| Home  |  Programs  |  Calendar  |  Publications  |  Staff  |  Map  |  Search  |  Contact Us  | 


UF/Miami-Dade County Extension Home UF/Miami-Dade County Extension Programs UF/Miami-Dade County Extension Calendar of EventsUF/Miami-Dade County Extension Publications UF/Miami-Dade County Extension Staff UF/Miami-Dade County Extension Map Search the UF/Miami-Dade County Extension website Contact UF/Miami-Dade County Extension


BACK to Urban Horticulture Main Page | Urban Horticulture Links | Urban Horticulture Photos

Old Roses for South Florida
By John McLaughlin* & Joe Garofalo*


            If you wish to have roses as part of your Miami-Dade landscape, and yearn to put away the spray can and grow plants that still retain most of their foliage throughout the summer, these roses are for you.  Many of the roses discussed below will grow into substantial shrubs (up to 8-10' in height and width) given the climate of South Florida, and once established are far more drought tolerant than modern roses.  They will flower prolifically throughout the year (particularly if deadheaded[1]), often with the most enticing fragrances, and if not offering the stunning color range of modern hybrid tea roses, display subtle variations in tints and shading.  Often the blooms are of more than one hue and can change with time and temperature on the same plant, giving these roses an elusive charm of their own.

            For landscapers they offer not only blooms with a color palette that can easily meld with other shrubs, but also frequent flushes of new foliage (often attractively wine colored when young) that eventually mature into leaves in shades ranging from lustrous dark greens to lighter apple green. They should be evaluated for South Florida locations where a hibiscus, oleander or large ixora might otherwise be considered. This brief guide to growing and propagating “heirloom”[2] roses for South Florida concentrates, for the most part, on Chinas, Teas, plus a few Noisette and Bourbon roses.

             All of these roses originated from crosses with Rosa chinensis, a rose that grows wild in Western China and has probably been in cultivation in China for more than a thousand years.  When R. chinensis (in the form of various sports) was brought to Western Europe at the end of the 18th century, it was the most significant event in the development of the rose.  The roses grown in Europe up till that time bloomed once, a few at most twice each year.  These introductions from China however, were repeat bloomers, and it is this trait that permitted rose breeders to develop the modern repeat blooming roses now so common in gardens throughout the world.

           The original species China rose (R. chinensis spontanea) is a large, slightly scandent[3], single flowered shrub, which grows wild in Western China.  From it arose the four main cultivated varieties that were first introduced into Western Europe (‘Slater’s Crimson’, ‘Old Blush[4], ‘Hume’s Blush Tea-scented China’ and ‘Park’s Yellow Tea-scented China’).  Of these only ‘Old Blush’ is now commonly grown, though all of them or their descendants have been used to develop a whole panoply of roses over the last two centuries.

            The Tea roses also originated in China and are considered to be crosses between R. chinensis and R. gigantea, and are referred to botanically as R. x odorata.  R. gigantea is, as its name suggests, a large plant (over 40') growing on the forested mountain slopes of Burma (Myanmar) and Southwest China, where it receives abundant summer monsoonal rains and plentiful sun.  Bearing in mind the climate in which the above species were first found, it is not surprising that Chinas, and especially Teas, did poorly when brought to Northern Europe.

            Two other groups of roses, the Bourbons and Noisettes, can perform well in the climate of South Florida.  The Bourbon roses arose from seed collected from a natural hybrid between a China (almost certainly ‘Old Blush’) and the pink autumn damask rose (R. damascena var. semperflorens) on the French island of Bourbon (now known as Reunion) in the Indian Ocean.  The Noisettes were originally developed in South Carolina using seed produced from Champney’s Pink Cluster, obtained by crossing ‘Old Blush’ with the musk rose, R. moschata.  To John Champney, the gardener and plantation owner who made the original cross, must be accorded the distinction of being the first gardener to introduce into a cultivated Western hemisphere rose the genetic propensity of the China roses’s for repeat blooming.  However, it was the roses raised from the seeds of this union by Philippe Noisette, a Charleston nursery owner, that produced the plants we now recognize as Noisette roses.

