definition of the color than I, or as others have said, climate greatly affects her she's bright cerise in the spring, summer and fall. VeteranâÂÂs Honor is another bright rosy red that never shows any pink for me, but it has no fragrance that I can detect and blackspots badly. ItâÂÂs on my list of roses I think I can live without and may be gone next year. I have two Munstead Woods that were new for me this year. One is in full sun and the other in part shade. The one that gets some shade is almost always a beautiful dusky purple. The one in full sun is a bloom machine...but bright cerise in color when it's hot. If yours doesn't get any relief from the sun, moving it might improve the color.

My nineteen year old daughter has no interest in gardening, but did join me for my evening garden walks when she first came back from school for the summer. She was full of interesting being that "red roses must know they are meant to be cut, because they sure don't stay red for long otherwise". Another was "you have a boatload of pink can call them cerise, fuchsia or whatever...but don't fool yourself, they are all pink and not that much different from one another"

LoveâÂÂs Promise

Mr. Lincoln

Rouge Royale

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 11:54AM
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OK, Susan, you fertilize, right? You already know how to use fertilizers without killing things. The soil acidifier is the same game. The MOST you apply is whatever the label recommends. You can safely use a weaker solution around those roses showing the worst chlorosis. Just water them well to make sure the plants have enough water to handle increases salts (as you do prior to fertilizing), them apply a weaker solution of the acidifier out around the drip zone, away from the crown of the plant. Wait a week, two or three, and notice how the new foliage looks. If it appears to be improving, wonderful! If it seems to need another boost, repeat what you did the first time and give it time to react. As long as you don't do anything extreme, you shouldn't damage or kill anything. You CAN do it! Kim

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 12:15PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

It's mostly sun exposure and temperature. Munstead is usually crimson for me, and a really gorgeous color. Every bloom of Tess that opens outside is cerise, while every one that I cut early and take inside is deep crimson. Something about the current weather has Prospero in the cerise-to-magenta range, whereas it normally opens crimson and turns to mauve.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 5:43PM
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That's what I've seen here in this sun and heat, too, Michael. I wanted the grape tones of Intrigue. I alway received bluish-cerise. The same with most other deep blue-red types. Cardinal Hume and Purple Buttons are the only roses in those colors I could always count on to be THAT color all the time in the Newhall garden. Kim

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 10:46PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

A real red. How about Splendora or Traviata? Also Veterans' Honor or Europeana? Before I stopped spraying, I had a red and white front garden. I did not have luck with Oklahoma or Francis Debreuil. These roses grow tall, and individually make a statement. Dolly Parton also was red.

Once I switched to tea, china, hybrid musk and shrub roses, I felt that many of my modern roses looked like they did not belong.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 1:35PM
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poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)

OK! All of this is great information. Thanks for sharing!
Pat, your daughter's observations are wise indeed. That is why I am looking for some real crimson in a sea of pink. I do have lots of apricots and peaches thoughâ¦love those tones. Also, I have Rouge Royale coming in the Spring.
Michael and Kim, I used the acidifier this weekend! YAY me!
We had some good rain and I just followed the directions. I also put Munstead Wood in a bit more shade. I dosed Reine d. V. and Maggie in the groundâ¦.everything else was in pots.
I have Field of the Woods and Orfeo and Nigrette who also show their deep tonesâ¦they are just not currently in bloomâ¦so I guess I'm just spoiled.
Sammy, I tried Europeana and it mildewed. It was likely location. I liked the rose and may try it again.
Thanks again everyone and thanks Kim for the confidence booster!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 12:16PM
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You're welcome, Susan! Good for you! Easy, wasn't it? The tricks are read the instructions, follow them and don't let it intimidate you. You CAN do it! Congratulations! Kim

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 12:20PM
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Tuscany Superb is reliably very dark red for me in heavy clay soil amended with horse manure. Somewhat filtered sunlight.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 12:37PM
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poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)

Yes, I love Tuscany Superb but she's here and then gone in the heatâ¦any crimson rebloomers Sidos?
Thanks Kim. Ha. What a tiny little milestone. Now we wait for the effectâ¦.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 4:45PM
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I'm not sure I know the difference between cerise and crimson, or plain red really, but going by the roses you list it is the very dark red you are looking for. Is the slight bluish tint some of the older hybrid teas have part of "real crimson"?

The ones that can compare farvorably to Barcelona and Nigrette in my garden is; Souvenir du Dr Jamain, Charles Lefebvre, Empereur du Maroc, Etoille de Hollande, Schwarze Madonna, Black Baccara, and Barcarole (Taboo).

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 5:38PM
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I'm sorry, Susan, I mixed up my rose names. :( It's Francis Dubreuil out in my garden that is blooming a good, dark crimson. And you already said that was one of your good ones.

This spring I experimented on Monsieur Boncenne, which is, under the right conditions, supposed to bloom a deep purple-y hue. Like your imposter crimsons, it always came out a hot pink shade. (Though darker in the autumn.) After reading a thread about Reine des Violettes (, I watered before its major bloom with vinegar water.

It went from this in 2013:

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 7:18PM
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To this in 2014...

Maybe something to try once in a while?? I'm too inexperienced to understand what the effects of frequent applications of 1 tablespoon of vinegar per gallon of water might have. It's, as Nik said in the thread linked above, a short-term solution. Maybe others can offer some sound advice on this method. It worked wonders for me and I feel fairly comfortable watering once or twice this way before the most important bloom in Spring. Maybe it will help deepen your reds.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 7:29PM
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Vinegar is 5% Acetic Acid. Applied properly in appropriate concentrations it can temporarily acidify the soil/water, releasing more nitrogen, iron and other nutrients which may be locked up in insoluble compounds due to alkalinity. Aluminum sulfate and nitrogen can both accomplish similar effects. All of them, if used improperly, can severely burn and out right kill the plant so use with caution. Kim

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 7:40PM
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