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David C. Zlesak, Randy Nelson, Derald Harp, Barbara Villarreal, Nick Howell, Jason Griffin, Gaye Hammond and Steve George

Landscape roses (Rosa sp.) are popular flowering shrubs. Consumers are less willing or able to maintain landscape beds than in years past and require plants that are not only attractive, but well-adapted to regional climatic conditions, soil types, and disease and pest pressures. Marketing and distribution of rose cultivars occurs on a national level; therefore, it is difficult for U.S. consumers in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zones 3 to 5 to identify well-adapted, cold-hardy cultivars. Identifying suitable cultivars that have strong genetic resistance to pests and disease and that will tolerate temperature extremes without winter protection in the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 3 to 5 is of tremendous value to consumers and retailers in northern states. Twenty landscape rose cultivars, primarily developed in north-central North America, were evaluated at five locations in the United States (three in the north-central United States, one in the central United States, and one in the south-central United States) using the low-input, multiyear Earth-Kind® methodology. Six roses had ≥75% plant survival at the end of the study and were in the top 50% of performers for overall mean horticultural rating at each of the three north-central U.S. sites: ‘Lena’, ‘Frontenac’, ‘Ole’, ‘Polar Joy’, ‘Sunrise Sunset’, and ‘Sven’. Five of these six roses met the same criteria at the central United States (exception ‘Lena’) and the south-central United States (exception ‘Polar Joy’) sites. Cultivar, rating time, and their interaction were highly significant, and block effects were not significant for horticultural rating for all single-site analyses of variance. Significant positive correlations were found between sites for flower number, flower diameter, and overall horticultural rating. Significant negative correlations were found between flower number and diameter within each site and also between black spot (Diplocarpon rosae) lesion size from a previous study and overall horticultural rating for three of the five sites. Cane survival ratings were not significantly correlated with overall horticultural rating, suggesting some cultivars can experience severe winter cane dieback, yet recover and perform well. Data from this study benefit multiple stakeholders, including nurseries, landscapers, and consumers, with evidence-based regional cultivar recommendations and breeders desiring to identify regionally adapted parents.

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Derald Harp, Gaye Hammond, David C. Zlesak, Greg Church, Mark Chamblee and Steve George

Landscaping today involves the struggle to balance aesthetically pleasing plants while minimizing the impact on the environment, reducing water usage, decreasing fertilizer use, and eliminating or significantly reducing pesticide usage. Roses (Rosa sp.), although seen as challenging plants, remain the most popular flowering shrub in the United States. The identification of new cultivars that combine beauty, pest and disease resistance, and drought tolerance are important to Texas landscapes. Sixty roses were assessed over a 3-year period to determine flowering, drought tolerance, disease resistance, and overall landscape performance in minimal-input gardens in north central Texas. Atypical weather during the study had a significant impact on performance. A 2-year drought (2010–11) was accompanied by the hottest summer on record (2011), which included a record number of days of at least 100 °F or higher. As a result, supplemental irrigation was provided three times both summers. Roses generally fared well under these conditions and survived the drought. Flowering was most abundant during the spring and fall, and it was least abundant in the summer. Powdery mildew [PM (Sphaerotheca pannosa var. rosae)] was a minor problem. Nine of 60 cultivars developed no visible symptoms of PM during the study. Most PM occurred in Spring 2010, with very little found after June; none was found in 2011. Black spot [BS (Diplocarpon rosae)] was serious for some cultivars, but most were BS-free; RADrazz (Knock Out®) and Lady Banks White had no observed BS during the study. BS occurred mostly in May, June, and November. Overall landscape performance ratings were high, with 23 cultivars having a mean landscape performance rating equal to or better than the Belinda’s Dream standard. The best-performing cultivars were RADrazz (Knock Out), RADcon (Pink Knock Out®), RADyod (Blushing Knock Out®), WEKcisbaco (Home Run®), and Alister Stella Gray. This study was able to identify many other highly performing roses in north central Texas.