            It was, as mentioned above, the desirable traits they offered to rose breeders that secured the Teas and Chinas importance when crossed with old European roses.  As plants in their own right they found far greater success in the warmer Mediterranean areas of Europe, South Africa, Australasia and California and the American South.  It is worth drawing attention to the fact that many of these roses have been “rescued” from old home sites, church yards and cemeteries, and are therefore survivors, having been able to thrive over many decades without particular care.  There are groups active (for example in Texas and California) that scout rural parts for old, forgotten roses, and some of these are now commercially available.  The old European roses (e.g. Albas, Gallicas and Centifolias) do not perform well in South Florida.

            One group of old roses that is particularly well suited to South Florida are the so called Bermuda roses, which do well on the pervasive limestone rock that makes up the island’s land mass.  These roses are of uncertain parentage, but were probably originally brought to Bermuda from England and Europe, where subsequently their identity was lost.   They appear to be of China stock for the most part.


            It is essential when growing roses in South and Central Florida to use plants grafted onto a R. fortuniana[5] rootstock.  This species produces a root system that enables the plant to survive the stresses induced by the combination of sandy soil, heat, and the presence of a variety of nematodes[6] that attack the roots of roses.  Nematodes tend to favor sandy soils.  Their numbers can be reduced by organic material incorporated into the soil and applied on the surface as mulch.  If you suspect that nematodes could be a problem[7], you can submit soil samples for testing[8].  

            Many of the old garden roses described in this document will grow successfully on their own roots, especially in areas of Miami - Dade where the soil is not so sandy, such as the Rockdale limestone soil in the south of the county.  There are even a limited number of own-.root heirloom roses that appear to be surviving on the sandy soils of Central Florida.  If you are in doubt as to your location, use grafted plants and/or try some of the varieties listed below that have performed particularly well on their own roots.


              China Roses:  These roses range from small shrubs like ‘Le Vesuve’ and ‘Hermosa’‘[9] which are suitable for planters, to larger specimens such as ‘Cramoisi Superiuer’ and ‘Mutabalis’ (the “Butterfly Rose”), which will easily reach 7-9' in either direction. New flushes of growth are usually a particularly attractive wine color at first, maturing to a lustrous green. When full grown they are generally small to medium plants, though in the climate of South Florida some can grow to 8-10' in height and width. They often produce light, twiggy growth and this, along with any dead wood, should be removed as necessary to permit maintenance and keep the bush open.

             Blooms, which can be single, semi-double to double, are not particularly spectacular on an individual basis, but the overall effect of a bush in bloom is most attractive. A well-maintained ‘Old Blush’ in full bloom has been likened to an azalea in its visual appeal. Expect particularly good blooms from late fall through early Spring, with more sporadic bloom through the Summer months. Colors range from creamy white through pink blends to crimson reds.

             Teas:  As a class, these roses are particularly well suited to South Florida, well able to take the heat and humidity of Summer, retaining most of their foliage. The Teas tend to be large, upright growing plants often narrower at the base, with some growing as large climbing roses. The expanding flower buds have that classic, slender, pointed, cup shape, opening to give double to semi-double blooms, often with longer, higher petals in the center. The pastel shades of the blooms are the essence of an old-fashioned rose garden. They range from pale yellows to blush pinks and carmine, often with one shade delicately suffused with another. To this can be added their light sweet fragrance[10], and the attractive nodding habit of the flowers once open. 

             Noisettes:   Most of this group of roses are loosely scandent to climbing, and need some kind of support.   They are ideal for covering a chain-link fence, a garden arch, or pergola, especially where a softer, more restrained element is required in the landscape.  Noisettes produce small to medium blooms in clusters, shaded  cream through yellow to pink, possessing a light, spicy fragrance.  As with other climbing roses, increased blooming can be induced if the canes are arched, before being tied down, with the tip of the cane lower than the point at which the cane is bent.

             Bourbons:   Of the roses presently under review, this class of roses is probably the least well adapted for South Florida[11]. There are, however, some that are sufficiently vigorous to warrant space in the landscape. Bourbons are grown principally for their extremely attractive, open, semi-double to double flowers. These are produced in shades ranging from light creamy pink to crimson and purple-reds. Many of these roses have the added attraction of a pervasive sweet, spicy fragrance.  


