The Q&A Archives: carpet roses

Question: I need a carpet rose that is as low growing as possible. I have done some internet searching, and I thought the white plant was the shortest. At a nursery carrying your plants the info on your label seemed to differ. Which is the lowest growing carpet rose?

Answer: The roses in the Flower Carpet series can be grown as a groundcover because they spread and, when planted en masse, will blend together to cover the ground somewhat like a carpet. Their disease resistance allows them to be planted that close together because normally roses need to be spaced further apart to allow for good air circulation as a disease prevention measure. Carpet in this case does not, however, mean short. The roses in this series are all about two and half feet to three feet tall and about three feet wide. The exact size in your garden will depend on the overall growing conditions where they are planted as well as the weather each year. (Most roses are at least two feet tall.) You could use a climber and peg it down and spread it out like a carpet, however this requires careful, skillful pruning, training and maintenance so it is not really an equivalent. And, it would still be about a foot high.

If you want a lower growing flowering croundcover for a sunny area you might consider some of the more traditional plants such as creeping phlox (Phlox subulata) or a low growing sedum, a creeping thyme, or even one of the smaller cultivars of daylily. Your local professional nursery staff should be able to show you a selection.

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