Evergreen roses, possible?

toffee1August 4, 2010

I was surprised to read about semi-evergreen roses on the following article. Are there such things as evergreen roses?


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jerijen(Zone 10)

Tea Roses, China Roses, To a great extent Noisette Roses.

These Asian-descended roses are superior for mild-climate gardens (such as Southern CA, or other marine-dominated west-coast climates) where their lack of winter dormancy is a great advantage.
Their only period of semi-dormancy comes in very hot, dry weather, particularly in drought conditions, where water may be scarce.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 12:00AM
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chuck_billie(7/8 PNW)

I have some that never go dormant here in the balmy PNW.
That said they don't flower during the chillier months either.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 1:06AM
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The tea & china roses were bred from wild roses native to the Asian semi-tropics. Since they come from a climate with minimal or no winter they grow continually as long as the weather is suitable for it. (That's also why they don't usually grow well in climates with serious winters.)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 1:38AM
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For awhile I was interested in the sempervirens hybrids hybrids because of this. I went so far as to order Adelaide d'Orleans from Sequoia before they closed- but was sent Adelaide Hoodless instead. That was my last opportunity.
R. laevigata hybrids would be interesting to explore for this characteristic as well.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 5:02PM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

Hmmm -- I think that most modern roses would be considered evergreen (i.e. non-deciduous). That is a totally different thing than ever-blooming. I have only a few roses that naturally lose all their leaves spontaneously once per year, and they are some of the species roses, or their closely related hybrids. Specifically, the rugosas naturally lose their leaves for me, as do the spinosissimas and also a rambler or two. That thing we all do in about February, called pruning, is not the same thing as the rose losing its leaves spontaneously by itself.

So I think the answer to your question is that almost all roses are evergreen in warm climates.

Of course if you are talking about roses that keep their leaves after the first hard ice storm in a cold climate, the answer would be different. None do that.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 6:27PM
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The two tea roses we had last fall--General Schablikine and Mrs. Dudley Cross-- wintered over here with all their leaves in our extraordinarily cold winter last winter. We had many days in a row of sustained very low temperatures, with about six weeks of really cold weather. The lowest official low was 9 degrees F, but there were many, many nights in the low to mid-teens here.

Neither of those two tea rose varieties, newly planted last fall, lost any leaves over the unusually cold winter here. They had a normal amount of mulch applied and that's all they had to help them through the winter (other than plenty of rainfall). New (2-gallon ownroot) plants that they were, I remember thinking we probably ought to go out and protect them with some extra leaves or spray them with some Wilt Pruf to protect them from dehydrating winds, but I didn't get around to doing any of that and they made it through the winter just fine. But note that the winter here last year wasn't awful in terms of extraordinarily late very, very cold snaps; it was awfully cold--but it was consistently cold--during the winter. And I think I have figured that those roses were located in a microclimate that might be a bit warmer than the official lows. Still, it was an extraordinarily cold winter here, wherever you were standing in our yard.

It didn't take long before General Schablikine was blooming again in late March/early April. It apparently performs pretty well in early winter if it's a mature plant; someone in Italy posted a picture on another forum showing their General Schablikine blooming in early January there with frost on its petals! That poster said that her General Schablikine is always evergreen too. I looked up her location and discovered that their winters are usually a bit colder than ours are. She said that she'd seen that other Nabonnard teas are generally evergreen there too. So I think that any of the teas bred by Nabonnard would be a good bet for an evergreen quality, even in places where the majority of roses cannot be counted on to be evergreen.

We lost our teas to Rose Rosette Disease this spring. But for many reasons, including their evergreen quality, I want to replace them with the same varieties. They might not be evergreen in zone 6, but I'd guess they'd be evergreen or nearly so for most people living in zone 7, even in a pretty cold winter.

Best wishes,

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 12:55AM
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I am trying to explore the possibility of replacing my Acacia privacy hedge with some big shrub roses. I need something that grows to about 8' tall and wide and dense. The main thing is the evergreen part, I need the leafs for privacy.

The Acacia is simply too vigorous and require major trimming and cutting 4-5 times a year.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 1:20AM
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reg_pnw7(WA 7, sunset 4)

Roses may not be the right answer for that situation. There are many roses that grow 8ft tall but they don't stand upright very well! they tend to be climbers and ramblers and leaners. And, not good privacy screens, not reliably dense enough.

Find some nice evergreen hedge plant, and train some climbing roses up it. When I lived in your zone I used Italian cypress a lot as privacy screens - very tall very fast, nice and dense, and very narrow, no pruning needed. Check on the California forum for hedge suggestions.