             Select a site that receives at least 8 hours of full sun per day, well away from competition with tree roots.  It is best if the plants obtain plenty of early morning sun to permit the foliage to dry off.  If planting next to a driveway or path, set back at least 3-4' since many of these roses will grow into large shrubs with sharp prickles.  All of these roses can be planted directly in the ground, though some of the smaller varieties are appropriate for planters or a raised bed.  If drainage is a problem, plant on a berm or construct a raised bed.  Be aware that these are roses that could well last many years in the landscape, so materials used to retain a raised bed should be durable.

             After removing surface rubble, a hole should be dug that is at least 3-4' in diameter and no more than 12-18" deep with sloping sides (like a soup plate). On rocky sites it may be worthwhile if installing a number of plants to contract this task to somebody with mechanical digging equipment.  If a container-grown plant is to be installed, place it in the planting hole about ½" above soil level to allow for settling, then backfill with a soil high in organic matter.  Bare-root roses should be soaked overnight (roots) before planting and placed in the hole with the roots spread over a dome of soil, and then backfilled.  Do not use heavy muck soil as backfill - many of the soil-based potting mixes can be used, with the addition of thoroughly rotted compost or Canadian peat, bonemeal, dried blood and greensand. Alternatively, mix the potting soil with one of the soil mixes specially formulated for roses as per directions on the bag. After planting, water in well. A slow-release rose fertilizer may be broadcast around the base of the bush, but wait four to six weeks before applying soluble fertilizers.  Apply a 3" covering of mulch (pine bark nuggets or shredded pine bark) over the entire planting area, taking care not to place it right next to the trunk.


             Use a slow release rose fertilizer every 2 months. This can be supplemented with a foliar application of liquid rose fertilizer (mainly for trace elements) every 4-6 weeks, or a trace element spray such as Perk or Microplex every 3 months.  Mineral deficiencies can be a particular problem on limestone-based soils, especially in southern-most Miami-Dade and the Keys.  Foliar applications will be necessary to provide these elements, as well as soil drenches containing chelated iron.[12]   Regularly inspect the covering of mulch and lightly rake if it becomes compacted. As the mulch decomposes it will need to be replaced, depending on the material used, every 6 -12 months.

             Spraying these roses for disease control should not be necessary, except those newly installed during the Summer or any that are still in small containers.  Blackspot[13] in these latter instances could cause excessive loss of foliage.  The majority of the roses listed are either resistant to blackspot or, when mature, rapidly renew foliage lost to infection.   A more important problem can be balling of the blossoms in humid weather, and this is often also associated with petal blight.  This tends to be more pronounced in those roses having tight double blossoms.

             A few insects can occasionally be a problem.   Aphids are a familiar pest of roses and, if necessary, can be controlled with horticultural soap.   Less often thrips, big-legged bugs and leaf-footed bugs damage flower buds. The latter two can also cause wilting of new growth.  On some roses cane borers can cause die-back, especially on freshly pruned canes.   The infested canes should be cut back to a bud and sealed with a clear water-soluble glue. Leaf-cutting bees remove neat semi-circular areas from leaf margins, but are of no consequence for the health of the plant.

                Unlike modern roses, the roses described here do not require major pruning, indeed it is detrimental to most Tea roses.   Pruning should be limited to removal of dead canes, being especially vigilant with those varieties more prone to die-back, and excessively twiggy growth, as can occur especially with China roses.   Remove canes that rub against one another, and blind shoots that produce no flowers.  When pruning, make a clean cut back to a newly emerging side shoot or a bud, and avoid leaving stubs.  Do not use wound sealer.  If correctly pruned the cut surface should callous over, and stimulate the development of new growth.  It is advisable to deadhead most “heirloom” roses to forestall development of hips[14] and increase bloom production.   


             Many old roses can be successfully propagated directly from stem cuttings.  Rooting of cuttings can be done at any time of the year, though the best time is during late Fall when temperatures and humidity have moderated and the risk of disease is reduced.   In addition, most of these roses will produce more growth flushes at this time, as compared to the relative quiescence of summer, providing a greater source of material for cutting.  Before taking cuttings fill as many 6" plant pots as needed with a fresh, light potting mix (e.g. Pro-Mix, Metro Mix or Peters), then use a dibbler to make a 3" deep x 1" wide cone shaped hole in the soil.  The resulting hole should then be filled with washed coarse builders sand.

