The Q&A Archives: Is Flower Carpet% Red Groundcover Rose Good Choice?

Question: I have moved to a new house in Lewisburg, TN. Across the front is an empty brick planter, 36 long x 42 wide in full sun. I want a perennial that doesn't need much attention, but has good color from spring to fall. Looking on your website, the FLOWER CARPET? RED GROUNDCOVER ROSE Rosa x 'Noare' looks like a good choice. Do you agree or would you suggest something else? What pests are associated with this plant? My thumbs are not even light green - I really appreciate your help!! Thanks.

Answer: The type of location you describe is a very difficult one for plants, especially if it is a raised bed type of container. The soil in these planters heats up and cools down quickly and to extremes since it is not insulated by being down in the ground. The reflected heat and sunlight off the bulding also increases plant stress both in summer and in winter. Finally, since it is a container, the soil will dry out and leach out quickly and thus require periodic replacement and rejuvenation as well as frequent watering.

Although the rose is ordinarily a fine choice for a hot sunny location, I would not expect it to thrive reliably from year to year in the planter because those conditions are so specialized. With luck, it might last a year or two but then and again, the same would be true of most any plant. This is a strong growing rose and is quite disease resistant, however under stress it will be more susceptible to problems (as would any plant be). Typically roses are subject to pests such as Japanese beetles and foliar infections. This type of rose requires minimal pruning or other care beyond watering and feeding.

To keep the plant in the best possible condition, water as needed to keep the soil evenly moist but not soaking wet, apply compost at least once a year to feed the soil, and use a good quality fertilizer regularly according to the label instructions. You should also start out with a good quality potting mix. Finally, using several inches of organic mulch throughout the year will help to conserve moisture, moderate the soil temperature, and feed the soil as it breaks down over time.

Having siad all that, I think this rose would be a pretty good choice for the location, especially if you are partial to roses -- just do not be too upset if you need to replace it.

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