Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter Foliage...or Not

Living in normally evergreen Florida has ruined me for all things deciduous. I used to say that February was the ugliest month of the year in Florida, and yet the snowbirds flock here in February and love it. Last year I had to amend that statement and add January to the ugly month list. Then this past December added insult to injury with several nights in the 20's. Woe is me, three months of straw-colored lawns and trees devoid of leaves. Not very eloquent but yuck!

Not only are my roses not blooming (thanks, December), but many barely have leaves or none at all. However, for some of these leaves merely remaining attached is not much of a boast. The leaves look pretty awful, yellowish/brownish with scattered large black spots. This is what freeze damage looks like. So I thought I'd share the names of the roses that are robed in green, that is, that haven't lost much foliage and what is left is pretty healthy. Now by extension these must be the most winter hardy here in my garden in north central Florida.

Bow Bells                                        Sweet Chariot
Leonie Lamesch                               Mrs. B R Cant
Le Vesuve                                        Louis Philippe
Enchantress                                      Souv de Francois Gaulain
Nur Mahal                                       Climbing Pinkie
Alexander Hill Gray                        Full Moon Rising
Madame Antoine Rebe                    Reve d'Or
Duchesse d'Auerstadt                      Duchesse de Brabant
General Galieni                               General Schablikine
Climbing Maman Cochet                 Jaune Desprez
Clotilde Soupert                              Arcadia Louisiana Tea
Duquesa                                           Rose de Rescht
Etoile de Mai                                  Crepuscule
Quietness                                         E Veyrat Hermanos
Souv de la Malmaison                    Climbing SdlM                               
R. Fortuneana                                  Comtessa du Cayla
Martha Gonzalez                             R chinensis serratipetala

Having made the list, I'm surprised. I would have thought there were fewer which shows that my attitude just isn't very positive this time of year.

Bushes with few if any leaves
Cornelia (none)                              White Pet (none)
Red Cascade (none)                       Gruss an Aachen
Pink Gruss an Aachen                     Lamarque
Mme Scipion Cochet (HP)              Polonaise
Mlle Franziska Kruger                    Hermosa
Anda                                               Rita Sammons
Pam Tillis                                       Lady Ann Kidwell
Cal Poly (none)

Some of my roses did not make either list.  A few don't have many leaves, but that's normal. Jeri Jennings, Archduke Charles and Maman Cochet come to mind. The first two will be relocated before spring, and MC is still filling out.  A few are very young, and some I haven't looked at in a while so don't know their status. And poor Bermuda's Anna Olivier hates winter with a passion. You can clearly see that she'd rather be in balmy Bermuda. She currently has less than half of her leaves, and they look really sad. I think she's looking for a ride south, and I'm going with her.


  1. Your list is impressive, Sherry. My Alexander Hill Gray is fully foliated too, and is growing three new basals right now and is full of buds.

    I am glad to see you grow Anda. How old is your plant? I spent some time choosing between Anda and Purple Buttons last year, and ended with Sweet Pea in the end. Anda was a close second though. I remember I was told it blooms a lot. Does it for you? Is it fragrant at all?

  2. My Anda is in a pot. I got it last spring. I don't think I've ever tried to smell it. I really like it's flowers. They're pretty impressive. It bloomed reasonably well. I think it just needs more canes. The flower clusters are quite large. My Alexander Hill Gray was just planted in November but has grown some and had one very nice flower before the frigid temps. Buds would be nice right now.

  3. Brown and mushy around these parts....

  4. Roses here are coated with ice and dusted with snow right now. I think it's fascinating to hear the different attitudes and expectations from gardeners in various parts of the country (and the world, for that matter) I would certainly try to make an effort to adjust to nearly year-round roses and warmer temps, if I were to be where you are. For now, with the temperature outside at a balmy 30 degrees, me and my down afghan are best buddies here on the couch.

  5. Darla & Connie, after I posted I realized that "winter hardy" in my part of Florida means something different than in places with harsher weather. I'm pretty sure we never have to worry about losing a plant, except maybe a band left out in the 20's overnight that froze solid, roots and all. Don't know what that would do for the prospects of that rose. I was really only referring to roses that didn't seem bothered by the cold as far as foliage staying green and attached. Any new growth or flowers on bushes are zapped, no recovery. Obviously, it must be their genetics that make them more or less sensitive, and some probably love the brisk weather. Also, flowering is definitely on hold for my garden unlike areas just a few miles south of me or on the coasts where their temps don't get much below freezing.