Suggestions for cultivars to include in a new EarthkindTM Rose Trial

Hi Everyone,

Dr. Steve George, initiator of the EarthkindTM program, is gathering information on healthy, hardy/low maintenance roses to trial in an upcoming EarthkindTM trial. He asked me for suggestions and I would love to get more feedback. These roses will first be trialed at a site in Texas and then the better performing ones elsewhere as well. The roses will be planted in replicated beds with 3" of compost, mulched, and watered the first year or so as they become established. There will be no pesticides used or fertilizer besides the initial compost and replenished mulch as it decomposes. More can be learned about the program at: The goal is to take rose cultivars that are gaining pretty good reputations for easy care typical of the home gardener and trialing them in a replicated manner across sites in this defined manner to recommend the best performers with data backing it up. A regional effort is building to identify roses that would do best in different regions.

I had the joy to partner with Dr. George at the U of MN begining this past year to begin a Northern Collection of 20 cultivars to trial here in the North. Here are the roses in that trial (they are also planted in Texas as well and it won’t be necessary to include them in this new trial- some are also already Earthkind winners for the South). These 20 cultivars being tested in zones 3-5 are;

Alexander Mackenzie

Carefree Beauty


George Vancouver

John Cabot

John Davis

Morden Blush

Polar Joy

Prairie Joy

Sunrise Sunset


Ramblin Red


William Baffin

Brite Eyes


Yellow Submarine




This new planting will for sure include the lastest in the Knockout Series. Here are some additional ones I was thinking of recommending. I would love to get your feedback and suggestions for additional roses- especially recommendations for those in the Drift Series or perhaps the landscape roses just being offered in the US from Kordes. I’ll pass your comments along to Dr. George. Thank you!

Carefree Marvel

Carefree Celebration

Carefree Delight

Surrey (aka Sommerwind by Kordes)

Oso Easy Strawberry Crush

Oso Easy Paprika

Oso Easy Peachy Cream

Oso Easy Fragrant Spreader

Island Dancer

Golden Eye

Carefree Sunshine

My Hero


Home Run

Red Cascade

White Dawn

Astrid Lingren

Baby Love

Winnipeg Parks

Martha’s Vinyard

Frau Dagmar Hastrupp

Moje Hammarberg

Marie Bugnet

Macy’s Pride

Robin Hood

Morning Magic

Winners Circle

Belle Poitevine

The Gift

Darlow’s Enigma!!!


I think Aunt Honey should be in there. It has always been one of my better performing Buck roses. Lots of flower, low disease and good cold tolerance.

Perhaps some other Buck roses.

  • Freckles is nice.

  • Prairie Harvest is popular.

  • Hawkeye Belle would be interesting to see how it fares. Its never had disease for me in an no-spray Nebraska garden. A person in Minnesota has had it totally disease free one year and completely naked the next.

  • Eathsong is another popular Buck rose.

There are lots of other Buck roses I would love to see in a test like this. All of them actually.

Winter Sunset and Golden Unicorn have both been good for me though they did get BS. My favorite Buck rose is Honeysweet but it is more tender and not as disease resistant. Wonderful deep color though.

Wait, there’s no Lars?!

These are the roses that were the disease free in my garden last year.

Carefree Beauty, Aunt Honey and Prairie Harvest, Moore

About Kordess shrubs all those with ADR distinction (tested no spray all over Germany) should qualify as hardy and desease free enough.

Considered among the better at desease resistance and for me consistently head and shoulder above the older Sommerwind are Gelber Engel, Gebruder Grimm and the most outstanding for performance: Rotilia.

David, I have always been no-spray, in zone 6/7 (Maryland), with very humid, disease-promoting summers. I

‘Darlow’s Enigma’, without a doubt.

