Moondance as pollen or hip parent

I have been using Moondance as both a pollen and hip parent for two years, and don’t see much mention of it. It has been as willing a pollen or hip parent as Queen Elizabeth, but at half the size and with as many flowers. It has been very malleable with whatever it is paired–however most OP’s are pale white, pale yellow or quite white. I have one OP that is just like Iceberg, but not so large nor prone to Powdery Mildew at this time (last yrs seedling). In early to mid-May or so, I had a huge outbreak of Downy Mildew after a very continuously foggy, damp night and day (A.M.) spring. Many of my seedlings, which I did not take heroic measures to protect after so many of them became infected, did poorly (most not surviving) but the surprise to me was that several (approx. 15) either did not get the downy, only 2-3 got powdery mildew, one got rust, and what they had in common was Moondance as a parent. I know that several came through unscathed, and when several newly ordered plants arrived with D.M. (two of those did die), they again did not succumb–my intent first and foremost is to come up with some absolutely disease resistant roses (this means with minimal to no spray) and so far these three have been exposed to rust, Downy Mildew and Powdery Mildew without any trace of out break. This is 3 out of a field of 850 approx. I have a few more coming into their second bloom that look unscathed, but none of these have been subjected to much Blackspot. I had my seedling nursery alongside the swimming pool-this was probably the initial mistake when it just did not heat up this spring-unintended added humidity. And the only place I had to move these to is the “compost” area, which is where I used to keep all my reject roses-which is something I don’t do anymore. I have become very unsentimental when it comes to a less than perfect rose. And to think I used to be unable to discard anything, plant wise! I think you can teach an old dog new tricks, if that dog is willing and able. On the photobucket site is a few of the Moondance seedlings, mostly from their first blooms.


Moondance is from Princess Alice, which is an excellent rose. If I had to use Moondance, I would probably marry it with something that would give a smooth yet fade resistant primrose-toned floribunda.

It’s good to hear that Moondance can give disease resistant seedlings. I’m trying it for the first time this year. It seems to be setting hips pretty well for a first year plant in a 5 gallon pot. I crossed it with Julia Child, Gold Medal, and Fabulous!

I had a lot of downy mildew in my yearling seedlings this Spring too. Most survived but looked terrible. I eventually defoliated them to force them to produce new foliage, and now most of them look pretty good. If a seedling is prone to powdery mildew, black spot, or rust, I toss it. Downy mildew isn’t often a problem here, so I’ll give the survivors a second chance.