One key to success with roses is to choose a variety that agrees with the climate and conditions in your region. But how do you do that?
A great resource is All-America Rose Selections, and their “Region’s Choice” program in particular.
All-America Rose Selections is a nonprofit association that tests roses for disease resistance, ease of care and beauty. It gives a seal of approval to the best performers. The AARS encourages rose breeders to create roses that gardeners of all kinds can find success with, and helps gardeners learn about these dependable varieties and rose care in general. Besides photos and descriptions of winning roses, its website includes rose Q&A, tips on growing roses and information about rose history and rose gardens to visit.
The Region’s Choice program divides the country into 6 parts and recommends specific rose varieties for each, based on the region’s climate and typical growing conditions. The goal is to help gardeners have success with roses with a minimum of fussing. In addition to the rose varieties, the program offers recommendations on care tailored to each region.
Pictured: Carefree Spirit is one of the AARS’s Winning Roses for 2009. It’s a shrub rose with excellent resistance to black spot, mildew and rust. In 2004, the AARS stopped spraying fungicide on all the shrub roses in its nationwide test gardens, and Carefree Spirit passed the test with flying colors. It performs well in all regions of the United States.