ac91z6 said:I'll ask a question!
Does anyone know anything about a kind of obscure tea rose, 'Enchantress'/'Enchanter' (it got a rename a few years after being released due to another 'Enchantress' being released a few years before this rose). HelpMeFind only has a default hardiness to z6b, but one of it's parents ("Mdm Caroline Testout") is listed as hardy to z5b.
Someone on Gardenweb brought up that Rose Petals is having a sale, and I'm planning a Halloween themed rose bed. It will be full sun and mostly protected from the wind, but I'm still z6a.
Am I nuts for even attempting this?
Virginia in SC grows this rose -- if I remember correctly -- but she's two zones warmer than you are, and wouldn't be able to speak about hardiness. However, I'm a zone pusher myself, and I have learned some things about Chinas and Teas here in 7a. There are two things that help keep them going, and you have to have at least one to grow them where it's colder. The first is planting deeply in a site with full all-day sun, ample rain and/or irrigation during the growing season, and getting fed. The second is a protected site, such as up against the south-facing side of a house. If you provide the first thing in an unprotected spot, the roses will get lots of Winter damage, but with all that sun, water, and food, will grow back through the Spring and Summer. My "Bermuda Spice" is in such a spot, and depending on the Winter, has been cut to anywhere between just above the mulch line and three feet in height. By the end of the season, it's at least five feet tall and at least four feet in diameter. Each early pruning season, I leave the Chinas, Teas, and tender Polyanthas until last, since they're so eager to wake up that they'll get hit hard by late frosts. After removing dead, diseased, and damaged wood, I dead-head when I remember, but otherwise let them grow wild the rest of the season. In this way, I treat them like Buddleia. If you can provide the second thing, you'll minimize Winter damage, and have more left to grow through Spring and Summer, and can get away with less than all-day sun.
Having a dash of HT in it might make for a slightly hardier Tea, but I'd still aim for providing at least one of the two things I mentioned above. But, as another gardening friend has said, we learn things by killing a lot of plants along the way, and if this becomes a learning experience, you may as well get the rose on-sale.