Rose FAQ

What roses are good for the Philadelphia area?

My Favorite Easy-To -Grow Roses by Tom Mayhew

Langhorne, PA (Hardiness Zone 6)
In general, the following roses are easy to grow and are winter hardy and relatively disease resistant. They are suitable for growing in the Philadelphia, PA and nearby surrounding areas in zones 6 and 7. The list includes roses of various types and classifications. These easy to grow roses have been selected based on the criteria of vigor, beauty, amount of bloom, winter hardiness, disease resistance, availability and overall desirability. Although fragrance is not considered an absolute necessity, it is considered a very desirable added benefit. The ARS ratings shown are the American Rose Society national average garden performance ratings. The rating scale is 0-10, where 10 is the highest rating and a good rose is above 7.2.
*Double Delight, Hybrid Tea, red blend, 30-35 petals, 4-5 ft., very fragrant, ARS rating 8.5
*Mister Lincoln, Hybrid Tea, dark red, 35 petals, 5-7 ft., very fragrant, ARS rating 8.4
*Chrysler Imperial, Hybrid Tea, dark red, 45-50 petals, 4-5 ft., very fragrant, ARS rating 7.7
*Fragrant Cloud, Hybrid Tea, orange red, 28-35 petals, 4-5 ft., very fragrant, ARS rating 8.1
*Frederic Mistral, Hybrid Tea, light pink, 26-40 petals, 4-6 ft., very fragrant, ARS rating 7.9
*Queen Elizabeth, Grandiflora, medium pink, 38 petals, 5-7 ft., fragrant, ARS rating 7.7
*Playboy, Floribunda, red/orange blend, 7-8 petals, 4-6 ft., slight fragrance, ARS rating 8.4
*Sunsprite, Floribunda, deep yellow, 28 petals, 4-5 ft., slight fragrance, ARS rating 8.5
*Iceberg, Floribunda, white, 17-25 petals, 4-6 ft., fragrant, ARS rating 8.8
*Showbiz, Floribunda, bright medium red, 20 petals, 3-5 ft., no fragrance, ARS rating 8.4
*Europeana, Floribunda, dark velvety red, 25-30 petals, 3-5 ft., slight fragrance, ARS rating 8.7
* Bill Warriner, Floribunda, orange pink, 26-40 petals, 3-4 ft., slight fragrance, ARS rating 7.8
*Betty Prior, Floribunda, carmine pink, 5 petals, 4-6 ft., moderate fragrance, ARS rating 8.2
*Gruss an Aachen, Floribunda, light pink, 40-50 petals, 4-6 ft., slight fragrance, ARS rating 8.3
*Marchesa Boccella, Hybrid Perpetual (OGR), light pink, 17-25 petals, 4-6 ft., very fragrant, ARS rating 9.1
*Rose de Rescht, Portland (OGR), deep pink, 26-40 petals, 3-5 ft., damask fragrance, ARS rating 8.9
*Souvenir de la Malmaison, Bourbon (OGR), light pink, 17-25 petals, 2-3 ft., very fragrant, ARS rating 8.7
*The Fairy, Polyantha, small light pink, 17-25 petals, 3-5 ft., no fragrance, ARS rating 8.7
*Mothersday, Polyantha, globular dark red, 17-25 petals, 2-3 ft., slight fragrance, ARS rating 7.8
*Orange Morsdag, Polyantha, globular orange-red, 17-25 petals, 2-3 ft., slight fragrance, ARS rating 9.1
*Minnie Pearl, Miniature, pink blend, 17-25 petals, 1.5-4 ft., slight fragrance, ARS rating 9.1
*Hot Tamale, Miniature, orange and yellow blend, 26-40 petals, 1.5-3 ft., no fragrance, ARS rating 8.2
*Giggles, Miniature, peachy pink, 18 petals, 1.5-3 ft., slight fragrance, ARS rating 8.9
*Irresistible, Miniature, white, 43 petals, 1.5-3 ft., fragrant, ARS rating 9.1
*Gourmet Popcorn, Miniature, white, 6-14 petals, 2-4ft., slight fragrance, ARS rating 8.7
*Gizmo, Miniature, orange blend, 5 petals, 1.5-2.5 ft., no fragrance, ARS rating 8.0
*Tiffany Lynn, Mini-Flora, pink blend, 21 petals, 2-4 ft., no fragrance, ARS rating 8.0
*Autumn Splendor, Mini-Flora, yellow blend, 26-40 petals, 2-3.5 ft., no fragrance, ARS rating 8.1
*Frau Dagmar Hartopp, Hybrid Rugosa, medium pink, 5 petals, 3-5 ft., spicy fragrance, ARS rating 8.5
*Jens Munk, Hybrid Rugosa, medium pink, 25 petals, 4-6 ft., fragrant, ARS rating 8.8
*Robin Hood, Hybrid Musk, small medium red, 17-25 petals, 4-6 ft., slight fragrance, ARS rating 8.6
*Knockout, Shrub Rose, light red to deep pink, 5-11 petals, 3-4 ft., slight tea fragrance, ARS rating 8.4
*Royal Bonica, Shrub Rose, medium pink, 15-25 petals, 4-6 ft., slight fragrance, ARS rating 7.7
*Heritage, Shrub Rose, light pink, 17-25 petals, 4-7 ft., fragrant, ARS rating 8.4
*Jeanne Lajoie, Climbing Miniature, medium pink, 40 petals, 7-10 ft., slight fragrance, ARS rating 9.2
*New Dawn, Large- Flowered Climber, light pink, 35-40 petals, 7-12 ft., slight fragrance, ARS rating 8.6
*America, Large- Flowered Climber, orange pink, 43 petals, 7-10 ft., slight fragrance, ARS rating 8.3