             Take 6-8" cuttings, about the thickness of a pencil, from a plant that has just finished flowering, and use the cuttings as soon as possible.  If the cut material cannot be used immediately, wrap wet paper towels around the cut end and cover tightly with aluminum foil.   Tag the cut material if taken from more than one plant.  When ready to stick the cuttings follow these steps :

a)                    Remove the bottom of the stem just below a bud, cutting at a 45 degree angle.  Then cut the top of the stem just above a complete leaf (one with 5 leaflets, or the characteristic number for the cultivar).   Remove all but the topmost leaf from the stem.   Prune off any lateral shoots from the cutting stem, taking care not to leave any stubs.

b)                    With a sharp knife remove two ¾ x c inch strips of bark from opposite sides at the base of the stem.  It is important to remove only the bark and not cut into the wood.   If it is easier make 3 or four lengthwise ½ - 1" incisions into the base of the cutting.  There is evidence, however, that removal of bark stimulates more vigorous production of roots. 

c)                    Dip the stripped end of the stem in rooting powder[15], then place the cutting in the sand cone to a depth of 2".

d)                    Leave the cuttings in ample light but out of the sun, and water only enough to keep the soil surface moist. 

e)                    The cuttings may be misted if preferred until new growth is apparent.  The emergence of the second set of new leaves indicates that the cutting has successfully rooted.  This should occur within 6-8 weeks.   At this time the pots can be moved to an area receiving some early morning sun, and as the cuttings produce new shoots they can be gradually moved into full sun.    Plants can be set out in the landscape during late Spring, if it is not excessively hot and dry, particularly vigorous varieties such as ‘Mrs. B.R. Cant’, ‘Marie Van Houtte’, and ‘Cramoisi Superiuer’.   Otherwise it is advisable to transplant the roses to 2 gallon pots and plant them in the Fall.

             Roses can also be propagated by air layering, though this is not a commonly used method.   Plants can also be grown from seed in those varieties that produce hips, but these will differ from the parent plant in varying degrees.   With patience you may find a natural cross that is worth propagating vegetatively as your own personal new variety of rose.



             ‘Old Blush’ (Parsons, 1793)[16].   This is an upright plant to at least 4-5', with scattered prickles.  The blossoms are partially double and lilac-pink, with rosy-pink splashes, the color deepening with more intense sun.   Flowers throughout the year, with the best production during the cooler months, especially late Winter.   Very little fragrance under South Florida conditions.  Definitely a rose for the beginner since it will survive with little care.  It is able to withstand alkaline soil conditions, exhibiting fewer signs of mineral deficiencies.  With regular applications of fertilizer, deadheading and pruning as required ‘Old Blush’ will produce an outstanding shrub.  An extremely attractive asset to any South Florida landscape when in full bloom.

             ‘Cramoisi Superior’ (Cocquerreau or Plantier, 1835 - seedling from R. chinensis ‘Slaters Red Crimson’).  This rose will easily grow to more than 6' x 8' under South Florida conditions, and it forms a vigorous, very healthy bush.   Numerous blossoms produced on and off throughout the year especially during the Winter and early Spring.  Blossoms are cupped, double, and an intense crimson red, tinged with a lighter silvery reverse.   At certain times a splash of white is noticeable near the center of the flower.   Blooms are very resistant to fading, even in the heat of Summer.

             Two other red China roses are also well suited to South Florida, ‘Louis Philippe’ (Guerin,1834) and ‘Archduke Charles’ (Lafay, 1825 - a seedling of ‘Old Blush’).  ‘Louis Philippe’ has been widely grown in the Southern States, and was known in Florida as the “cracker” rose. Red China roses are difficult to distinguish at times because the flowers produced by different cultivars are very similar.   

             ‘Ducher’ (Ducher, 1869).  ‘Ducher’ is small, upright rose to 3 -4' unique for Chinas in having lightly fragrant, creamy white blossoms - an unusual color for this group of roses.  It is not as prodigious in bloom as the red China roses and appears to be more prone to die-back under South Florida conditions.  ‘Ducher’ responds well to regular pruning of dead wood and blind shoots.

