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super hardy roses

Posted by mainblaine456 5a (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 2, 14 at 17:34

Hi I posted this in northern gardening but thought this might be a better place:

We are looking for 'no fuss' winter hardy roses to grow. We are in zone 5a but we'd rather have roses hardy to at least zone 4, for safety. We don't want to have to cover them in the winter or rely on snow cover for them to survive.

That being said, we also want more showy roses, like fully double and continuous blooming. (Are we asking to much?)

Here is a list of roses we are considering. Tell me about your experience with them in zone 4 or colder:

Lambert Closse
Austrian Copper
J.P. Connell
Prairie Joy
Heaven on earth
Pretty Jessica
Kashmir easy elegance

Have you lost any over the winters? Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: super hardy roses

Quadra, and Frontenac are two of my go-to hardy roses. AgCanada claims zone 3 for them, and I honestly don't think anything here is going to bother them. Jacques Cartier was tip hardy after -30. Yes, at that point it was in the wind shadow of the house, but still.... -30.

Of the ones on your list that I have grown, none are still with me. Alcymist never managed to overwinter enough cane to bloom, so was asked to leave. Champlain tended to also have a fair amount of winterkill. Austrian Copper is going to be a tough one not because of the winters, but because of the summers. I have seen it dead in both Staten Island and Nova Scotia. I have yet to see it alive. If the idea is to get a big, hardy yellow, R. hugonis, or primula or one of those are good.

RE: super hardy roses

I had Hansa for several years before I moved from the house where I planted it. It was rock hardy, bloomed well with no fussing, supplemental water, or fertilizer in a full sun area that was between native woodlands and a mulched path. It didn't sucker for me, though it was a good-sized bush. It had a heavy bloom and then periodic, though not as heavy, rebloom if I remember correctly. I found the magenta color a bit difficult to match which is why it wasn't in a bed, but rather more on the edge of the veggie garden.

I don't know what part of the country you are in, but I generally plant once-blooming roses since they bloom before the Japanese beetles.

RE: super hardy roses

  • Posted by Tessiess 9b, SoCal Inland, 12 (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 3, 14 at 17:19

Take a look at the rugosa page at Pickering, and see if any appeal to you. Rugosas are very cold hardy.


Here is a link that might be useful: Rugosas at Pickering Nurseries

RE: super hardy roses

Hansa got lots of disease and died after a few years. Pretty Jessica is small and doesn't do much. Quietness is good. Try Evelyn.

RE: super hardy roses

  • Posted by seil z6b MI (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 4, 14 at 10:58

I'm a zone warmer than you but my Quietness is very hardy. Most of the Buck roses are pretty hardy but not all of them. My Rural Rhythm and Country Music both die back a lot each winter.

RE: super hardy roses

I'm in 5B but I'll also vouch for Quietness. We had an exquisitely chilly winter and not one mm of die-back to show for it anywhere on my plant.

If I were shopping off your list I'd instantly grab Lambert Closse experience, just one I like to dream about.

And have you thought about Morden Blush?


RE: super hardy roses

It would help if you let us know which area of the country you're in. As MadGallica frequently reminds us, there's a difference between moist zone 5 areas like upstate New York and drier zone 5a like areas of southern Wisconsin, or here in Nebraska.

I've grown most of the roses you mention and I'll comment on each for my zone 5 winters. I do agree that in general the Rugosas are very hardy, and I've never ever lost an Easy Elegance rose - they're all tip hardy for me even in this miserable cold winter.

Lambert Closse
Austrian Copper
I haven't grown these two but they're a safe bet for hardiness in the zone 4/5 regions

J.P. Connell - little dieback over the winter so far, though it has taken a while to establish for me. I have it in my zone 4 pocket of the yard and it seems fine for hardiness, but I think it wants more sun than it has in that bed.

Hansa - in general, rugosas are a great bet and this one is highly scented, but I have to say it was a dog for me in my previous yard. A two cane wonder that only bloomed once then lost all its leaves to blackspot even in our dry climate with nothing else planted around it. I've had much better results from Therese Bugnet, or Linda Campbell among Rugosas.

Prairie Joy - grows big and hardy in my zone - droops over a 4' high fence surrounding it, but I don't think it has enough sun where I have it, and it doesn't bloom very often for me.

Quietness - lovely, reliable, hardy, saturated medium pink blooms. Not all Buck roses have been hardy for me, but this one laughs off my zone 4 pocket and reblooms pretty well.

Heaven on earth - you really want this rose. I'd put it among my top 10 favorites among 700 roses. It smells nice, with delicate apricot-pink blooms that are very double and profuse, laughs off the cold in my zone 4 pocket, and stays a nice well rounded 4-5' bush with blooms all down the sides

Pretty Jessica - this one grows fine in my yard and is perfectly hardy, but I haven't seen as much rebloom from this one as I hear reported elsewhere. Austins in general are terrifically hardy for me, and many of them get quite big, so this one is a good choice for a small Austin. Still, I'd pick Sharifa Asma or Tamora or Darcy Bussell or The Prince as a better small Austin that's nicely hardy.

Alchemist - haven't grown this one

Kashmir easy elegance - in general the Lim Easy Elegance line is absolutely the only rose breeder for whom I've never had any winter kill, with 15 varieties and counting. I haven't grown Kashmir among these yet, but its a sure bet. Another Lim to consider that I dearly love is Sweet Fragrance. Big fluffy true apricot/peach double blooms all up and down a 4-5' bush that bloom all summer. The only thing it doesn't have, oddly enough, is fragrance. Still, it's on the north side of my house, which is mostly zone 4 pocket too, and it does so well I put in three more of these (alternating with Music Box) and I almost never do duplicates of roses.

Freckles - I'm putting in a replacement of this one this spring, as I lost one of these over the summer. I wouldn't put this as the hardiest of the Buck roses- Mountain Music, Quietness, or Prairie Sunset/Sunrise have all done better for me.

Champlain - Champlain was my "gateway rose" at my old house that convinced me I could grow roses (had I only grown the Hansa I had on the other side of the house, I might never have planted another rose). It blooms pretty constantly all season, with dark crimson-pink blooms and nice glossy clean foliage. I did lose one once in my new house, with a weak cultivar from a local source, but my present one is strong and healthy. I had to cut it back a fair bit after last winter, but I had to do that for virtually everything but the Austins, Easy Elegance, Explorers, and rugosas (and even some of them), so that's nothing against Champlain. Individual blooms are not good for cutting, but the bush statement is very nice.

Hope this helps!


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