Where do you buy your roses?

Roses can be bought anywhere if you know what to look for. Roses can be mail ordered, bought over the internet, or purchased in local nurseries and stores. Most mail order or internet suppliers sell very good quality bushes and will ship them to you at the proper time for planting. They also usually come with good planting instructions. Most suppliers are very good if you have problems with your order. The number of varieties available is usually greater than local suppliers.

If you buy your roses locally in a nursery or store, be sure they are healthy. Early in the season (late March or April in this area) roses are sold bagged or in boxes. These are fine to purchase when they arrive fresh. The bagged roses are very hard to keep watered and tend to dry out after a few weeks. This is not good and will not lead to success with new rose. After they are in the store and the weather warms the buds begin to grow. This is also not desirable, avoid these plants. The roots in most of these bagged or boxed roses are short and will not support a lot of new growth that has already sprouted. These types of roses should be plant before the new growth has started. Also if the rose canes are brown, black and or shriveled, do not purchase them, they are dead or dying. Usually around May, potted roses appear in the stores or nurseries. These are usually more expensive because of growing and shipping cost, but you can see the blooms and foliage on these bushes. Look for nice healthy green plants with lush foliage and no signs of disease or pests.

You can have success with your new roses if you start with plants and give them good care. If you have questions regarding suppliers, varieties, or cultural practices, feel free to call one of our Consulting Rosarians listed on the home page under the Consulting Rosarians heading. They are knowledgeable growers who have volunteered to assist others in growing good roses.

But exactly from where do you get your new roses?

There are many sources to buy new roses. I will list ones that I particularly recommend.

 Pickering Nurseries ( is my favorite source for large roses, as they are grown on multiflora rootstock, have a great website, good prices, and are very customer friendly. I have had excellent experiences.
Hortico Nurseries ( have a good informative website, grow on multiflora, and have a large selection. I personally have not had good results with ordering from them and have heard others having problems, but have also heard good reports about them.
Edmunds Roses ( have been happy with the quality of the plants and service.
Wisconsin Roses ( The newest exhibition varieties are available here on multiflora as maidens(newly budded that haven’t been growing in the fields). Order early for the best selection. I have only heard good reviews on them.
Almost Heaven Roses ( Newer varieties available as own-root. Good quality, some harder to find and Vernon Rickard’s own varieties, good service have been my experience. Order for spring delivery as own roots are greenhouse grown like miniatures and will not like our weather if they arrive too early.
Roses Unlimited ( Also own root with hard to find varieties. Have heard very good reports.
Heirloom Roses ( Also own root with hard to find and John Clement’s own varieties.
Ashdown Roses ( Old Garden and landscape own root roses. Have heard only good reports.
Wayside Gardens ( Good supplier.
Sequoia Nurseries ( Ralph Moore’s own root nursery sells minis and many other types on their supplemental list.
Nor’East Miniatures ( good mini supplier.

Why did my yellow rose turn white or red?

Most roses are budded plants. The desired rose variety is bud grafted onto a different rootstock—a variety that is very vigorous and will do well in most parts of the country. Budding plants allows growers to produce larger plants quickly to sell with less time in the growing fields. The budded portion is the bud union, the round portion coming off the roots that the green canes emerge from. If this section dies, sometimes the rootstock will still grow, producing small non-descript red (Dr. Huey) or white (rosa  Multiflora) flowers. Both of these varieties will only bloom once a season, as opposed to the continued flowering of the variety that was grafted to the rootstock. This will make it seem that the rose has changed color.

Budded roses can also send up suckers, which are canes coming off of the rootstock. These will be thinner more pliable canes, usually lighter green in color and usually with more leaves on each leaflet. They will also flower white or red, giving the appearance of having two different color flowers on one plant. These should be removed, because if not, the root stock may eventually take over and the budded portion of the rose will die off. This will leave you with a rose that blooms once with small red or white flowers. To remove these gently remove soil where they emerge and break or cut off the sucker as close the roots as possible.

If the rose is completely changed over to one of these rootstocks you can not reverse it. You must purchase a new rose or grow the remaining rose that will only bloom once a year.