The Q&A Archives: Low-growing, Disease Resistant, Easy Care Roses For Steep Hill In Hot Climate

Question: We live in one of the very hot valleys near LA, where temperatures range between 38 and 112 degrees with heavy clay soil and lots of sun. I have hundreds of roses that thrive in my garden. I'd like a compact, easy care, disease resistant rose to grow on a very steep hill with heavy clay. Currently, rosemary florishes on the hill. We wated daily. We have ground squirrels and gophers.

Since the sun is strong, red, orange, coral or pink roses look best (not white or yellow, since they fade). Which varieties and what names for specific roses would you recommend? Do you have specific concerns?

If you have any better ideas, please also add them.

Answer: Rosa rugosa, sometimes called Carpet Rose, is probably the best choice for the site you describe. All rugosa's are extremely tough and hardy, withstanding hard freezes, wind, and droughty conditions. They are often planted on hillsides to prevent erosion. The foliage is relatively free of insects and diseases. Some of the most widely planted rugosa hybrids include 'Frau Dagmar Hartopp', a single pink; 'Hansa', a double purplish red; 'Will Alderman', a double pink; and 'Grootendorst Supreme' with double flowers that are deeply fringed, resembling carnations.

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