Research identifies better-performing roses for Louisiana

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Traviata rose (Photo by Allen Owings)
Easy-Tea Tahitian Sunset rose blossoms (Photo by Allen Owings)

News Release Distributed 03/14/14

By 
LSU AgCenter horticulturist

HAMMOND, La. – Gardeners who have shied away from growing roses because of the fungicides and care needed to grow them can take heart in a recently completed research project conducted by the LSU AgCenter and the American Rose Society at the Gardens of the American Rose Center in Shreveport.

The goal of the four-year rose research project was to identify the best modern hybrid tea roses for growing under low-fungicide and minimal-fertilization conditions.

Roses were sprayed with fungicide only four times a year when the typical recommendation for hybrid tea roses in Louisiana is every 10 to 14 days from late February through November. The best-performing roses from the research have been designated “Easy-Tea” varieties. The winners were Traviata, Pink Traviata, The McCartney Rose, Tahitian Sunset and Frederic Mistral.

These selections were based on blackspot susceptibility and overall landscape performance in terms of flowering, vigor and appearance.

Top performers (ranked first through fifth) in visual quality of overall landscape performance are Traviata, Tahitian Sunset, Frederic Mistral, Tropicana and Pink Traviata. The top overall performers in terms of blackspot resistance (ranked first through fifth) are The McCartney Rose, Traviata, Pink Traviata, Tahitian Sunset and Tiffany.

Traviata is an older hybrid tea released in 1962 by Meilland and marketed by Conard-Pyle Roses in the United States. It has brilliant, dark red flowers with 90 to 100 petals per bloom. The foliage is dark glossy green. Long stems are typical, and plants in Shreveport reached 5 1/2 feet tall. This rose was the top overall performer in the Easy-Tea Hybrid Tea rose trial.

Tahitian Sunset is an All-America Rose Selection winner from 2006. This brightly hued rose has flowers that start as orange-yellow buds. When flowers fully open, colors go to a peachy-apricot-pink with yellow highlights. Petal count averages 30, with 5-inch-diameter blooms. Stems are 14 to 16 inches long, and the flowers have a licorice fragrance. Foliage is semi-glossy.

Pink Traviata is a mutation of Traviata released in 2005. The deep pink flowers have the same form and petal count as Traviata. Foliage is dark, glossy green. Stems are slightly shorter than Traviata. Plants reached 5 feet tall in Shreveport.

Frederic Mistral is another Meilland rose that is an Easy-Tea winner. Blooms are dusty rosy pink, double and 4 1/2 inches in diameter with 40 petals. Blooms are fragrant, and plants have rich green, semi-glossy foliage.

The McCartney Rose is a Meilland-introduced rose distributed in the United States by Conard-Pyle. Plants have fragrant, brightly colored, deep rosy pink flowers. This rose was offered as a birthday present to Paul McCartney by his record company. A tall, upright grower, plants reached almost 6 feet tall in the Shreveport gardens.

A few of these roses are available at selected independent retail garden centers in Louisiana. Garden centers carrying Conard-Pyle (Star Roses and Plants) roses and Weeks Roses could be sources.

Other rose research at the LSU AgCenter being conducted at the Botanic Gardens at Burden in Baton Rouge is the new American Garden Rose Selections trials. Also at the Hammond Research Station in Hammond, additional studies are looking at Star Roses, Kordes/Newflora and Weeks Roses for disease resistance in landscape trials. This work is in cooperation with these companies along with K and M Rose Nursery in Buckatunna, Miss., and Chamblee Rose Nursery in Tyler, Texas.

You can see more about work being done in landscape horticulture by visiting the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station website. Also, like us on . You can find an abundance of landscape information for both home gardeners and industry professionals at both sites.

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