EARTH-KIND® ROSES-THE NEXT GENERATION

By Gaye Hammond, Houston Rose Society
gayeh@LPM-triallaw.com

Introduction to Earth-Kind® Roses

The most prestigious horticultural plant designation bestowed by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service is entitled "Earth-Kind®." This designation is based on extensive statewide field tests conducted by Texas A & M horticultural experts. Only a few special plants possess the extremely high level of landscape performance coupled with the outstanding disease and insect tolerance/resistance that are required in order to receive this designation. Simply stated, Earth-Kind Roses are the finest, most thoroughly tested, and most environmentally responsible plants for use in Southern landscapes.

The Texas Nursery and Landscape Association was the signature sponsor of the initial Earth-Kind Rose Research Project at the Texas A & M Experiment & Research Station in Dallas, Texas. In 2001, at the request of the Houston Rose Society, the Texas AgriLife Extension Service agreed to continue and expand upon its initial Earth-Kind research. The expanded research, including the identification of additional cultivars deserving of the Earth-Kind designation and an effort to identify national Earth-Kind cultivars has been made possible through a financial grant from the Houston Rose Society. The goal of the National Earth-Kind Rose Research Project is to identify a collection of Earth-Kind Roses that will give excellent performance in every region in the country, just like the collection that exists for Southern gardens.

These plants do very well in almost any soil type, from the well-drained acid sands of east Texas to the poorly aerated, highly alkaline clays of central and southwest Texas. These roses are certainly not immune to pest problems. However, their tolerance to pests is so great that, as long as you do not mind a few leaflets dropping occasionally, almost never will you need to apply any harsh pesticides to these roses!

Planting & Care Recommendations
1. Plant in a location that receives at least 8 hours of full direct sunlight every day, 365 days a year with good circulation.

2. Good bed preparation is critical. For native soils that are sandy or loamy add 3 inches of fully aged plant derived compost tilled into the site to a depth of 6 inches. For clay soils, add 3 inches of expanded shale and 3 inches of plant derived compost tilled into the site to a depth of 6 inches.

3. Earth-Kind Roses and roses in the Earth-Kind Brigades must be growing on their own roses. Grafted versions of these roses are not Earth-Kind.

4. Drip irrigation is recommended. Never water roses at night as can create the conditions for fungal diseases to occur.

5. Apply a 3 inch layer of shredded hardwood mulch on top of the soil. Add additional mulch in the spring and fall to maintain this 3 inch layer. (The best and most economical mulch is shredded leaves with tree limbs from tree trimming operations.) The decomposition of this mulch layer creates a long-term slow release fertilizer.

6. These roses will reach their full mature size by the end of the third growing season. Pruning is generally unnecessary. If the rose grows outside its bounds, a light shaping is all that is needed.

7. Most Earth-Kind Roses are self-deadheading (they drop spent blooms on their own). However, the plant will rebloom faster if the spent blooms are removed as they develop.

DWARF SHRUBS

Cultivar Name

Year

Zones

Blossom Color

Blossom Type &
Fragrance
Blooming Period

Mature
H x W (ft)
Rose
Category
Ducher

1869

7 – 11

Ivory White

Double
Tea/Fruit Fragrance
April – November

3-5 x 3

China

Cecile Brunner


1881


5 – 9


Light Pink


Double;Fragrant
Tolerates Light
Shade
April- November


4 x 3


Polyantha


Marie Daly

1999

5 – 9

Pink

Semi-Double
Fragrant
April – November

3 x 3

Polyantha

The Fairy*
1932
4 - 10
Light Pink
Double
April - November
3 x 4
Polyantha

SMALL SHRUBS

Cultivar Name

Year

Zones

Blossom Color

Blossom Type &
Fragrance
Blooming Period

Mature
H x W (ft)
Rose
Category
Caldwell Pink Found 4 - 9 Lilac Pink Double May - November 4 x 4 Found
Georgetown Tea

Found

7 - 9

Dark Salmon
Pink
Strong Tea
Fragrance
April- November

4 x 4

Tea

Knock Out 2002 5b - 9 Cherry Red Semi-Double April - November 4 x 4 Shrub
Perle d'Or 1884
4 - 9 Peach Pompon; Fragrant April - November 4 x 4 Polyantha

MEDIUM AND LARGE SHRUBS

Cultivar Name

Year

Zones

Blossom Color

Blossom Type &
Fragrance
Blooming Period

Mature
H x W (ft)
Rose
Category
Belinda's Dream 1992 5 - 9 Pink Double; Fragrant April - November 5 x 5 Shrub
Carefree Beauty
a/k/a Katy Road Pink
1977

3b - 9

Pink

Semi-Double
Fragrant
April - November

5 x 4

Shrub

Duchesse de
Brabant
1857

7 - 9

Rose Pink

Cupped
Very Fragrant
April - November

6 x 4

Tea

Else Poulsen 1924 4 - 9 Pink Semi-Double April - November 5 x 5 Floribunda
La Marne

1915

5 - 9

Pink / White
Blend
Single
Few Thoms
April - November

5 x 4

Polyantha

Monsieur Tillier 1891 7 - 9 Apricot Pink Double; Fragrant April - November 7 x 6 Tea
Mme.
Antoine Mari
1901

7 - 9

Pink Blend

Double
Fragrant
April - November

6 x 6

Tea

Mrs. Dudley Cross

1907

7 - 9

Cream/Pink

Double
Slight Fragrance
April - November

3.5 x 3.5

Tea

Mutabilis "The
Butterfly Rose"
pre-1894

5 - 10

Yellow, Pink
Crimson
Single

April - November

6 x 6

China

Spice


Found


7 - 9


Blush Pink


Semi-Double
Peppery Fragrance

April - November


5 x 4


Bermuda
Mystery Rose
China type
Souvenir de
St. Anne's
1950

6 - 9

Light Pink

Semi-Double
Very Fragrant
April - November

4 x 4

Bourbon


Below are links to pictures of the Earth-Kind roses. They are in alphabetical order.

Page 1   Belinda's Dream - Marie Daly
Page 2   Mme. Antoine Mari - The Fairy