By Ilene Miller
Special to the Daily Herald
February and Valentine’s Day bring to mind one of my favorite flowers: the rose. If you plan to add a rose bush to your landscape, then now is the time to make your selection.
Consider the following buying guidelines when deciding which rose fits your needs.
Look for AARS designation. All-American Rose Selections must complete a two-year trial program and score well on disease resistance, flower production, a vigorous growth habit, bud and flower form, color and fragrance and other characteristics to receive the AARS logo.
Some of the AARS winners recommended by the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association include “Knock Out,” a shrub rose; “Double Delight,” “Mister Lincoln,” “Peace,” “Tropicana,” “Olympiad” and “Perfume Delight,” hybrid tea winners; and “Sun Sprinkler,” a yellow miniature. Two floribundas, “Livin’ Easy” and “Marmalade Skies,” are also favorites.
Another group of roses that consistently does well in Texas gardens are the Texas Super Star plants that have been tested by Texas A&M University and the nursery industry for their ability to grow in all parts of our state. Look for the Texas Super Star logo on “Belinda’s Dream,” a pink shrub rose, and “Marie Daly,” a pink polyantha.
Bell County Master Gardeners have also had good results in growing antique, or found roses. These are the plants that have decades of experience growing in Texas gardens, often with little care. They, too, are hardy, require less chemical use, are more disease-resistant, and have fewer pest problems.
Some of my favorite antique rose varieties that Central Texas gardeners should look for at area nurseries are “The Fairy,” “Caldwell Pink,” “Marie Pavie,” “Old Bush,” “Valentine,” “La Marve,” “Ballerina” and “Lady Banks.”
These are just a few of the wonderful rose selections that will thrive in Texas gardens. Select and plant your roses by February while selections are plentiful.