Earth-Kind Landscape Roses

by Stephanie Suesan Smith on January 21, 2011

two red rosesI do not usually talk about roses but most people have a rose or two and so I will stray into the realm of flowers to discuss Earth-Kind™ landscape roses.  Most roses suffer from a wide variety of insect pests and diseases.  Pesticides, whether organic or synthetic, and large amounts of fertilizer are necessary to their survival.  However, people are moving away from growing plants that require such intense management.  Enter the Earth-Kind™ landscape rose.

Earth-Kind™ landscape roses are the bad boys of the rose world.  To earn that designation, they must undergo at least three years of testing and survive with little care during that period.  Basically, they are planted in test plots around Texas.  Although they do get water, and may get one side dressing of fertilizer a year, they are otherwise on their own.

These roses survive heat up to 105 F, repel pests successfully, survive blackspot and other diseases, and generally endure.  At the end of the three year test period, the survivors are considered for listing.  Not all roses make it.  In fact, most of them die.  The ones that do are hardy, tough, and can withstand the worst Texas can throw at them.

Some of these roses are tested in other areas of the country that have appropriate zone designations.  They have to live through all this testing there, too.  The one concession roses with Earth-Kind™ designation get is that if the soil is clay, compost should be worked in the soil, just as you would any bed to prepare for planting.  All roses should have a three inch layer of mulch around them.  This holds in water and acts as a slow release fertilizer.  Each year, add one inch of mulch to the top of the layer.  This replaces the inch or so that decomposes during the year, so you always have a full three inches there.

If you want tough roses, get Earth-Kind™ landscape roses.  You can find a list of these roses on the Earth-Kind™ roses home page.  Now is a good time to plant roses, so grab a shovel and plant some.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna January 21, 2011 at 9:22 am

what an incredible post with so much info…I had not heard of these roses although I have heard about Knock Outs and use them pretty exclusively…I checked out the link and found some new roses I purchased are Earth Kind…I will be looking for these now!!


VA Homes March 15, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Just happened to run across this article. I am going to order these. like the fact that I dont have to usefertilizer just once a year and no pesticide does your research justice
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Diane from Title Loans June 16, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Interesting. I like how plants are going 100% natural as well. I love roses and flowers because they light up a room and calms the heart.
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Danny from Pole chain saw September 13, 2011 at 1:11 am

So these roses will even survive my “care”.
That is great info!
I always wanted some beautiful roses for a more romantic feel, but because I travel a lot, I couldn’t take good enough care of them.
Might try these.
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Affordable Landscaping in Michigan March 1, 2017 at 10:00 am

I am a landscaper in Michigan and I always like to provide roses as part of my landscaping package to clients. Nothing looks better in a yard than roses.


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