From Mélie’s Garden 2013
Growing Disease Resistant Roses
Last month Anne Polk, Sarah Smith and I attended an informative lecture on roses given by Peter Kukielski, the curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the NY Botanical Garden. He gave us a wonderful tour and fascinated us with all the work they are doing to improve roses. Mr. Kukielski said that there was a reason why the home gardener finds growing roses so challenging and that is because most roses bred today, don’t do well in our difficult Northeast environment. A rose that grows well in one part of the country, cannot survive happily in another. The major rose suppliers do not give you this important information. So the NYBG and a number of other growers in the US are experimenting with different kinds of roses grown in EarthKind trial gardens in their area. You can go on the NYBG website to learn what varieties the NYBG is testing and see their different ratings. Peter Kukielski advises the gardener to look for roses marked EarthKind. These include the Knock Out, Kordes and roses bred by Griffith Buck. They can be obtained on line at the following nurseries:
- Chamblee’s Rose Nursery
- Roses Unlimited
- Antique Rose Emporium
The goal of the EarthKind growing program is to breed roses that are pretty, have good fragrance and are disease resistant. In the future, a gardener will be able to select roses from a national list and be sure that the varieties they choose will grow well in their part of the country.