Low Maintenance Roses for the Atlanta area

Most gardeners and landscapers are reluctant to promote or plant roses because of the care most roses generally require. However, this is not always the case. There are roses which are easy to grow and do not require spraying. Of course, as with many plants and shrubs, you should prune, fertilize and mulch roses. Our rose society undertook the planting of Earth-Kind® roses at Bogan Park where we hold our annual Rose Day and Rose Shows. We planted Earth-Kind® roses, which were introduced to our society by Bobbie Reed, a Master Rosarian, about ten years ago. Bobbie is from Texas and "visits" Chamblee Rose Nursery in Tyler, Texas, who also promote and sell Earth-Kind roses. Since then Karen Radde, a Consulting Rosarian, has presented at least two talks on Earth-Kind® roses at Rose Day. Karen also consulted at The University of Georgia Botanical Garden and selected several Earth-Kind roses for their garden. Below are links to articles and websites on roses which the average gardener can grow. There are four sets of links which are cited below - Earth-Kind roses, which are the most well-known in the US, the University of Tennessee Extension recommendations, which tests primarily new introductions for the Southeastern US, an article by Bobbie Reed entitled "Reach for the Right Rose" which appeared recently in the ARS magazine, and the results of Rose Trials at UGA.

Earth-Kind Roses

Texas A & M undertook the project of finding roses which would grow almost everywhere in the county, but they must satisfy other requirements - They must be repeat bloomers; they must require little care including no spraying; they must grow in various soil conditions and different climates. Roses were not restricted to new roses; any rose providing it met their requirements could be designated Earth-Kind®. Roses are grown in many areas of the US to determine roses which are disease resistant, are repeat bloomers and require minimal care. Below are links with a short description of each.

Description of the testing and the results including a summary of the Earth-Kind roses by Gaye Hammond of the Houston Rose Society
Article by Bobbie Reed discussing Earth-Kind roses originaglly authored around 2005 last updated in 2009.
Texas A & M Earth-Kind website and below it the Earth-Kind rose culivars.

No-Spray Roses for the Southeastern United States

The University of Tennessee Extension has also conducted tests to determine roses which are disease resistant in the Southeastern US. Most, but not all of these roses are recent introductions and are often available at both mail-order and local nurseries.

UT webpage summarizing the results

List compiled by UT with roses which are Resistant and Tolerant Cultivars courtesy of Prof M. Windham

"Reach for the Right Rose"

"Reach for the Right Rose" is an article authored by Bobbie Reed, a Master Rosarian, in the Atlanta area which appeared in the March/April issue of the "American Rose Magazine". The article lists recommended roses in various parts of the US. For "the Atlanta, GA, area. Zones 7b-8a" Bobbie Reed recommends all of the Earth-Kind roses (See above.) and six more although her favorite is 'Carefree Beauty' an Earth-Kind rose. Below is Bobbie's list. To assist you in finding out about the roses below there are links to nurseries for a description and there are other nurseries which carry these roses too. The nurseries are not endorsed or recommended by their listing below.

'Gartendiektor Otto Linne' 'Marchesa Boccella'  
'Gourmet Popcorn' 'Mother of Pearl'  
'Green Ice' 'Pink Meidiland'  

Top 10 Roses! - The UGA Trial Garden's Blog

The University of Georgia also conducted tests at their trial garden to determine roses best suited for growing in Georgia.

UGA Blog on the "Top 10 Roses!"