Reinventing the rose: How to grow beautiful blooms without those pesky chemicals



Peter Kukielski is doing a fantastic job at the NYBG!!! He has a strong passion for sustainable rose growing and does an amazing job with the Peggy Rockerfeller Rose Garden. The pressure by the city with recent pesticide application restrictions in public spaces has helped to push the garden even faster towards easier care, healthier roses. Peter has risen to the challenge replacing many of the roses throughout the garden with more sustainable cultivars and has been a great advocate and educator throughout his region for roses. Efforts like Peter’s has and will continue to help the flower that we love so much continue to be grown and enjoyed widely by the public.

Peter is a great friend of Earth-Kind and we have worked together to establish a new Earth-Kind trial at the NYBG with many of the Kordes and other roses that are doing well from Peter’s experience and from other Earth-Kind trials.

I’m very excited too for Peter for the great recognition for his work with the Peggy Rockerfeller Rose Garden and sustainable rose growing recently through GROW (Great Rosarians of the World). The East coast event was held at the NYBG just last week.


Kordes of course is focused on Resistancy (nearly always was).

But: Also the Noack Roses are really good - and were getting much better in aspects of flower quality and show effect over the last couple years!

I don’t understand why they are not more known overseas. …

The new varieties of Noack Roses nearly all are ADR Roses, e.g. especially good are Sedana, Westzeit, Venice, Sorrento, etc. …

I don’t know, whether these are offered in the U.S. or in Canada, but they should.

Among them are some of the healthiest varieties I know.

(Lots of multiflora, rugosa and wichurana inside … .)

And: The Knock out series of course is good, but, what about the “Easy does it” Rose from Harkness?

Its very healthy (davidii and others inside) and has got an outstanding bloom and colour!



What does ADR mean?

Noack Flower Carpet roses are everywhere here. … not all are winners. Never seen any of his other roses.

‘Sedana’ (Flower Carpet Amber) is very fertile though I have not tested germinability of its seeds. I have hips now of ‘FCA’ x Rosa bracteata that will be ready to stratify in about a month (all going well). I hope the plant bushes up a bit for me next spring as it is a bit sparse for me at the moment. 'Sorrento (Flower Carpet Scarlet) can make some excellent seedlings… though 99% of them were composters. It forms loads of OP hips but doesn’t accept much in the way of pollen. I have FC Scarlet x ‘Hot Chocolate’ seeds in the fridge now. I kept only two OP FC Scarlet seedlings and will probably bin one of these next winter (will give it a season in the ground to see if it redeems itself in spring). Most of its seedlings will be runty failure to thrive seedlings. I like the look of ‘Venice’ but have never seen it. 'Jacobs Kr

Hi Simon!

ADR = Allgemeine Deutsche Rosenneuheitenpruefung

That means: All-German trial or provement of roses

They test the roses at different places spread over whole Germany.

Interesting what you write about the experiences with the Noack roses … . You are right, not all are winners.

But extremely healthy, thats their selection goal.

There is a good TH of them meanwhile, the rose Inspiration.

I’ve got it since this season, so can’t say if its really so good.

Venice should be one of the healthiest at the moment they offer, referring to a few experienced people I talked to.

I like your crosses, its the combination of healthieness with extraordinary and fancy varieties. Should lead to something special and healthy enough. …

From the Noack roses, Westzeit should be of interest because of its colour and nice foliage, in my view!

But I know:

All in all the Kordes Roses are also a good compromise between look, odour and healthieness.

For the garden.

But perhaps for breeders the Noack roses might be sometimes the better choice! …



Anerkannte Deutsche Rose.

Here is a quote from Pickering Nurseries to give an idea of what ADR is:

"We believe disease-resistance is taking on a greater importance in the rose business. Here in Ontario consumers will face greater restrictions on the application of pesticides for

Flower Carpet Apple Blossom and Flower Carpet Scarlet are probably the most aesthetic and healthy. Some others are healthy (and some like the Red are horrid) but theyre not especially eye-catching. Apple Blossom is the pastle sport of Pink but it lacks the aesthetic harshness of Flower Carpet Pink. Coral is about average. All of the yellows are especially awful. Yellow Brick Road, which is a hybrid between Flower Carpet Yellow and Carefree Sunshine, is far superior in every possible way.

