Roses forum: Drought Tolerant Roses

Views: 1394, Replies: 15 » Jump to the end
Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Roses
Image
Steve812
Aug 24, 2012 10:26 AM CST
I once grew Buff Beauty at the top of a little hill that was packed clay. The rose got some supplemental water, but for long periods of time it just sat there and baked in the sun. Yet for all the neglect, it built up slowly ... until some landscapers dug it up and threw it across the garden when they were making a path. But that's a different story.

I'm considering expanding my rose garden outside the fenced area by our house. There's quite a bit of land that is very sandy, has at least six hours of sunshine, and will normally be brutally dry (i.e. not a drop of moisture) through April, May, June, and at least half of July - if I fail to supply supplemental water. So I need DROUGHT TOLERANT plants. My intention is to plant roses in some of this area and to water the roses until they are established, perhaps two years. But my hope is not to have to supply (much) supplemental water after that.

Is there any rule of thumb to use in figuring out which roses are more likely to be drought tolerant? Does anyone have any other lists of roses determined to be drought tolerant? How many years must a rose be in the ground/how big must it be before it can be considered well established for the purposes of reducing watering?

Part of the project includes covering a sloping 15 ft tall, south-facing stone embankment that retains my neighbor's driveway with a large climber. Another part is just to plant shrubby roses inside an existing boundary of native shrubs. Earlier this year I planted about eighty iris in some of the flatter spaces near the driveway in this area. Somewhere between the iris and the roses there will be a knot of bluebeards - since that's all I've been able to get growing there.

Some candidates I've considered: Buff Beauty(as a shrub), Russelliana, and Lady Banks(as climbers). Carefree Beauty and Cramoisi Superior (climbing) have failed in this area. So have seven apple trees. But I'm willing to try again. And to use more mulch. BTW, it would help if there were something about the roses that made them essentially deer, rabbit, and rodent-proof. I know this is a tall order.

Thanks in advance for the help!
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
Image
Skiekitty
Aug 24, 2012 3:00 PM CST
Well, depends on what you classify as "drought tolerant". What I see as drought tolerant and what others see are two different things. I supplemental water all my roses if I don't get any rain at least once a week for at least an hour watering w/the hose sprinkler. Some people think that's drought tolerant. To me, drought tolerant means NO supplemental watering, like my butterfly bushes & russian sage & irises. Those are drought tolerant.
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Aug 24, 2012 3:02 PM CST
What you describe is pretty much how I grow roses - two years of care and water then they are on their own. I have quite high and sandy soil which does not retain water well. Some summers we get rain but last summer we did not, from March to October, nothing. I don't think I lost a single rose to the drought even though I did not water any that had been in the ground two years or more. A few hybrid teas and floribundas died but around here that is considered normal attrition. I think most of the EarthKind roses would perform for you - if they are suitable for your zone. I believe I have all of them and they had no problem with the drought. A LARGE climber that grows faster than anything can eat it is Mermaid but I think she is a little cold-sensitive. Red Cascade is a little climber that I have not been able to kill by neglect or accidental herbicides and shredding. Left to her own devices, she would now be covering about 200 sq'. Seven Sisters has had much the same abuse is a very big plant and even repeat blooms!

Good luck - sounds like a fun project!
Porkpal
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Roses Ponds Peonies
Lilies Irises Daylilies Dog Lover Beekeeper Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
CindiKS
Aug 24, 2012 3:42 PM CST
I will second everything PorkPal says with the exception that, in my care, the Earthkind roses don't get the two years of TLC. I'm pretty sure I have all of them also. I do try to plant them properly, and maybe give them a good soaking every few weeks, but that's it. The floribundas and others are up closer to the house, so they do benefit from that.
Considering most of my roses have been planted in the last 2 years, and we've gone through the 2 most extreme years in Kansas' history, I would say that's a pretty good recommendation.
The roses I moved here from the last house are not a whole lot bigger than some of my newer ones.
Our drought this summer is now officially the worst in recorded history in Kansas. We got a tiny bit of rain this morning, and we're expecting a bit more this weekend, but it will be a while before our trees recover from this one.
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Aug 24, 2012 4:00 PM CST
I hope your trees do better than ours. Our surviving big oak trees are still dropping dead branches from our "worst ever" drought last year and about a third of all of our trees are completely dead - but the roses made it!
Porkpal
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Roses Ponds Peonies
Lilies Irises Daylilies Dog Lover Beekeeper Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
CindiKS
Aug 24, 2012 7:21 PM CST
My stepson works for a tree cutting company that has the main electric utility company contract. They've spent their budget for the year for our area, so the guys are working in the Carolinas on storm cleanup. Trees in this area are dying at a rapid rate, but homeowners aren't removing them. If we get a strong windstorm, we'll lose power worse than ever before. The first ice storm will take out limbs that people don't realize are dead. I'm thinking this might be the year to invest in a generator.
The main trees here are cottonwood, elm, maple and flowering pear. The one that looks unaffected is the flowering pear, which amazes me. It's the first one to break branches in an ice storm, because of the tight structure and the fact that most homeowners don't bother to prune them correctly.
Cottonwoods are crashing down all over. I'm afraid to mow down by our creek because they all look like a squirrel could push them over. There's plenty of work for my stepson when he gets back!
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Roses
Image
Steve812
Aug 25, 2012 8:47 AM CST
Porkpal, thanks for your encouragement! I set out thinking that this might be just a fool's fantasy, but your experience suggests there is some reasonable hope for success. I like the idea of Earthkind roses since drought tolerance is on their list of screening qualities.

