Grow These Roses Organically

Interested in growing roses organically? Start with these rose picks.
By: Dee Nash

Rosa 'About Face'

‘About Face’ is a bicolor grandiflora with a darker russet color on the outer portion of its petals fading to lighter golden-orange in the interior. This rose grows very well and has deep green foliage that is resistant to blackspot and mildew. It is a 2005 All American Rose Selections winner. It is also lightly fragrant.

Rosa Pink Knock Out and Kentucky wisteria 'Blue Moon'

Single Pink Knock Out roses flank an arbor covered with Wisteria macrostachya 'Blue Moon,' an American wisteria. America varieties of wisteria are less aggressive than their Chinese or Japanese counterparts. They are an excellent and native choice for smaller gardens. The original, single Pink Knock Out roses are extremely hardy and suffer little to no disease in the garden. 

Grow Roses in Tandem

HGTVGardens contributor Dee Nash grows over ninety roses in her garden organically, but they are planted with other grasses, perennials and annuals to create a garden that covers four seasons. Growing roses with other plants also helps prevent disease and insect problems. 

Rosa 'Mutabilis'

'Mutabilis' is often called the butterfly rose because its single blooms start out a lovely apricot and then fade eventually to dark pink. All roses in the China class have this characteristic, but 'Mutabilis' shows it most prominently. In warmer climates, 'Mutabilis' can grow up to five feet tall and three fee wide. 

Rosa 'Cramoisi Superieur'

Rosa 'Cramoisi Superieur' is an heirloom China rose with dark crimson flowers that are silvery on reverse. It infuses the garden with a light fruity fragrance. Heirloom roses often have more complex fragrances than their modern counterparts. China roses are not as cold hardy as other rose classes. They are generally hardy to Zone 7a, but some are only hardy to Zone 7b. 

Rosa 'Baronne Prevost'

Not all disease resistant roses are new cultivars. Many heirloom roses are very disease resistance, but not all. Check with local sources to find healthier heirlooms. Rosa 'Baronne Prevost', a Hybrid Perpetual from 1841 is very disease resistant. When it does get blackspot during a rainy spring, it quickly recovers. Its fragrance has been described as a heavy damask scent. When it is blooming, the entire garden smells of roses.