             R. chinensis ‘Mutabalis’ (European introduction, 1896). Known as the butterfly rose, it produces single flowers that change from buff yellow to apricot, orange, pink to crimson, usually with all colors on the bush at the same time.  The plant will easily grow to a height and width of 8 -10' and develops a stout trunk.   This is a rose that will take some light shade for part of the day, though maximum flowering requires exposure to full sun.

             ‘Le Vesuve’ (Lafay, 1825).   This rose is medium sized and bears many prickles.  It grows to 4-5', with exquisite, tea shaped blooms shaded silvery-pink.  They are loosely double, nodding blooms that darken with age.   ‘La Vesuve’ responds well to grafting onto x fortuniana rootstock to produce a compact but bushy shrub.


             ‘Mrs B. R. Cant’ (B. R. Cant, 1901 - linked to Safrano à Fleur Rouges).   A very late Tea rose introduction, ‘Mrs. B. R. Cant’ produces full, deep rose-pink, cabbage-like blooms that  fade to an attractive silvery-pink (Figure 1).  In addition, blooms emit a pleasant, light tea fragrance, and are long lasting (i.e., for an “old” rose), making them useful as cut flowers.   This is an extremely vigorous plant (Figure 2.) that will quickly grow to 8' x 10', and it is relatively drought tolerant once established, if well mulched.


Figure 1.  ‘Mrs B. R. Cant’

Figure 2.  ‘Mrs B. R. Cant’

             ‘Monsieur Tillier’ (Bernaix, 1891 - linked to Safrano à Fleur Rouges).  This is another late Tea rose introduction that produces deep carmine double blossoms, fading to an orange brick-red.  The plant grows vigorously upright to 8' x 5'. 

             ‘Duchesse de Brabant’ (Bernède, 1857- linked to Caroline).  Often referred to in the U.S. as the “Teddy Roosevelt” rose, this Tea is not as vigorous as the two above, but is very attractive when well maintained.  The plant produces numerous small, cupped, cabbage blooms[17] of a silvery salmon pink, that are sweetly fragrant, and are complemented by bright apple green foliage.  Has a rather open growth habit, and foliage is sparse at times during the Summer months; it will grow to a height of 3-4' with a similar width.

             ‘Frances Dubreuil’ (Dubreuil, 1894 - linked to ‘Souvenir de David d’Angers’).  This is the deepest red Tea rose currently available, bearing deep velvety purplish red blooms.  It repeat-blooms well, but is sometimes prone to dieback under South Florida conditions.   It requires regular pruning which will restrict growth to about 4' x 3'.  ‘Frances Dubreuil’ is a nice rose, though not particularly sturdy, that responds well to care.

             ‘Marie Van Houtte’ (Ducher, 1871 - ‘Mme de Tartas’[18] x ‘Mme Falcot’).   This rose has creamy white to light yellow blooms with rosy-pink suffusing the petal margins, becoming more evident as they age (Figs. 3 & 4).   It forms a large, vigorous, spreading plant that will easily grow to 6 - 7' with an equal spread.   Considered by Graham Stuart Thomas, one of the leading rosarians, to be the most satisfactory of the Tea roses.  If you do not have room for Marie Van Houtte, consider ‘Mrs. Dudley Cross’ (Paul, 1907), a tea rose that produces very similar blooms, but is more restrained in growth.  This rose is sometimes referred to locally as the ‘Key West Thornless’, and incorrectly sold as ‘Helen Good.”

Figure 3.  ‘Marie Van Houtte’

Figure 4.  ‘Marie Van Houtte’

             ‘Mlle. Franziska Kruger’ (Nabonnand, 1879 - ‘Catherine Mermet’ x ‘General Schablikine’). Reliably producing many very double, orangey pink blooms with a central green button, this rose is very attractive (Figure 5.). In humid weather, however, it can ball and develop blossom blight. It will be necessary to prune out excess twiggy growth and regularly remove canes exhibiting dieback to ensure a healthy, open plant.

