Louisiana Super Plants: Peggy Martin Roses

Damon Abdi, Hare, Roxanne, Edwards, Ashley, Thiessen, Maureen, Fields, Jeb S.

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Peggy Martin Roses

  • Recommended Use: Vining shrub, trellis shrub
  • Exposure: Full sun recommended
  • Size: 13 to 17 feet tall, 5 to 7 feet wide
  • Habit: Climbing, spreading, twining, trailing
  • Bloom Time: Early spring, mature specimens re-bloom in late summer/fall
  • Maintenance Category: Minimal
  • Water Use: Average
  • Highlights: Profuse pink flowers grab attention in spring and re-bloom later in the year in established plantings. This low maintenance shrub is often trained around structures such as trellises and fences, allowing the form to be contorted to the desired shape. The lack of thorns contributes to the ease with which this plant is maintained, with light pruning to remove dead canes and to train the plant typically being all that is necessary.


Peggy Martin roses are a robust and recognizable feature in the Louisiana landscape. The showy, fragrant pink flowers are sure to attract the eyes of passersby and pollinators. This plant makes an excellent addition to the landscape, where it can be trained over features such as fences to create a unique aesthetic with its undefined form. A favorite feature of many gardeners is that these plants are generally thornless, keeping people and pets safe from a prickly predicament.

Peggy Martin roses prefer full sun conditions and well-drained, slightly acidic soil (pH of 5.6-6.5) with supplementary water recommended during periods of extended drought. An overall resilient plant, popularized by its survival through floods in the wake of Hurricane Katrina at its namesake’s residence, Peggy Martin roses need minimal maintenance. Pests and disease issues are not a common concern. A spring and fall application of complete fertilizer and a late winter pruning to guide growth and remove undesired canes is all that is typically needed.


  • Adjust the soil pH so that it is between 5.5 and 6.5 since roses prefer slightly acidic conditions.
  • Full sun is generally best. Morning sun is recommended. Some light afternoon shade is appreciated in the hottest of times.
  • Peggy Martin roses perform best in properly prepared landscape beds. Despite its story of surviving floods, ensuring ample drainage is essential. Roses in general suffer in wet soils.

Growth Habit

  • Prolific spreading plant. Its undefined form is partially responsible for its popularity, allowing gardeners to creatively shape this plant in the landscape.
  • Very common in space-limited landscapes, given its capacity to grow on fences and other structures.
  • Peggy Martin roses are recommended for hardiness zones 4-10, and they do well throughout Louisiana.

Care and Maintenance

  • Ensure adequate moisture. Supplementary irrigation may be needed during drought periods. Drip irrigation at the base of the plant is an effective way to limit foliar wetness, and ensuring proper drainage can help prevent disease.
  • Apply 3 inches of mulch around the base to prevent soil from drying out and ensure proper root health. This can also reduce weed pressure.
  • Spring and fall fertilizer applications can help ensure growth and bloom quality. Complete fertilizers are good for this.
  • Peggy Martin roses do not need deadheading as they will continue to bloom; however, deadheading will not cause harm and may be done to maintain aesthetics.
  • While relatively thornless, it is not uncommon to occasionally encounter thorns (some consider this plant semi-thornless, in fact). The backs of the leaves are fairly prickly, so it is recommended to wear gloves when performing maintenance.
  • The plant is commonly cited as highly disease resistant, contributing to its success across a range of environments.
  • Peggy Martin roses can be quite attractive as container plants, although additional care may be necessary to keep the shrubs contained.

Peggy Martin Roses on fence.

Peggy Martin roses can be trained over landscape features such as fences. Photo by Heather Kirk-Ballard/LSU AgCenter

Closeup of pink Peggy Martin roses.

The showy pink flowers of Peggy Martin roses attract pollinators. Photo by Heather Kirk-Ballard/LSU AgCenter

Closeup of pink Peggy Martin roses.

Peggy Martin roses prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Photo by Anna Ribbeck/LSU AgCenter

3/16/2023 2:26:44 PM
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