So having read much of the past forum posts on here on the last 10 months, I haven’t been able to solve a question even with the help of Professor Google, so…
Why the heavy preference to dark leaves? Is this just a basic plant biology thing where dark = more chlorophyll? Whats the problem (if there is one) with brighter green leaves? (ie the leaves of say Lord Penzance are a fairly light mid green but the plant is vigorous and not prone to disease for me).
I feel like I’m missing something and it’s probably obvious :\
For me, it’s more of a personal preference. I do have some with lighter foliage and many others with odder colored foliage, but dark, glossy, “holly-like” leaves just seem to attract more eyes than lighter, brighter green foliage does.
On this subject, does anyone have access to market research on rose preferences? We often hear that colour (anything but pink) is a top influencer in a decision to purchase a rose. Many of us assume dark, shiny leaves are more marketable—do we have any market research to back this up? Kim, you’ve mentioned that tan-coloured roses are hot right now. A glance through Pinterest shows a lot of English-style or cabbage-style blush roses, too. Who is tracking this data? Is it available?
I’m sure there is research on preferences. The only “data” I have is what two people I know who provide florist blooms have stated, that grays and tans as well as pastels and anything that looks “Austin” and scented sell. Honey Dijon, Koko Loko, Distant Drums cut blooms are extremely hot in both of their sales.
I feel green leaves are a general sign of good health, since so many disease show there effects by yellowing of the leafs, another leaf treat that I’ve read breeders look to recreate is scented leafs. On glossy leafs it is said that mold is much less an issue with Glossy since the water flows off of them.
There is most likely no firm relation of leaf color and disease resistance. It is a matter of personal preference and how the leaf color and texture relates to leaf size, shape, and the rest of the plant’s characteristics. I would have assumed that I’d like shiny, dark green leaves, but in reality I’m not sure. Prairie Joy, for instance, has this matte blue-green look going on that I find attractive. I have a Prairie Joy/Orangeade/R. nitida descendant that has shinier apple-green leaves that are very pretty. The ultra-gloss that some of the modern groundcover type roses have is less attractive to me. All A’Twitter gives seedlings with a distinct dark, blue-green look, but I don’t find them attractive.
So its just preference, hurrah! I can safely go back to matching bloom colour to foilage colour.
Ideally, in a finished and marketable rose, the foliage should offset the flower well. A chartreusey leaf, for instance, would not set off a yellow blossom to best effect, and to my eye, on a bush such as that, my brain registers the yellow blossom as a diseased leaf. A deep mauve, on the other hand, might look pretty striking against a paler, more yellow-toned leaf. Silvery foliage too looks stunning with mauve blooms as well. But for the most part, darker leaves tend to read as “healthy” and to offset more rose colors. I certainly would not rule out other foliar colors if you can obtain something striking enough, that doesn’t look sickly. Think of the Margerite sweet potato, for instance.
Another example you might consider is Margo Koster. Those stale cantaloupe petals against the chartreuse new foliage have always screamed “death’s door” to me. 'Margo Koster' Rose Photo
Thats essentially the plan.
I like the darker mauves but on a dark plant its less appealing to me. Would prefer to aim towards contrasts between leaves and flowers.
It’s a noble goal. For me, once I select for fungal resistance, cold hardiness, bloom size shape and colour, plant architecture and scent, I’ll settle for it just having leaves.
FWIW, I’ve always preferred matte leaves with a little texture to glossy leaves. Shiny reminds somehow of plastic, which is an association I don’t really want when it comes to plants. Regarding leaf color, like others here I tend to prefer medium green to dark green. I prefer light green to bronze new growth over the strongly red new growth. When I see the latter it always reminds me of some kind of Christmas craft project gone wrong.
On this subject, does anyone have access to market research on rose preferences?
See the comments by Jacques Ferare here:
Don- thanks very much- that thread is really informative and I don’t think I’d seen it before.
Yah… Nice image, Kim. It looks like somebody forgot to remove the jaundice filter from their camera… But a good example — Those cantaloupe blooms could be offset to much better effect against darker, cooler-toned foliage. In fact, I’m thinking right now of my new ‘Soul Sister’ rose whose blossoms probably won’t be much flashier, but whose foliage right now is emerging a deepest cranberry bronze and maturing to a cool (bluish) dark green.
Donald, I hear ya. I think my yellow spotted leaves would offset a striped mauve blossom rather nicely, if I could just hang one of those on such… (“Start with the bush, then hang the flower on it,” right?)
I do not know how many times I have listened to a client gush over ‘Iceberg’ simply because they saw it somewhere, anywhere, and not always in the best condition, but always in bloom. Iceberg can produce pretty deep green foliage but because it is such a bloom machine, I have often seen it with less than stellar deep green leaves, and yet it is usually memorable in all but the worst growing conditions, and usually with mid-apple green leaves or worse. With as much bloom as it produces not to many people care what color its’ leaves are. I have also heard similar things about ‘Julia Child’ and I cannot even recall that I am crazy about the leaf color she sports.