Pink Clouds

I got a plant of Pink Clouds from Sequoia because I’d read that it was the rootstock of choice for making mini standards. And because of Sequoia’s closing sometime this year, I thought it might not continue to be available.

It (and the rest of my order) arrived in late December and have been living on a kitchen countertop, in front of my wall of windows rescued from an old school. Light and airy. So not perfect growing conditions.

Pink Clouds opened a bloom today. I smelled it before I saw it. It has the wonderful fragrance of multiflora and a lot of fragrance coming out of a small medium pink, single bloom.

Helpmefind lists the fragrance as “Intense” and to my nose, that’s accurate.

For those looking to add some fragrance, this offspring of Oakington Ruby and R. multiflora might be a potential parent.

Mildews really badly, not good in alkaline soil conditions. I’m sure there are reasons Moore didn’t use it himself.


The alkalinity could be it. But here, that reaction is a plus. The multiflora in it may make it as good as some of the Orleans line of Polyanthas (which don’t have a problem with chlorosis in our acidic red clays.)

And in this colder part of the world, rose standards that could potentially live IN the ground just don’t exist (past the first cold winter.)

The old ramblers (multiflora and wichurana sorts) are survivors around here (at least until road widening takes them down.) And repeat and fragrance as well as a potential loving our (otherwise) wretched red clay soils…you can see where I think there might be a niche out there.

So deep thanks for the alkalinity warning. (And mildew isn’t that common in many of our gardens.)

I can understand your fascination with it. It just wouldn’t be something I would consider using for breeding here in CA or anywhere in the Southwest. I remember visiting Sequoia once when they kept a large block of Pink Clouds in containers for use in propagating understock.

It literally looked as if it had snowed the mildew was so profuse.

Of course this is of little concern if one is using the rose as an understock.

I was quite disappointed to find anything budded to Pink Clouds literally sunk into the ground here, obviously a reaction to alkaline conditions as it thrives in a container. The bark is also subject to sunburn, at least here.

In my experience, what has made ‘Pink Clouds’ useful for mini standards is that it is very strong (resists breaking) even when the caliber of the stem is not that large. Other root stocks that I have worked with are more brittle until they are much thicker (but looks out of balance for minis).

Though ‘Pink Clouds’ mildews, it looks “resistant” when compared to ‘Dr. Huey’! It also sunburns for me, but seems to survive it well enough to last many years when it becomes woody (though it does tend to sucker more than I would like).

Jim Sproul

Thank you for the warning on sunburning. I wonder where that propensity comes from.