I have a thriving Julia Child rose in a full sun location and would love to pair it with Hot Cocoa. Does anybody have experience growing HC in zone 5b? I'm in southern Ontario, to be more specific.
Yes. It'll grow. Hardiness is good. It is an odd shaped bush though. I'm actually shovel pruning mine next spring for overall blahness. Very vertical shaped bush with odd growth patterns. Generally considered a weird shaped shrub. Maybe I just got an oddball.
Shouldn't be any problem for you. Mine is 10 years old and has never had any problems wintering without any protection.
Ha! Zak, I'm seriously thinking of getting rid of mine for pretty much the same reasons too! And no, you didn't get an oddball. Mine grows out in the most peculiar angular fashion that makes for a really ugly bush.
Thanks for the info! The spot I have designated for it is just behind and to the east of the Julia Child, where it will be against a fence (but with reasonable air flow), so I'm not terribly worried about the shape - there will be iris and salvia at its feet.
As others have said, Hot Cocoa overwinters just fine for me in my zone 5. And just for a difference of opinion, I love Hot Cocoa enough to have two of them in different beds, and I don't notice it being a particularly gangly bush (though like you I have something planted at its feet). Mine seems to branch out reasonably well and it's certainly less odd looking than those one-caned wonders. The relatively reliable russet color makes any of its quirks well worth dealing with.
Mine over wintered fine, but did not do much for me. Now Terra Cotta, at least for me, is a much more desirable rose.
Just looked it up, mgleason... gorgeous colour!
Hot Cocoa over winters very well, the blooms are wonderful- one of my best roses. Tip pruning keeps her tidy. Would'nt be without her!
Hot Cocoa is very hardy and will not mind the winters in z5b. I had it in Connecticut and it is a monster. I also have it here in SoCal and you can imagine how strong it is. It is as vigorous as any floribunda I know of and who knows how tall it is capable of getting? The only answer is to keep it cut back.
This post was edited by henryinct on Tue, Nov 5, 13 at 13:28
Thought I'd chime in: I'm in 4b and Hot Cocoa has overwintered just fine here for the past three years without winter protection. It dies to the ground each year and grows quickly to 3' and stays there. It has very stiff upright canes. The plant is ugly but I kind of like the flowers, so it stays. It blackspots mildly without spray.
Thank you Laura! I'm quite looking forward to those blooms! I love russets and I don't particularly mind odd-shaped bushes - it's part of a complex bed, so doesn't have to stand alone.
mmm, gone from my garden too, after a failed attempt to disguise its horrible growth habit. 2 or 3 upright canes does not a rose make....to my mind. I don't care how wonderful individual blooms are, it is about the whole plant....and HC was an ugly thin gangly one. Disguising it with astrantias and geraniums around the base simply sent it into a downward spiralling sulk so that it required the merest flick of a spade and, with a bound it was free...to decorate the compost heap. I do miss those russet colours though, and am on a mission to replace it with something a bit more graceful which will play in a crowded bed (so not bearded iris). Perhaps bupleurum longifolium?
The bloom colour is fantastic, the plant itself less so.
If you're in southern Ontario in close proximity to the Great Lakes, you will have no issue overwintering without protection assuming the graft is about 2-4" below the soil line. However, it will die back to the snowline or a few inches above the soil in an average winter.
Unfortunately, it is not terribly resistant to BS here. Average at best in that regard.
As for growth, I just found it very upright and more like an HT. It does have nice foilage (prior to BS) and is rather prickly as well.
Thanks everyone for your input! I'm interested to see for myself how this thing grows, and I'm really exited about the blooms. Gotta figure it out by trying!
Morden Man, I'm in southeast Toronto - walk a kilometre and you're overlooking Lake Ontario. I do get BS but my yard is a nice microclimate - I can stretch the zone quite a bit.
You'll love the colour and variability through the season. Most pictures just don't do it justice. That is how I fell in love with it originally. If only they could hyridize the same plant with better resistance to BS it would still be in my garden.
I'm up in Newmarket so we're a good 2-4 degrees colder than you on average and every garden is different. I hope it does much better for you in yours.