Allen D. Owings | 4/19/2005 10:28:28 PM
The LSU AgCenter has recently initiated rose studies that may be of interest to green industry professionals, home gardeners and rose enthusiasts, according to LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Allen Owings.
The LSU AgCenter has long had an All-America Rose Selections Display Garden, first at the Hill Farm location on the Baton Rouge campus and now at Burden Center near campus. Many modern rose varieties have been evaluated over the years for their landscape performance characteristics and their susceptibility to blackspot and other diseases troublesome to rose gardeners in Louisiana.
Owings says the new project is a cooperative effort with Texas A&M University (TAMU), evaluating the performance of "Earth Kind" roses in the Baton Rouge area. These roses are those varieties, primarily consisting of old garden types, that are being recommended by TAMU because of their low-maintenance requirements and reduced susceptibility to powdery mildew and blackspot.
Some varieties included in this effort are Spice, New Dawn, Louis Philippe, Nacogdoches, Puerto Rico, Georgetown Tea, Mrs. Dudley Cross, Reve d'Or, Ducher, Marie Pavie, Carefree Beauty, Belinda's Dream, Mrs. B. R. Cant, Bon Silene, Maggie, Mutabilis, Isabella Sprunt, Fairy, Pinkie, Perle d'Or, Cecile Brunner, Caldwell Pink, Kirsten Poulsen and several others.
An initial planting of some varieties was made in 2003, with additional varieties added in March 2004.
"Unfortunately, powdery mildew has been a major problem on most of these varieties already this spring," Owings reports, adding, "So, we can see that because of the varying climatic conditions between Louisiana and Texas, some varieties recommended for Texas may not necessarily do well here."
Also, a cooperative effort with the Jackson and Perkins rose-growing company is evaluating "own root" roses versus "budded" roses in a landscape setting.
Jackson and Perkins began marketing some of their rose varieties "on their own roots" recently, Owings points out, explaining that these are being called New Generation roses. Ten varieties are included in this study.
The study was initiated in February 2003 and will continue through the fall of 2005. Data from the 2003 season indicated only very slight significant differences in flowering and landscape performance. Many rose growers are now marketing "own root’ rose bushes instead of "budded or grafted" bushes because of efforts to improve establishment, growth and long-term performance in the landscape.
"This LSU AgCenter horticulture effort with roses will bring new information for rose gardeners in Louisiana," Owings says.
For related topics, look for Gardening and Get It Growing links in the Feature section of the LSU AgCenter Web site: www.lsuagcenter.com. Additional yard and garden topics are available from an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office.