Volume of Bloom

How much emphasis do you put on “volume of bloom”?

This can be represented by number of blooms multiplied by the size of the blooms multiplied by the frequency (repeat) of the blooming cycle.

I believe that truly fantastic roses will exhibit a larger volume of bloom.

Whether the rose is a mini, shrub, HT or climber, volume of bloom will be important. Plant vigor is part of this, but there are plenty of vigorous seedlings that are very skimpy on bloom production, while smaller plants sometimes just “bloom their heads off”.

Over the last two years, volume of bloom has moved up as an important criteria for me.

There are many other important criteria too! Any comments? What’s yours?


I definitely look for seedlings that have a lot of bloom over a long season.

I also look for disease resistance (I do not spray) and winter hardiness (I live in zone 5 northern Ohio.

I keep oversized plants, but I feel the smaller the plant the more probable the chance of it being a commercial sucess as not many people have large yards today.

The characteristic of dropping its own pedals - flowers that clean themselves - is a big plus.

Bloom volume is a very high priority for me, not as high as disease resistance, but higher than form, substance, flower size, etc. Some seedlings seem to want to put their energy into producing flowers, while others put their energy into producing foliage. I keep the ones that produce flowers.

Self-cleaning flowers are definitely a plus, but I can live with flowers that don’t drop their petals as long as they don’t get too ugly as they fade.

One goal that has been moving up on my priority list recently is own-root vigor.

The dropping their own petals and cleaning themselves thing is becoming a major attraction for me. Is there a term for that or is it just kind of an obscure concept?


I like the term, good petal drop as a descriptor, but self-cleaning also sounds good to me. I know that Tom Carruth of Weeks Roses pays close attention to this quality.

The point is, does the rose and bush look pleasing to the eye on a greatest number of days throughout the season. Qualities like good self cleaning, floriferousness, and disease resistance play in stongly here.

But there are still so many other good qualities to look at!


I’m just curious, does any one know if good petal drop precludes a rose having long vase life?

I love to bring in my roses for display in my home and office.

I’m a newcomer to the forum and have been growing roses about 2 years, but managed to plant 24 of them in the last couple springs at my home and I’m hooked. I’m now interested in learning more about hybridizing.


Hi Kali:

This is the place to learn about rose hybridizing! It is a great hobby and there are lots of people in RHA who love sharing their experiences.

In my experience, good petal drop does tend to go along with shortened vase life, but there are degrees to how fast a rose drops it’s petals. Some roses will drop their petals the day after they bloom, or sooner!

Personally, what I am looking for in “good petal drop”, is for a rose to drop it’s petals before it looks like garbage. If a rose looks good for a week and then drops it’s petals that is much better than one that drops almost immediately. Some roses do this. Seven days in my mind would be a very reasonable vase life.


Regarding volume of bloom and repeat bloom, what about the following:

Sally Holmes – but how often does it bloom? The June flowering is big, and it repeats – I’m not sure that it repeats in volume thereafter.

Mutabilis – This is what I’ve read: Volume plus constant repeat blooming.

I wonder which varieties of HT form repeat really well?

This is all pretty relative. When I read the catalogues, I’m never sure what meaning to attach to terms like “continuous,” “repeats,” “constant blooming,” “ever-blooming.”

In the Northeast I get a big June bloom from the HT’s and a few scattered blooms thereafter until blackspot and heat finish off the roses! (I don’t use chemical sprays.)

In Los Angeles, it’s a different world – this August when I visited, the roses were going great, and at the San Jose Heritage Rose Gardens the display was still nice (though defintely not peak).