Figure 5.  ‘Mlle Franziska Kruger’

             ‘Mme Berkley’ (Bernaix Sons).  This rose produces a vigorous plant, always appears healthy, and regularly produces somewhat knotted light salmon pink blooms.  It produces an open, spreading bush with healthy, dark green, lustrous foliage. Expect growth to 6-7' for both height and width.

             ‘Perle des Jardins’ (Levet, 1874 - seedling from ‘Mme Falcot’).  Displaying glowing canary yellow double blooms with a hint of orange in the center (Figure 6), this is a wiry shrub that responds well to judicious pruning.  As with ‘Mlle Franziska Kruger’, the blooms are susceptible to balling, so are at their most attractive during late Winter and early Spring.

Figure 6.  ‘Perle des Jardins’

Figure 7.  ‘Crépuscule’


             ‘Crépuscule’ (Dubreuil, 1904).  Classed as a climbing Tea-Noisette, it produces glowing blooms that are deep orange colored on first opening and fade to a buff-apricot (Figure 7).  Blooms tend to rapidly discolor, but are quickly replaced on this very vigorous plant.  This rose appreciates full sun and can be grown on a fence or pergola.  On calcareous soils minor element nutritional deficiencies may develop.  Blooms on-and-off year round, but expect at least one stunning display during the cooler, drier part of the year.

             ‘Fellemberg’ (Fellemberg, 1835).  This is an open, vigorous shrub, well armed with prickles, that produces clusters of bright, rosy crimson flowers in great profusion.  The plant requires support and is particularly well suited to growing against an open fence.

             ‘Maréchal Neil’ (Pradel, 1864 - seedling of ‘Isabella Gray’). This is an outstanding climbing rose, ideally suited to the climate of South Florida.  It produces deep golden yellow blooms that are full and globular, but with weak stems that allow them to bend over.  Since the plant can climb up to 14' this “defect” permits a fuller appreciation of both the visual and olfactory delights of this rose.  Unfortunately it is not always readily available, and has suffered recently with reports of unthrifty plants due to some stocks being  infected with a virus.


             ‘Souvenir de Malmaison’ (Béluse, 1843 - ‘Mme Desprez’ x Tea: ‘Devoniensis’?).  This rose is universally appreciated for its large, flat, open, quartered blooms of a glowing pale flesh pink that become more cream colored as they age.  Blooms can ball and discolor in humid weather, and there is a somewhat greater problem with blackspot.  However, no rose garden is complete without this outstanding rose which should eventually form a 4 x 4' shrub.

             ‘Maggie’ (A found rose, W.C. Welch).  The identity of this rose is not known for certain, however it is at present thought to resemble the Bourbon rose ‘Eugene E. Marlitt’.  Irrespective of it’s classification, this is a first-rate rose for South Florida, bearing almost continuously blooms of a rich purplish-carmine that are highly fragrant and fade resistant, even in the heat of Summer.  Growth is open, producing a sprawling, thorny shrub that will easily reach 7' x 7'.  Despite a tendency to develop blackspot, it is sufficiently vigorous that this is not a major problem.


             ‘Vincent Godsiff’ (derivation uncertain, possibly a China rose).  This is an easy to grow rose that blooms throughout the year, producing bright pink to mauve blooms, almost garish compared to the more pastel shades of the other roses described in this list.  It readily forms hips, so deadheading to increase blooming is necessary.  ‘Vincent Godsiff’ will form a twiggy 4' x 4' bush.

             ‘Smith’s Parish’ (derivation unknown).  This rose is a curiosity that produces small, cupped, double white to cream blooms, often conspicuously streaked with pink or red.  On odd occasions a single all red flower is produced.   Expect a 5' - 6' bush with small, dainty leaves. 

             This list of “old” roses is far from complete, but the plants discussed should perform well in Miami-Dade County and other parts of South Florida.  They are presently being grown in south Miami-Dade on Rockland limestone, and have proven themselves.  If you are able to grow any of  them on their own roots, emulate our predecessors by offering cuttings to friends and neighbors so that more may enjoy these unfairly neglected plants.


Dickerson, B. C..  1992.  The old rose advisor.  Timber Press. Portland, OR.  400 pp.

Druitt, L..  1996.  The organic rose garden.  Taylor Publishing, Dallas, TX.  210 pp.