Cindi, I appreciate your second, too. Before writing this, I was considering the project on a very speculative basis. Now it is starting to seem doable. DW will probably roll her eyes unless I phase it in over a few years. Our neighbor's lot houses an ancient cottonwood and I understand how much junk wood a cottonwood can drop. We had a bradford pear in NJ that came crashing down during a snow storm, fortunately it missed the house. In both locations our local electric wires are/were buried; but in NJ there was an old transformer that would go down for a day at a time when summer temperatures reached a high mark and everyone turned on their AC. In the sixth year it burnt out for good, the power company ordered another one, and it spent two days on a truck moving cross-country. Meanwhile we had no electric power. I felt like I was living in a third-world country. Now I understand why people buy back-up generators.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Aug 25, 2012 12:46 PM CST
We live in the boonies - not that far from town, but in an unpopulated direction. We used to lose power almost every time it rained. I don't know what they did, but things are now better. We do have a generator as we need it to run the well pump when hurricanes etc interrupt things - the farm needs water more that light...

As I understand it, they designated roses "Earthkind" if they survived after being planted in a big field and basically forgotten for a couple of years. My kind of rose!
Porkpal
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Roses Ponds Peonies
Lilies Irises Daylilies Dog Lover Beekeeper Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
CindiKS
Aug 25, 2012 1:27 PM CST
Our local rose society has strongly promoted Earthkind, shrub and OGRs. We've had seminars and we've gotten the local paper to run several stories. For 3 years running, we sold them at our annual fundraiser. To really succeed with them and replicate the conditions used while on trial, you need to augment your soil with expanded shale, which is expensive. I have fabulous soil, so I skipped that step. Shipping costs are really what makes the shale pricey. I did amend my soil somewhat since those roses will not get additional feeding, and of course, no insecticide or fungicide. I topdress each year with compost and mulch, but that's it.

We started getting light rain yesterday morning, and the paper today says there were 28 wrecks in just a few hours, when average is 7 or 8. The rain was light enough that "particles" got stuck on electric lines, causing power outages, and traffic signals were down. Since we've not had rain for a few months, the oil on the streets made it really slippery! If it had been a downpour, we would not have had those issues.
Our power stayed on, but my computer has had issues with this site and Cubits. I keep getting an error message saying that there is no website configured at that address. It says the server may be down. I sent Dave an email, but I'm wondering if that has to do with the weather, even though I'm on an aircard.

We need the generator because not only does the electric well pump run our only water source, but that water runs our heating and cooling, and without an electric sump pump on backup, the groundwater would potentially fill the basement. We do have battery backup on the security system, which sends an alarm to our phones if the basement has any moisture. That has saved us a few times! It's incongruent that living in the country, away from it all, means you have to buy more advanced technology, but that's how it is. The previous owners used propane for heating but we only use it for the cooktop, so when I get the generator, it will have the huge propane tank as a fuel source. The windmill/well is my backup to the backup. The pond is the 4th backup, i guess. I still felt more secure in the city, but there, I had no backup!
Since I would like to stay in this house for a bit, and we just remodeled it to accomodate aging people, Sticking tongue out , I'm also trying to deliberate more on the landscaping. I've been studying permaculture and self sufficiency, and moving steadily in that direction. I used to buy one of everything, pushing zones, tending high maintenance plants day after day, thinking I could grow them all. Now, I'm definitely selective. Plants have to earn their space.
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Roses
Image
Steve812
Aug 25, 2012 3:18 PM CST
Not sure whether the expanded shale is necessary everywhere. If I'm not mistaken the Earthkind program was carried out near TAMU and there are great swathes of that area plagued with heavy black clay. My guess is that expanded shale was used to loosen it up a bit. Organic mulch would disappear too quickly.

The sandy soil where I'm planning this expansion will certainly allow plants to root quickly, but it retains moisture very badly. It's near a seasonal stream, but that mostly means that there's more water available when it rains - not that there is water running by when the weather has been dry for two weeks.

We're very lucky here for many reasons. Most of the time we could get by without electricity. While our 'basement' is a few feet below ground on the north side of the house, on the south sice that same level is five ft or more above grade. We could have (and have had) water running in one side and out the other, but not much in the way of build-up. Electricity is also pretty reliable here. A few winters ago Arizona had a storm with 90 MPH winds ravaging the state. We lost power for an hour or two. Then there was a problem with our meter that kept half our house dark for four days while we tried to convince the power company that they really had not fixed our problem... Fortunately, the furnace & forced air fan ran on the phase that was working. Fortunate, too, that we still have a conventional wireline phone.