Hi Jadae!

You are right not all of them are eyecatchers, some are boring.

Here one can compare the flowers in a gallery from Noack.

But as I said: I like them more for breeding, less for the garden.

But I think in the next couple of years they will bring out more material that is also good for garden situations and perhaps also with focus on odour (which they left out so far).



ADR is a great program and has been around for a long time. From my understanding from the literature, there is a relatively heavy emphasis on flower and ornamental appeal in the scoring. If a rose earns above a certain total point score, it earns the ADR award. These are newer roses being tested and going on the market, like our AARS program. AARS is now no spray as well and black spot is already building at the park where I am an AARS judge. ADR from my understanding is not open to the public because of not wanting to have poor looking roses on display under a no spray environment. I wonder if AARS will go that route here over time too. WIthout great signage to educate the visitor, it could communicate roses are difficult to grow and discourage gardeners.

Earth-Kind is different and is a step beyond ADR and AARS. Roses already on the market are trialed over a longer period of time at test sites in a replicated, randomized fashion throughout a region. Much more of the emphasis is on plant health and overall flowering effect and not so much on the subjective traits of things like particular color, bud form, etc. THe idea is that the plant has enough oramental appeal to be introduced- now let’s document which plants have the strongest constitution to grow and bloom reliably and abundantly over time in the landscape. The focus is different too in that it is university-led instead of commercial led. There isn’t the need to have winners each year to support the industry for PR for newly released roses. THe roses, not matter who or when they were bred, have a chance to prove themselves as Earth-Kind within regions. In addition, tools such as laboratory disease screens to characterized races of black spot, etc. is being incorporated more and more into the program as more university collaborators are joining the effort.

I am excited AARS is moving more towards an ADR approach. I think these commercial-focused programs have a great role in helping promote the rose and steer people towards the better new cultivars. Later over time programs like Earth-Kind help to confirm and more fully characterize the performance of roses with hard data (key data sets for all cultivars evaluated are published in journal articles) to steer interested growers, breeders, and customers towards the roses that have the strongest constitutions.

“AARS is now no spray as well”

Only because too many of us threw in the towel when trying to deal with the old mentality pervasive in ARS.

They systematically belittled and ostracized the large part of their constituency that have no interest in exhibiting roses for competition.

They’ve suffered catastrophic implosion as result.

“I am excited AARS is moving more towards an ADR approach.”

It’s years too, late but yes, a step in the right direction.

If they keep their noses clean and don’t reward those that spray to win ribbons and vases, they might eventually win back some of the members that couldn’t stomach the status quo.

Hi David,

this is very interesting to read for me!

The comparison of the different trials and their goals and possible achievements are of practical interest, I think!

You wrote: "I think these commercial-focused programs have a great role in helping promote the rose and steer people towards the better new cultivars. "

Yes its like a positive feedback reaction that starts a developement towards good looking roses with good constitutions.

In the beginning you wrote: "From my understanding from the literature, there is a relatively heavy emphasis on flower and ornamental appeal in the scoring. "

But: In my opinion The ADR Test is focussing strongly on disease resistancy. It has the following structure (via Google transator):

So 30 of 100 Points per year (out of a three year period) must be reached solely by healthieness!

And then there are another 20 Points where the “overall impression” is rated, - thats also indirectly connected with healthieness. … Without leaves even the best flowers and flushes look a bit poor (-> Schneewittchen). :wink:

So one half of the possible points is strong connected to healthieness, to get the ADR sign you have to reach 75 Points of them.



PS: heres the original site:

and under “download” you will find a source for further investigations, also with a list of ADR varieties (but not all of them still pass the tests these days, some of the former ADR Roses lost the ADR status).

