Greenhouses and nurseries that supply roses have several new varieties they can choose from over the next couple of years. Breeders are making several new varieties available in 2016, with more to come in 2017.
Keep reading for a look at what’s on the market now, and what’s on the horizon.
‘Pretty Lady Rose’ (Weeks Roses)
Inspired by the Lady Rose MacClare character on the TV show “Downton Abbey,” ‘Pretty Lady Rose’ is new at retail stores for 2016. The deep-pink flowers on this Hybrid Tea bush are large (4 to 5 inches in diameter), with ruffled petals. The long-lasting blooms have a sweetly scented fragrance with hints of peonies and spices, similar to the perfume a noble woman from the “Downton Abbey” period might have worn. The plant is dressed with a gown of healthy, bright, medium-green glossy foliage. With her compact habit, this selection brings elegance to smaller spaces of the garden, and ‘Pretty Lady Rose’ also looks great when grown in pots.
‘Anna’s Promise’ (Weeks Roses)
The first rose introduced by Weeks Roses to honor “Downton Abbey” became available at garden centers in Spring 2015. ‘Anna’s Promise,’ named for Anna Bates, the lady’s maid at the center of the downstairs drama, is a Grandiflora with golden petals and a pink blush. The reverse side of the petals is a glowing bronze that reflects the quiet strength of Anna’s steadfast character. The spicy, fruity fragrance of the blossoms is reminiscent of apples and grapefruit.
‘Sugar Plum’ Hybrid Tea Rose (Jackson & Perkins)
Hybrid tea roses are the most popular type of rose in the world, and for good reason. Each hybrid tea flower blooms from a long, sturdy stem, which makes them the ideal cut flower. Hybrid teas are also fragrant, versatile, and consistent re-bloomers.
Jackson & Perkins (jacksonandperkins.com) has released another brand new hybrid tea rose for spring. ‘Sugar Plum’ is a purple rose that’s a hybrid of two popular rose varieties: ‘Gemini’ and ‘Moon Shadow.’ The rich lavender flower color is splashed with traces of pink and purple, while the strong fragrance of the blossoms smells like sweet pea flowers.
Each ‘Sugar Plum’ double bloom stands on straight 18-inch stems and looks lovely in the garden or in a cut flower arrangement. ‘Sugar Plum’ blooms all summer long, and it will readily re-bloom if you deadhead the spent flowers. Try keeping a few of these roses near high-traffic areas where you can fully enjoy their fragrance and color.
Plant ‘Sugar Plum’ roses throughout Zones 5 to 10 and in well-drained soil that receives plenty of sun. For best results, make sure to feed and water it consistently throughout the growing season. Like other hybrid tea roses, ‘Sugar Plum’ prefers to be pruned back in late winter or early spring to remove dead or diseased wood.
‘Sriracha’ Patio Tree Rose (Jackson & Perkins)
‘Sriracha’ is an exciting new floribunda cultivar that is sure to delight with its vibrant color and remarkably spicy fragrance. Developed from the popular ‘Habitat for Humanity 2003’ rose, ‘Sriracha’ is a winner of Floribunda of the Year 2016 honors.
‘Sriracha’ blooms all summer long in clusters of five to nine flowers. The 4-inch-wide, fully double flowers range in hue from bright orange to soft coral. Thanks to their color and delightful fragrance, these blooms are show-stoppers, whether ‘Sriracha’ is planted alone or in a rose garden. Try cutting a few of these stunning flowers to keep in a vase to brighten your home, or give them to someone special.
‘Sriracha’ is available as a traditional floribunda form and also as a Patio Tree form that makes a fantastic focal plant in any garden setting. ‘Sriracha’ also shines as a container specimen on a patio or walkway. The beautiful crown of foliage and flowers on the ‘Sriracha’ Patio Tree Rose stands 3 to 4 feet tall, giving this tree rose a striking appearance and a compact profile that will fit nicely in small outdoor spaces. Bright orange ‘Sriracha’ tree roses are especially impactful when planted as a pair next to entrances, in a line at the back of a garden border, or in rows lining a garden path.
‘Sriracha’ thrives in moist, well-drained soil in a sunny location within Zones 5 to 10.
