Friday, September 17, 2010

Green Rose Surprise

I'm sure we've all seen those cheap, small, sad-looking supermarket roses that we either pass by or we purchase on a whim, keep indoors until the blackspot denudes them, and then toss on the compost heap.  But how many of us ever consider planting one out in the larger garden?

In a moment of late summer weakness last year, and knowing I had a few square inches in the miniature rose bed, I was hijacked by the striking appearance of one of these little orphans which appeared to have, I'm not kidding, light green petals.  I did a double-take after noticing the green buds and examined it further, knowing that a green rose was impossible (except for the mutant Rosa chinensis viridiflora that has no petals and lots of sepals).  I suspected that the soil was dyed to temporarily create this appearance, but, despite feeling foolish, I purchased the little creature (partially influenced by the fact it was marked down from $6 to $3). 

This particular rose is Honora™ also known as 'Poulpah051', a PatioHit® rose released in 2007 from Poulsen Roser A/S, and it has more than lived up to my expectations and further, surprised me again and again. Planted into my garden and on its own roots, it first surprised me by surviving a Kansas winter. And not just surviving, it was cane hardy in my zone 5 climate.  It has bloomed in several flushes this summer, and it still maintains the light mint green look in the outer and younger petals while the inner petals are white with a very light pink blush. Honora™ is classified as a miniature, but it has very large, fully double flowers (about 3-4 inches when fully open).  I'm at a complete loss to explain where the green tinge comes from, but I don't really care as long as it stays.  I haven't sprayed Honora™ all summer long and the foliage is completely immune to blackspot.  But the biggest surprise of all is the vase-life of this rose.  The spray pictured here was cut from the garden in the middle of a 95+ degree day FOURTEEN days ago.  I've done everything you do when you don't want to prolong vase life; I didn't cut the stem under water, there are no preservatives in the water, and it's sat by a window at room temperature.  But here it is, still shining and in perfect form two weeks later.  When was the last time you were able to keep a cut rose in good shape that long?  Poulsen Roser has included this rose in a trademarked group known as Long Decorative Value™, evidently for very good reasons.

I've got another of the PatioHit® roses, a bright orange rose named Estepona™, or 'Poulpah028', which also survived the winter and decorates my garden.  Who knew that those dumb little supermarket roses would do so well outside?  So, bottom line, when you get a chance or a bargain, don't dismiss these little jewels just because they are sold in mass at the supermarket.  They may just surprise you.


  1. What great luck! It's a very pretty rose, too. It doesn't really have a miniature look about it, either. Looks like a perfect vase flower. Our supermarket tends to have lots of that curly dracaena lucky bamboo stuff...

  2. How did you plant this little rose outside? anything in particular I need to do? thanks!


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