Hi Arno,

Thank you for the information and links for ADR. The score definately is strongly based on health which is fantastic. Still, the AARS score sheets are heavily focused on many floral traits as the points add up. It was very hard to score roses last fall that could’t bloom well due to defoliation. I suspect there will be growing pressure to change the score sheets.

For Earth-Kind the emphasis is even stronger on health and overall ongoing environmental adaptability than ADR for roses for the low maintenance landscape. ADR is a great program and hopefully our AARS program can navigate these growing pains it is currently in to become a very relevant force in today’s world.

I’ve noted a few of the Earth-Kind selections aren’t as resistant to Powdery Mildew in the West as they could be.

It would be nice if Earth-Kind also had some test plots in Western locations.

Thanks for your informational answer, David!

I didn’t know the Earth-Kind selections so far, (at least not under this naming).

I only heared about a ten years selection contest in Canada in the 1990s, might be part of the same program, but I don’t know for sure. …

By the way: Carefree Beauty, that passed this contest well is full of mildew here at my place.

I have only one plant left for the collection, because they where so disappointing here.

In this context: I guess that powdery mildew is the most variable of all of the funghi.

Its a “nerve testing master of transforming” like the world wide flue! :slight_smile:



Arno, Carefree Beauty was introduced at a time when many/most(?) roses were virused.

Were your samples certified virus free?

Australia also has a trialing system. It’s judging criteria can be seen here:

I think our system is maybe somewhere between AARS and ADR as it has been spray free since its inception but I believe it is still not going far enough as it’s only in one place and it still focuses too much on the flower. There are amazingly good once flowering roses and and it is according that have excellent vigour and disease resistance but they are marked down according to their criteria because someone has decided all roses should be repeat flowering (which I don’t believe at all… seasonality is something I love). Personally, as a breeder, I think having your own tough selection criteria and sending seedlings out to different places for trialling almost removes the need for trial grounds and testing for every reason except marketing.

Hi Henry,

no, no! :slight_smile: There’s no virus, I just mentioned the flue as a description for the abilities of powdery mildew to change its pathogenity! But you mention really a important item, yes there was a note added where they stated that the material is virus-free.

By the way: can such viruses be transfered even to offspring (for example via cellplasma of the female parts)?

Here in Germany the viruses are no main theme, I think it might be the cold climate that prevents their spreading.

And the propagation on root-stocks too.



Hi Simon!

You come to an good point here: How will the increasing worldwide exchange of material and of information in the last 15 years - mainly due to the internet - change the handling of experts information on quality of varieties?

I think there is less posibility to simply “press some products into the market”, wheather they are good or not, but simply by lobbyism. Austin in the UK and Kordes and Tantau in Germany sometimes showed partly such behaviour, but over the last years the situation changed here in Germany a bit. Here especially Noack sirred up the scene, thats why I like them too, not only because of their radical point of view on the need of healthieness in roses.



“and and it is according” shakes head Don’t know what I was thinking here…

G’Day Arno,

I’m a big fan of Noack’s roses because they are so healthy but I believe, given that there are much better roses being bred from them, that even they were put out too early, maybe for the sake of putting something out. Who knows??? The white FC rose is my favourite. As Jadae also said, The Flower Carpet Yellow (or gold or any one of its many synonyms) is an awful rose here and ‘Yellow Brick Road’ looks to be far superior… so to me, the Flower Carpet Roses represent an unfinished product but I am grateful of their release because it means that more work can be done with them. This is my best seedling from Flower Carpet Scarlet so far (see link). So far it is well behaved and bushy to the ground and in its first year it has flowered non-stop. We’re half way through our first month of winter here and it’s still almost fully leafed up and still flowering and I just love its simply but balanced flower. It isn’t old enough yet for me to know all it’s foibles but so far I’m loving it. I have two goals with these plants… one is to try for subtle striped ground cover roses and the other is to make strong dark purple ground covers… maybe this is a first step… she’s fertile enough, making a batch of OP hips already, and so far she’s bomb proof.