Another Buck rose that performs non-stop and seems like a perfect choice for testing is Country Dancer-never out of bloom and no disease. Belle Story, maybe not quite hardy enough, is also almost non-stop, and disease free. The Imposter does not seem to allow anything to stop it from blooming, even pruning. I have seen a few spots on it (in the shade) but it had more flowers than spots, and they did not slow it down. Not sure about how hardy it is Temp. wise.

Country Dancer and Earth Song seem to me to be healthier than the earthkind Carefree Beauty.

May Lyon. Despite next to no care and fighting a popular tree (its growing 20-30 feet to the east of a 100 ft+ popular tree), this one just keeps blooming and blooming. It

Golden Wings. Ive never touched that thing and it takes care of itself w/ no disease. I just chop off a 1’ of growth each winter.

Candy Land may prove to be bomb proof as well, but it is still new.

I had sent my list to David via email because I kept getting bounced by the spam filter, but I finally figured out which word was causing the problem… Since I’m re-posting I’d like to add Grimaldi, which has been spotless ever since it was planted in my garden several years ago.

Here’s the list I thought of before - I’m not sure if these have already been tested:

-Sweet Chariot

-Henry Kelsey



-Quite a few of the Meidiland series

-Marchesa Boccella/Jacques Cart*ier (sorry, for some reason the last word without the asterisk causes the site to think my message is spam!)

-Stanwell Perpetual

-Jan’s Wedding (very curious, never tried this either but it sounds pretty good)

-Leverkusen, Lichtkonigen Lucia, Ilse Krohn Superior

-Prairie Dawn

-The Fairy

-Nearly Wild

-Golden Wings

-Raymond Privat

-Leonie Lamesch

-Ghislaine de Feligonde


-Wind Chimes

-Gartendirektor Otto Linne

-Excellenz von Schubert

-Clair Matin

-Lilian Austin

-Crocus Rose

-Sharifa Asma

-English Garden


-Rosa moschata, single

-Rosa roxburghii f. roxburghii (i.e. with double flowers)

-Bengal Fire (probably only for the South)

I like Grimaldi also, but I wish it was as healthy for me as it is for you. It

That’s good to know Paul, thanks for the info! I’ll probably avoid using it as a parent then. It’s a real shame - other than that one, I hadn’t met a healthy striped rose yet.

The only other striped rose I have is Moores Striped Rugosa. It was very healthy for me last year. It’s most likely a triploid and it hasn’t formed any hips yet in the two years I’ve had it. I was going to try it’s pollen on several roses this year to see if it is pollen fertile.


Thank you for all your great suggestions. I’ll pass them along to Dr. George. I’m really glad we had this opportunity to contribute our suggestions to this new Earthkind trial. Because of all the investment of replicated trials, years, and locations in this type of research, a lot of thought needs to be devoted to what cultivars are included. The goal is to find roses that do well under what seems like pretty minimal inputs. There is also a regional emphasis too. In the years ahead roses that do well in this trial will be tested more broadly across the Southern region. If they do well there, they can maybe more easily be considered in other regions too for trialing. Hopefully we can hedge our bets in finding well adapted, low maintenance roses by including in this trial cultivars with good reputations for strong performance under such conditions.

Thank you all again,



I’m glad they are considering testing for Southern climates and hopefully Western ones.

I find some of those listed as disease free in other climates suffer from Powdery Mildew here.

I don’t know if its too late to contribute, but I’ll put a good word in for the Hybrid Musk roses Belinda and Ballerina, both are blooming idiiots and shrug off the little disease they get with very little defoliation.

Please take a look at the Noack roses. I have Flower Carpet Scarlet and it is remarkable. Noack also has an amber-colored rose - Westzeit - that is supposed to come on the US market soon. It might be called Flower Carpet Amber here. Anyway, Scarlet is a bright, appealing color and totally disease free in my garden. Lots of the Noack roses are ADR, including the new Westzeit.

Crystal Fairy has minimal disease problems also. I think it is a sport, rather than a seedling, of The Fairy.