‘Sweet Spot’ Shrub Rose (Tesselaar Plants)
The world’s first Decorator Rose, the new ‘Sweet Spot’ shrub rose is named “because of their bold, bright mix of colors that come right out of the fashion world,” says Anthony Tesselaar, cofounder and president of Tesselaar Plants (tesselaar.com).
The product of more than 20 years of breeding at Interplant Roses in the Netherlands, ‘Sweet Spot’ roses were carefully bred to produce bright blooms that continuously change in color as the flowers age. ‘Sweet Spot’ Decorator Roses are available in four colors: Calypso, Peach, Ruby, and Yellow. Each color variety is punctuated in the center of the flower by a deep, eye-catching red-pink or orange-red center.
‘Sweet Spot’ blooms freely and is covered in colorful multi-hued flowers from spring to fall. These compact shrubs reach only 16 to 24 inches high and 16 to 20 inches wide. Their size makes them perfect for growing in containers or planting en masse in the garden for a show-stopping effect. ‘Sweet Spot’ performs best in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil within Zones 5 to 10.
‘Watercolors Home Run’ (Weeks Roses)
The newest member of the popular Home Run Shrub Rose Series of landscape roses from Weeks Roses is ‘Watercolors Home Run’, which offers a combination of watercolor-blended colors and excellent flower production. The flowers open fully to reveal yellow-gold centers that are blushed with pink on the outer edges of the petals. The flowers are 2½ to 3 inches in diameter, and they bloom in large clusters from spring well into fall. The flowers have a delicate spicy fragrance with a hint of cinnamon. Home Run rose varieties are known for their natural disease resistance and well-behaved rounded growing habit. ‘Watercolors Home Run’ was hybridized by Tom Carruth and is cold hardy to Zone 5, or to Zone 4 with moderate protection.
‘Flower Carpet’ (Tesselaar Plants)
New generation ‘Flower Carpet’ roses thrive in conditions that challenge other roses. They can handle humidity, high heat, and drought, once established, and their disease and pest resistance makes them virtually bullet-proof. There’s no need for special pruning, heavy fertilizers, or chemicals to make these eco-friendly roses perform at their best. ‘Flower Carpet’ roses will bloom profusely from early summer through fall all on their own. A ‘Flower Carpet’ rose bush is a compact shrub that grows low and wide, and it features gorgeous double blooms that cover the glossy green foliage for most of the growing season. The new generation of Flower Carpet roses is available in three varieties: ‘Scarlet,’ ‘Pink Supreme,’ and ‘Amber.’
Weeks Roses Looks Ahead To 2017
Weeks Roses has announced it will offer two new additions to its Downton Abbey Garden Rose Collection in 2017. The two new roses, which will be available for retail sale in Spring 2017, are called ‘Violet’s Pride’ and ‘Edith’s Darling.
‘Violet’s Pride’ is named for the Lady Violet character played by Maggie Smith on the popular “Downton Abbey” TV show. ‘Lady Violet,’ the Dowager Countess of Grantham, is a fierce woman who always cares for and protects her family. The petals of each Violet’s Pride rose reflect the iconic shades of Lady Violet’s lavender dresses.
The blossoms of ‘Violet’s Pride’ are made even more exquisite by a magenta-colored heart on the inner petals. ‘Violet’s Pride’ is a prolific that which produces medium-large double blossoms with 35 to 45 petals. The blooms boast a fruity fragrance with a hint of grapefruit. The flowers are held proudly on top of a vigorous, evenly rounded bush with dense foliage.
Also new for 2017 in the Downton Abbey Garden Rose Collection is ‘Edith’s Darling,’ a fitting tribute to the Lady Edith Crawley character and her beloved daughter, Marigold. The blooms of ‘Edith’s Darling’ are a soft apricot color that is delightfully old-fashioned. The petals on each flower grow softly darker toward apricot-gold in the center. Each 3-inch bloom boasts 50 to 65 petals. The fragrance is much like a fruity, fresh-cut apple.
Small in size, with a compact bushy habit, ‘Edith’s Darling’ is the perfect choice for containers or for a tidy spot in the garden where a show of fragrant, full-sized blooms can be viewed up-close.