Need advice on what roses to grow in Syracuse NY

A friend of mine wants to put in a rose garden in Syracuse - actually, a hair north of Syracuse. I tried to talk her into rhododendrons but she’s pretty stubborn.

Syracuse gets something like 100 inches of snow each year and she is actually a hair north of there which adds a couple of feet to the snow total because of the winds off the Great Lakes. This mitigates the cold a bit so it is not like the prairie where you get steady dry winds. Still, I don’t really know what to recommend to her.

My first thought is Bill Reid but after that I’m at a loss. Keep in mind she’s thinking of roses like Perfume Delight and Tiffany.

What would you recommend?

The Dr. E. M. Mills Rose Garden is in Syracuse. The list of roses contained there is at this link. Probably not what you would want to suggest to her, but this is what they grow.

Mother of Pearl
Sunshine Daydream
South Africa
Probably some of these newer healthy Kordes hybrid teas like Beverly (for fragrance) and Poseidon.

The first two are able to do fine here in Zone 3 Minnesota with no winter protection. They are planted very deep. They get a little blackspot, so I’m not sure how they’d do in a climate with higher blackspot pressure. I haven’t tried South Africa or Poseidon outside yet, but in the balmy warmth of Syracuse with a thick, cozy blanket of snow I think they’d do fine.

Just get the crown 6 inches below the soil level and I think almost any rose will survive there. Choose healthy ones so they don’t drop all their leaves in the middle of the summer.

Here are some that I grow and recommend. For Austin’s: Lillian Austin, Crocus Rose and Sophie’s Choice. For Moderns: Dick Clark, Belinda’s Dream, Chuckles, Lion’s Fairy Tale and Glenda Marie. And For Bailey’s: Fiesta, Music Box, High Voltage and My Hero. If powdery mildew isn’t a problem then Champlain. If she’s interested in OGRs then Henri Martin, Charles de Mills, Tuscany Superb, Maidens Blush or Gloria de Guilan.

You are in hardiness zone 5a. The fact that you get a lot of snow might be a good thing. Once your rose bushes are piled high with snow, they are insulated from the harsh cold.
According to the literature, the David Austin roses do OK in vey cold climates.

But if you prefer today’s hybrid teas and floribundas, then instead of asking which roses can grow in your zone, ask how to winter-protect the roses you WANT to grow.
If you have the ability to grow more tender roses in large pots, and overwinter them in a heated or unheated garage or greenhouse, even better. Then in the spring, sink the pots into the ground in your garden.

I have always felt that I should not be a slave to climate when it comes to growing plants that I love. I have an unheated garage and a heated greenhouse for more tender plants.

Central NJ, zone 7a

Kim, interesting link, thanks. I see they have a lot of annual roses on the list:)

Joe and Paul, thanks for your specific recommendations, it is good to get advice based on direct experience with the Great White North. So how many feet of snow do you have now?

Cathy, I should have mentioned she’s growing a family too so she’s expecting me to come up with roses that don’t require life support and a trust fund. That’s why I first suggested she consider rhododendrons.

I’ve compiled the list with links to HMF but I’m also wanting to recommend some nurseries. Top on my list are Heirloom, Rogue Valley and Burlington. Are there other nurseries that people have been happy with lately?

For nurseries, I would add Chamblee’s and High Country to the list. Never had issues with them. Chamblee’s roses are quite large for the price you pay. If I remember correctly shipping was about $25-30 for around 12 1 gallon sized plants - not too terrible compared to others. I think it calculated to about $12-15 per plant. High Country sells good quality, nicely sized plants too. I cannot remember if they were the standard size bands or the quart size but I do remember being very happy with the plants I received. They are easy to work with too (as is Rogue Valley and Burlington) if there is ever an issue with the plant you receive.

I also had good results from Pickering but I haven’t ordered from them in two years (last year because or the restriction to U.S. gardens and this year because I never got around to it). I personally prefer own root over budded so when I order from Pickering I tend to plant pretty deep and most of the roses become own root in a matter of 2-3 years.

I have a young family too and don’t like to spend too much time preparing all my tenders for winter. I basically collapse the climbers to the ground and bury them and the shrub roses with leaves. The potted roses are place on there sides in the vegetable gardens and buried under a massive pile of leaves too. takes me about a weekend to bury almost 1000 rose plants (counting small seedlings).

I’d stay away from the nurseries that send out small plants or bands. Small roses just don’t do well in the colder climates. If I get a smaller plant, I’ll keep it in the pot until it gets larger. If you think she’s up to bare root plants then Edmunds sends out good size plants. The roses from Chamblee nursery this year were good size also but not nearly as large as the ones from Edmunds so I repotted them and didn’t plant them in the ground. I’ll probably plant them next spring.

She’s actually pretty close to Hortico which is just across the border from Buffalo. They have decent size bare root roses also. They’ve had issues with mislabeling plants in the past and I don’t if they’ve resolved that yet though. My Gloire de Guilan was supposed to R. fedtschenkoana.

Pretty much all of Will Radler’s roses should also do well near Syracuse but a few of my favorites are Peppermint Pop, Brite Eyes, Bubble Double, Sunny Knock Out, Double Knock Out, Can Can, and Carefree Celebration. All have done well for multiple years in Zone 3B and my snow cover is erratic. Some years we have a lot (like last year), but there are recent years that had almost no snow cover during the harshest part of the winter. Some of them die back to the crown in my zone but they always rebound with great vigor. They should suffer much less cane damage in New York.

As I read the list of replies, I am laughing my behind off.

If this woman has no time to grow or MAINTAIN roses because she is pregnant, and so little knowledge that she asked you, Don, and she is as stubborn as Don claims, then this list of replies about cultivars and buying sources is way more than she can or wants to handle or deal with.

Don, you said she wants Tiffany and Perfume Delight. I recall Kim’s reply to a previous post that people want what they want, and to hell with the growing conditions. Then let her buy those cultivars.
And Don, we can do without the sarcasm about rhodies and our various replies.

Why don’t you tell her to just buy 1 or 2 roses from her local garden center in the spring. And let her take it from there.

Central NJ, zone 7a

OR give her some nice OGR’s and tell her they are, in fact, HTs. I have a feeling she might enjoy those more.
Just give her some roses. Don’t let her choose so much. I would say give her a nice, fun mini like Rose Giraldi as a patio plant, too.