My Buck Roses and weak colors

I have a question about some Buck roses. I have had a lot of problems with color variation between plants. It seems that every once in a while I get lucky and get a great Buck with nice deep colors (in cooler weather). I have also had the same variety have very washed out colors. Prairie Harvest is an example. Back in Nebraska, I had a wonderful plant of Prairie Harvest and it always had pleasant moderately rich colored flowers. Here in Idaho, its a washed out blah. Even in cool weather. Same story with Golden Unicorn and Winter Sunset. The plants I had back in Nebraska looked great. Here in Id they are washed out and blah.

Another example is Gentle Persuasion. A long while back, I took a great picture of Gentle Persuasion at the Reimen Gardens in Ames IA. It was a beautiful picture with rich blended color. I posed it on line and a couple of people liked it so much they bought it. Not long after, they pretty much accused me of photoshopping the picture because thier Gentle Persuasion was all washed out and had no hint of the richer colors shown in my photograph. Other than being very slighly underexposed, it had not been doctored.

So, I wonder what might be the cause of this. I would think the soil in idaho would be much more prone to produce nice colors than Nebraska. In Nebraska, my soil was good rich soil(sandy loam) but had a very high ph, to the point that my silver maple was dying of cholorosis. In ID, the soil is much more acidic but contains a little less organic material. More clay. I have tried to amend the flower beds fairly well.

By the way, this is the Gentle Persuasion photo:

Try adding some rock phosphate to your soil.

If you are significantly higher in Idaho then it could be UV degradation of the pigments as well. Plants under glass will not suffer from this so compare yours with some in a greenhouse, or stick a plant underneath one of those glass type picnic tables to see if it stays more saturated.

I used to grow Austin’s ‘Evelyn’ in my garden out East years ago, and it was a wonderful color. Here in the PNW it is washed out and dull by the time the bloom is halfway open. In fact, its so poor here that it is on the list of roses to go when I need space for something else.

Climate plays a big role in how a variety’s coloring manifests itself. And as Don said, nutrient availability has an effect as well.