Monday, January 25, 2010


  "Roses for Dummies" author Lance Walheim surveyed members of the Sacramento Rose Society and the Sierra Foothill Rose Society to get their answer to the question: What are the best roses for the Sacramento Area? These rose varieties should also do well in other climates with hot, dry summers in areas of low-to-mid humidity. The results:

"Sally Holmes". This white flowered is a shrubby climber...or a climbing shrub, with masses of flowers that look great  along a fence line.


"Moonstone". A hybrid tea rose featuring white petals with pink edges. Huge blooms for both garden display and as a  cut flower.


"Gemini". Pink blend hybrid tea rose. A fragrant, disease resistant rose with gorgeous coral and white blooms.

"Secret". A hybrid tea rose that is a great cut flower and smells wonderful. "Secret" combines form, fragrance and quick repeating pink blend blooms.

 "Grand Prize". This floribunda rose features a creamy white flower with a hint of pink and yellow. Makes a great border hedge.

“St. Patrick". True to the implication of its Irish name, this hybrid tea rose blooms with yellow-green colored flowers.

“Day Breaker". A short, floribunda bush-type rose, it is covered with unique peachy-yellow-orange flowers during our long growing season.

“Let Freedom Ring". A tall hybrid tea rose with long-stemmed, fragrant pinkish-red blossoms.

 “Veterans Honor". Gorgeous red blooms on this hybrid tea rose. Long lasting flowers, both on the bush or in a vase.

“Playboy". A reddish blend floribunda rose. Shiny foliage. The red blend blooms start off as yellow in the cooler weather, becoming more reddish-yellow with the heat of summer.

Other roses to look for now that placed high among local rosarians' recommendations included "Abraham Darby", "Berries 'n' Cream", "Lavaglut", "Crimson Bouquet", "Iceberg" (pictured at top of page - my favorite), "White Meidiland", "Flower Girl", "Black Magic", "Fourth of July" and "Altissimo".


  1. Iceberg is bullet-proof - great rose. Didn't have any luck with Day Breaker. For a pure white, long-stemmed hybrid tea, grow Whisper. Fantastic.
    Memorial Day is a wonderful Sac area rose too. And it's hard to beat Tesselaar's Flower Carpet roses for a landscape/groundcover rose with near-constant blooms and very disease resistant.

  2. I love roses, but we pulled out all of our bushes because we could never win the aphid battle which in turn threatened our vegetable garden. I hope to someday have roses again. I have tried every method of "organic" management for aphids that I can find; without good success. Anyone have any tried and true methods? I'm not afraid of a little hard work (I tried hand-picking). I love making my own rose water and miss having my own bushes to harvest.

  3. Organic control of rose pests begins with planting roses correctly: in areas that get lots of sun, have good drainage, and are spaced at least four or five feet apart. More space is better. Aphids hit roses hard in the spring. A blast of water from the hose, hitting the underside of the leaves can control most of the aphid population. But you have to do that twice a week, perhaps three times a week for heavy infestations. Glad to hear you aren't using dangerous chemicals to control the aphids; that stuff also kills the beneficial insects which are feasting on your aphids. Too much nitrogen fertilizer also attracts aphids to the weak, new growth. More info about aphid control:

  4. I've always found that ladybugs in the artichoke patch are the best natural control for aphids -- and they enjoy cool, dark places. I don't often clear out the dead and dying part of the artichoke plants, because that's where ladybugs hide during the heat of the day.

    I would also add Scentimental to this list. It's the rose showpiece of my backyard. It grew to the top of the fenceline during it's second year. I expect it to top that mark this year -- even though it has been severely pruned back.