Recommended Brown Roses

harmonypDecember 2, 2012

I've been going through Roses Unlimited catalog as I prepare to put in a bigger than I need, order. I came across Brown Velvet, and in looking it up, it looks quite intriguing.

Wondering if others here have experience with it. And/or any other brown roses?

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I just found an article by Kim:, that I've read through. I've looked through most of the roses mentioned, and am also quite smitten with Cafe (why does Roses Unlimited have to have EVERY rose I'm finding that I like?!) So, interested also if anyone is growing Cafe and has feedback?

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 1:24PM
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I don't know much about Brown Velvet but I do know about Hot Cocoa. On Dr huey it was an ugly, spindly bush with thin droopy canes. A little better on own root in a 5 gal. pot. On fortuniana it is a fantastic bush and bloomer. It now gets afternoon shade and the blooms are always terra cotta and the foliage is beautiful from top to bottom of bush. A perminit fixture in my garden. Everybody that see's it loves it. I've looked up BV. I'd give it a try and give it a couple of years to see what it can do. I might get one and see what happens. If it does half way decent but needs a little "umph", I might see how it does on fortuniana.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 1:27PM
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Hi Ken - I have Hot Cocoa on Dr. Huey. First half of year 1 spindly bush with droopy canes. Second half of year 1 - awesome foliage, solid canes. Sproatic blooming thru the year. Hoping nest year to get the full picture. I also have cl. Chocolate Sundae. Flippin amazing for the first 8 months, then went downhill fast. My redundant story now - dug it up to find most of it's roots eaten by - hey - guess what. I caged it in September, and it's trying to pull itself together. I think it'll be a really nice climber with very unusual, small but beautiful dark chocolate blooms.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 3:01PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Hot Cocoa is a so-so rose for me but here it's usually more orange than brown. Only if the weather conditions are just right does it get that brown color. And don't ask me what those conditions are because I couldn't tell you. It doesn't happen often. It's winter hardy and fairly vigorous growing but a little stingy on the blooms and it does black spot badly.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 4:27PM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)


Kim wrote an article about coffee roses which is archived in the HMF Ezine and includes some information about 'Brown Velvet'. I have put the link below.


Here is a link that might be useful: Kim's Article on Coffee Roses

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 4:54PM
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donaldvancouver(cool wet z8)

Julia's Rose is the most beautiful and has the most unusual colour of all the browns I've seen. I haven't grown it personally though. Koko Loco is also beautiful.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 5:22PM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

I grow all the ones mentioned above, being a big fan of the odd colors and having found that "brown" roses in general LOVE my cool coastal climate, which really brings out the nifty color patterns. All of the browns are basically overlays of the other colors, usually with some orange and some lavender, in various combos where the "layers" of color fade and react to sunlight at different rates. Not too much sun is good for all of them.

I'm not sure where you are in NorCal, but if you can arrange for a good fog cover most mornings, the roses will be very colorful for you. Without the fog, the colors can become muck in a hurry.

Hot Cocoa grows like a banshee here, as does Brown Velvet and Koko Loco. Cafe has always been a disappointment for me, and I've tried several different plants of it.

Tom Brown and Pam's Choice are two other favs.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 8:37PM
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No idea how it is in CA but Brown Velvet in NYC is a dark, russet brown in cooler weather and more of a vermillion in warmer weather. It's nice either way because some of the orange roses turn to pink, so it's nice to have something orange even tho that's not why I got it. Decent, but not outstanding, disease resistance. Gets around 4 -5 feet all around for me, not overly large and interesting enough to keep.

Irish Creme was one of the most beautiful roses I had, but it was also one of three grafted roses and they've all since died. Crappy disease resistance. Foliage came in reddish and then it had those really nice blooms. In some weather they tended to be more pink/lavender but in either case they were nice.

Coffee Country is another - right now in Dec it's more lavender/pink/yellow - all quite beautiful of course, but it's best when it has the pinkish/tan coloring. Pretty blooms, no disease resistance at all.

I had a couple others but they didn't really work. Most seem to have no disease resistance and I'm not about to start spraying just to keep some plants around.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 9:39PM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

That's true -- I was assuming that you spray. None of these brownish roses, except perhaps Hot Cocoa, has much in the way of mildew resistance.

The same cool, damp weather conditions that contribute to the good colors are also favorable to most of the fungal diseases in most of these roses if you don't do the spraying part. I do spray, regularly.
Since these roses are uncommon colors (i.e. not pink), you can assume the selection process when the seedlings were chosen for introduction had more to do with nifty colors than nifty disease resistance. That's a trade off the introducer needs to make to get the unique colors.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 11:11PM
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I'm completely no-spray. Really, only because I "can" be - very very dry heat - west edge of San Juaquin Valley. Disappointed to hear about Cafe, the hmf photos are gorgeous. But I still may try Brown Velvet and put in only early morning sun. I know my Honey Dijon is one of my favorite roses - 100% disease resistant, unbelievably prolific bloomer. Now of course it's more a tanish color than brown. And I did buy Koko Loko this fall which I'm really looking forward to.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 9:52AM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)


One of the roses that does very well in my high summer temps and often shows tan and kind of off-lavender colored blooms is Ralph Moore's 'Silver Cloud'. It may not be a true "coffee colored rose", but I don't think of it as a lavender roses because the tan shading shows up so often and holds for a long time.

I am gardening in poor soil that is gradually improving by years of mulching and found this year that SC does need to be fed. There was a nest of yellow-jackets behind the fence on the other side of the rose, and I couldn't get near it all this season, so all it got was good watering.

In the years when I could get near the plant to feed and mulch it properly for my high summer temps, I thought the rose was spectacular. I love the open bloom form.

As you can see from the photos on HMF, the color is variable, but I love it in all stages.

I almost never cut roses for the house, so I don't know how long it would last in a vase. If I had room, I would buy a couple of more Scs for this garden.


Here is a link that might be useful: Silver Cloud on HMF

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 1:47PM
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