I had a 'Mutabilis' rose when I lived in Redwood City. Very nearly evergreen there, and easily 8ft tall and wide if it has some support, otherwise it leans and sprawls. I saw one at Regans' Nursery in Fremont that was up against a building and 11ft tall. Not as dense as a hedge though.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 10:43AM
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catsrose(VA 6)

May I state the answer more clearly: many, if not most roses are evergreen in zone 7 and higher; few if any are evergreen in zone 5 and lower. Zone 6 depends on the weather of the year.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 4:17PM
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How cold does it get in the coldest part of the winter where you are? In most winters if it doesn't go below 10 degrees F, then you might have about the same luck with evergreen qualities as we have here. Some roses don't retain the bulk of their leaves, and some do. The floribundas partly do and partly don't, depending on variety/location, the Hybrid Musks do retain some but not necessarily most leaves over the winter, the polyanthas mostly do retain leaves, and the teas we have tried do retain all the leaves quite well. I'm expecting good evergreen luck with chinas, but we haven't planted a china yet. We have a Ghislaine de Feligonde but it hasn't wintered over yet. I'm expecting it to be evergreen here based on someone else's comments but don't know that for sure yet.

If your usual winter lows are as high or higher than ours, then here are some roses you might investigate: Mrs. B. R. Cant, Marie Van Houtte, Ghislaine De Feligonde, Old Blush, Lady Hillingdon, Mons. Tillier, Blush Noisette, Sally Holmes (apparently can get by without support if you have the nerve to let it do its thing), and Fortuniana (if pruned back some to get it more compact). I tried not to mention any that I happen to know might well give significant problems with much defoliation from disease problems, though any rose might lose a few leaves to disease, and there is plenty that I don't know.

You could find out more definitively about evergreen characteristics in your own climate by asking the rosarians at your local rose society about the particular varieties that interest you. Or perhaps email the Antique Rose Emporium; they sell or have sold in the past all of these varieties listed above.

Best wishes,

Here is a link that might be useful: Mrs. B.R. Cant

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 12:49AM
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Toffee1, I am in zone 9, Sunset zone 15 just like you. I have a Le Vesuve rose (there is still an argument re whether it is a china or a tea) that grows very densely, is commpletly evergreen, is about 8 feet tall and 6 feet deep and over 10 feet wide, and blooms a medium amount all year - into December. It stands up by itself with no outside support whatsoever. During the Spring flush it is completely covered in bloom. Blossoms are double, bi-colored medium to light pink, and lovely. Look it up on HMF.

It is an old plant, but I have another one that I rooted from it that is only a few years old. It is also 8 feet tall, and is growing wider every year - it is about 6 feet in diameter right now, and I prune one side of it to keep it out of the driveway. Left to itself it would be wider.

I never spray either of them, and only fertilize them once a year with time release fertilizer, and water them only a little during our (usually) really hot summers. Sometimes they get a little mildew, but shake it off.

I would highly recommend this rose for your purposes. You might want to plant more than one, depending on the length of the lot line you are trying to protect, but I would not plant them any closer together than 10 feet apart in our climate.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 12:31PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Down here on the Ventura Co. coast, winter is almost non-existent from the point-of-view of chill. We got none.

But every so often, we do get a real winter, with a sustained freeze. We had one 5 or so years ago, and lost some brugmansias and plumerias, and even some roses were burned.
I took particular notice during that whole period of 'White Pearl In Red Dragon's Mouth.' It not only never dropped any foliage -- it pumped out bloom like mad all through the freezing weather.
Now I understand how it has naturalized in the Sierra Foothills. Kwazy Woze. :-) Distinctly "evergreen."


    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 3:49PM
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Hey Jackie,

Are you also in the Bay Area? I am on the peninsula near Moffet field. Based on your description, at 8'tall and 10' wide Le Vesuve is the answer to my problem. Being roses, they are fast growing too, aren't they.

Where did you get them?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 12:39AM
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Oooops, sorry Jackie, you rooted your 2nd Le Vesuve from your old one. The Antique Roses Emporium got them but stated on their webpage Le Vesuve matures to 4-6'? Sounded almost like a different rose.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 1:22AM
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toffee1 - I live in San Rafael. My original Le Vesuve was in my garden when I moved in - it is a family house, and the best we could come up with was that that rose is at least 80 years old, if not more.

I notices on "www.helpmefind" that there are over 10 commercial sources in the US for Le Vesuve.

Mine almost never got pruned, so that may have something to do with its size. Also, lots of times nurseries list sizes of old tea roses that are smaller than they grow in the Bay Area, so I would not worry about that. Sometimes they get the info from English rose books, which list the sizes of almost all roses as much smaller than they grow here.

If you want to see a picture of my old LVS, go to Cass Bernstein's web site "www.rosefog.us", and click on "Grand Ave. Giant". She gave it that study name when she first saw it.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 4:02PM
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Hi Jackie, I read the grand ave Giant article and am fascinated. Would you mind if I send an email to you? GardenWeb will help forward it.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 5:17PM
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toffee1 - I would not mind at all.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 5:31PM
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Campanula UK Z8

well some roses stay sort of evergreen here but it is a bit of a misnomer since, while there are leaves still on the bush, they are not any leaves most people would rejoice at looking at. That is, they usually look battered and sordid and I have started to pick them off every year to give the bush clean stems. I know I am probably stating the obvious but really, nothing is actually 'evergreen' - these plants lose leaves all year round instead of just in the autumn. Anyone (me) trying to work under a holly tree (customers)for example, has good reason to curse evergreens roundly.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 9:19AM
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