All our other utilities are city, too: gas, water, sewer. But we have solar panels and we sometimes fantasize about a backup generator and/or power storage.

As to remodeling to accommodate aging people, we put in an elevator a year back - along with a few more rooms to accommodate visitors in the near term and help in the longer term - so we could stay here for a number of years.

I'd like to learn more about permaculture. I played with a few food crops in the garden this year including blue corn, swiss chard, cabbage, and artichokes. I got a lot further this year with the project than I did last year when all the corn died of drought before making ears. But my successes have done more than my failures to convince me that there is no way raising food on this property could completely support a person for a year - not without employing it as bait and harvesting excess wildlife that visits the garden. The javelina enjoyed all the potatoes and chard. Corn sustained another generation of some moth/worm, but would have been a miserly crop even without the losses. Squirrels ate the green tops of my saffron crocus and went so far as to start digging up the bulbs along with the bulbs of hyacinth. The red amaranth draws dozens of songbirds but would be too much labor to extract for human consumption without a special power tool. Only cabbages, artichokes, and mammoth sunflowers have gone unmolested. And the squash, of course, which I lost interest in too soon. Still, all these things need supplemental water. The only thing of commercial value that I'm convinced could be grown here sustainably is lavender, lavandula grosso.

Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Aug 25, 2012 4:35 PM CST
I have a Julia Child that has been in the ground for five years and survived last year's drought and this year's higher than average heat, as well. Did droop and lose leaves and I did deep-water it a couple of times both summers. But it is a tough cookie. Have afternoon shade, which may have made the difference, just thought I'd add this one as an idea. I also have a shrub rose that came from a source I will not name. Was supposed to be a Gizmo and turned out to be a single-flower pink, wild-looking thingie that I CAN'T kill and roots like crazy from cuttings. Transplanted it twice, no problems. Have a rooted cutting in a container that I have cut back twice and is already in need of another trim. Happy to post photos, then send it to you if you like it.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Roses Ponds Peonies
Lilies Irises Daylilies Dog Lover Beekeeper Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
CindiKS
Aug 25, 2012 6:00 PM CST
Debra, I have a shrub rose that sounds exactly like yours, and its name is Wild Thing! Mine either came from J & P or Wayside.
Steve, you are way ahead on the aging in place plan. We considered an elevator, then decided that everything we needed is on the ground floor, and a fire pole to the basement was about all we could afford. Whistling
I think next year you should plant more corn, then build a blind and harvest javelina. The meat would be far better for you than corn, anyway. Rabbits ate my first garden this year, then hail got the 2nd. Drought and 40 mph hot wind got the 3rd crop and I decided the new Natural Foods store needed my business. The Square Foot gardening method works here most years. I'm hoping this was just a bad bad year.
Another rose I'm looking for is one with really big rose hips. My ornamental roses that happen to have hips don't produce enough to make jam.
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Aug 25, 2012 8:09 PM CST
Cindi, sure looks like it. And it came from Wayside, soooo... Big Grin
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Roses
Image
Steve812
Aug 26, 2012 9:27 AM CST
Debra, thanks for the info. I've been hoping to plant warm-colored roses in at least part of the area, and Julia Child's shade of yellow is very garden friendly. I've been meaning to plant Julia Child somewhere in the garden. I think maybe some roses closer to species roses might be good, too. I'm considering either Harrison's yellow or R. foetida. Probably won't order from Wayside.

Cindi, I'm interested in growing roses with good hips, too. I have heard that the rugosa Hansa has good culinary hips. I recently noticed that the photo of Rosa pomifera at HighCountryRoses.com depicted that rose's hips which that site claims are large and plentiful. I've observed large hips on Playboy and Midas Touch - though they were not plentiful. Two roses in my garden now produce hips, Centennaire de Lourdes and a polyantha bred by Alister Clark - Borderer, I think. Both are young and the quantity of hips they produce is far to small for any culinary purpose. I'd be interested in any info you use to make a decision. Finally, I note that the chart Antique Rose Emporium includes in their rose searches does list hips as a feature, so it's a good place to go to search for roses featuring hips.

I planted four Hansa along a fence line here a few years ago, but did not adequately prep the area. Specifically, I did not cut down the tall grass around them and I kept forgetting to water them. They died within six weeks. I intend to try again. If I thought Hansa would grow along the driveway, I'd definitely find a place for it there, probably in the sand by the seasonal stream bed.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Aug 26, 2012 9:43 AM CST
It blooms off and on all summer, too. I've had flowers on it from May to December some years.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Roses
Image
Steve812
Aug 27, 2012 10:35 AM CST
It's a good point. I sometimes don't think a rose quite pulls its weight if it doesn't repeat well.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Roses forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Dianthus 'Nyewood Cream'"