Martin, C. G..  2000.  100 old roses for the American garden.  Workman Publishing, New York.  278 pp.

Oelbeck, B..  2000.  For the love of roses in Florida and elsewhere.  Great Outdoors Publishing, St. Petersburg, FL. 120 pp.

Parker, H.. (ed.).  1996.  The Royal Horticultural Society plant guides: roses.  Dorling Kindersley, London.  160 pp.

Thomas, G. S..  1994.  The Graham Stuart Thomas rose book.  John Murray Publishers, London.  385 pp.

Sala, O..  1995.  The Mitchell Beazley guide to old-fashioned roses.  Reed International Books, London.  164 pp.

Shoup, G. M..  2000.  Roses in the southern garden.  Antique Rose Emporium, Brenham, TX.  192 pp.

Welch, W. C..  1990.  Antique roses for the South.  Taylor Publishing, Dallas, TX.  201 pp.


Dr. Robert J. Knight, Jr. (University of Florida - TREC, Homestead) provided valuable reviews of this manuscript.

* John McLaughlin is Program Assistant, Urban Horticulture; and Joe Garofalo is Extension Agent, Commercial Ornamentals, Miami-Dade Cooperative Extension Service, Homestead.


[1]Deadheading is the removal of spent flowers from a plant before they go to seed, usually to encourage further production of bloom.

[2]“Heirloom” or “old” refers to roses that were developed, for the most part, in the 19th Ct.

[3]A scandent growth habit refers to plants that produce long flexible stems that have a tendency to scramble over a given surface (bank or wall), but cannot climb unless tied to a suitable support (tree, fence or trellis). 

[4]Also known as ‘Parson’s Pink China’ or ‘Old Monthly’.

[5]R. x fortuniana from R. banksiea x R. laevigata (double white Bank’s rose and Cherokee rose) and introduced from China by Robert Fortune in 1845.

[6]A variety of nematodes have been found to damage the roots of roses, notably dagger (Xiphinema), spiral (Helicotylenchus), root lesion (Pratylenchus), ring (Macroposthonia) and root knot (Meloidogyne).

[7]Nematode damage is manifested as a decline over time causing fewer, paler leaves, with stunted growth and poor flower production.  These symptoms may take 3 -4 years to develop in initially healthy plants.

[8]Contact your local County Extension Office to receive a nematode soil testing kit.

[9]Some authorities have categorized this as a Bourbon, however according to Graham Stuart Thomas it is much closer in habit to ‘Old Blush’.

[10]The fragrance, which was originally likened to fresh tea leaves, gave rise to the name “Tea Rose.”

[11]This class of rose, and to a lesser extent the Noisettes, are more susceptible to blackspot than Tea and China roses.   For some of these plants, this means that regular spraying may be required during the wet part of the year.

[12]For soils with a pH7.5, as in much of Miami-Dade, use a product containing iron chelated as Fe-EDDHA, such as Sequestrene 138.

[13]Blackspot, caused by the fungal pathogen Diplocarpon rosea, is the most common disease of roses in Florida.  If absolutely necessary, use either propiconazole (Banner Max) or myclobutanil (Systhane, Immunox) as a control.

[14]Some British authors use the term heps rather than hips.

[15]Use a rooting powder containing 0·8% 3-indolebutyric acid (IBA).

[16]This is the usually cited date of introduction to Western Europe, though it could well have been earlier.   A rose almost certainly identical to ‘Old Blush’  was grown in China from the 10th Century.

[17]This rose used to be very popular as a bouttoniere.

[18]Although little planted today, this rose was used extensively at the end of the 19th Century for breeding purposes.

University of Florida /Miami-Dade County Extension
18710 SW 288th Street; Homestead. FL 33030-2932
Voice (305) 248-3311 x 228; FAX (305) 246-2932


BACK to Urban Horticulture Main Page | Urban Horticulture Links | Urban Horticulture Photos


   | Home  |  Programs  |  Calendar  |  Publications  |  Staff  |  Map  |  Search  |  Contact Us  | 

For IFAS-related questions or information, please contact IFAS External Relations
Copyright © 1994-2000 | University of Florida | Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences | Gainesville, FL 32611
For Web site problems or suggestions, contact the site Webmaster