Three Options For Growing Hardy Rose Bushes
Hardy rose bushes are the stuff of dreams in colder areas of the world.
While those of us who live in USDA zones 4 and colder salivate at the
thought of growing some of the delightfully tender (and stunningly
gorgeous) new rose introductions, we know that old man winter will have
the final say.
There are three options for rose gardeners who want to grow roses and
who live in cold climates.
The first is to search out the Explorer
and Parkland series of roses bred by the rose breeders in Canada. These
roses use hardy Russian species as a base to breed with other tough
roses and repeat blooming roses to bring us bone-hardy roses that will
survive the average Canadian winter with little or no winter
protection. While most are largish shrub types, there are a few smaller
repeat-bloomers for perennial flower bed use as well as several that
can be trained up into climbing roses. And it is as climbers that this
family has become famous because there are few other climbers that will
survive USDA zone 4 winters without being taken down and buried for
flower bud protection.
The second is to search and find roses bred by Dr. Griffith Buck in
Iowa. While Dr. Buck is dead now, his research into cold hardy and
disease resistant plants lives on in the plants he bred. When he
started breeding roses, there was little money for disease control or
The roses that survived were thus disease resistant (if they weren't
they died) and hardy in Iowa winters (again, if they weren't hardy, too
bad). The crosses that survived are both hardy and disease resistant
and can be found through specialist rose growers.
The third is to plant and care for tender roses in the deep planting
style. This was the topic of my first book on roses (Tender
Roses in Tough Climates
) and I've grown many tender roses in
USDA zone 4 with absolutely no winter protection. So I didn't need to
seek out hardy rose bushes to fill my gardens with fragrant roses all
summer long. See the other articles for details.
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