Performance of Low-maintenance Roses in Central Florida

Jozer Antonio Mangandi, Sydney Park Brown


Roses (Rosa spp.) are some of the most cultivated flowers in the world. Cultivars of modern roses, such as hybrid teas, are popular; however, most demand intensive maintenance. Florida’s climate and soil conditions make many roses particularly difficult to grow in the state. Performance of roses under low-maintenance conditions has been assessed in Texas and Mississippi but little information is available for Florida. The purpose of this study was to assess the performance of certain rose cultivars under a low-maintenance regime and to ultimately be able to recommend cultivars which perform well as shrub roses in the central Florida landscape. An evaluation of 12 rose cultivars began in 2008. Cultivars selected were listed as Earth Kind™ roses and/or were reported to be reliable performers in Florida. Soil was amended prior to planting with composted cow manure to a depth of 6 inches and woven landscape fabric was placed over the beds. Own-root plants were placed on 8-ft-wide beds with 8-ft spacing between plants. A 3-inch layer of fine-ground pine bark was added to the top of the fabric. Plants were not pruned, nor were pesticides used. Drip irrigation supplied water at 0.5 gal/plant/week once during the rainy season and twice during the dry season. Roses were fertilized with Osmocote Plus 15–6–12 . Weekly evaluations of visual quality and flower coverage were assessed for 2 years.


old garden roses, modern roses, chilli thrips, Earth-Kind™, black spot, cercospora leaf spot, rose cultivars, disease resistance

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283