When we moved a few years ago, I thought my days of growing roses were a thing of the past. The heat and humidity of a Midwestern summer are enough to make even my grandmother’s hair-sprayed bouffant melt by noon. Roses grown here usually succumb to powdery mildew and black spot, turning into defoliated thorn-sticks with only an occasional bloom that quickly wilts in the hot summer sun. If I wanted to enjoy roses, I figured I would have to read a book or look at photos on the Internet.
Then one day I happened upon the landscape roses in the Oso Easy® series. Newcomers on the gardening scene, they are promoted as highly disease resistant. Unable to resist the challenge, I bought a few and planted them in full sun. So far, they are everything they promised to be. I’m especially fond of the one called Paprika, with single, bright orange flowers. It has a cheerful smile that radiates clear across the garden. Mine grows best in well-drained soil and flowers the most reliably if I don’t let it dry out between waterings. A good dose of fertilizer never hurts, either.
Like other landscape roses, Paprika is on the short side, usually only reaching 1 foot or so tall, with a pleasant, mounding habit. This makes it perfect for the front of the border. Since it’s self-cleaning, I don’t have to worry about pruning or dead-heading, and thankfully so, since it has tons of tiny, needle-like thorns. The bright green foliage is shiny and the perfect background color for the abundant flowers that continue through frost. Perhaps it’s not as regal as a hybrid tea rose, and certainly it’s not as big and showy as a shrub rose or a grand floribunda, but I’ll take a dash of Paprika landscape rose to spice up my perennial border any day.
Common Name: Oso Easy® Rose Paprika
Botanical Name: Rosa ‘Chewmaytime’ (PP 18347)
Color: Orange flowers appear from summer through fall
Size: Grows about 1 or 2 feet tall in a clump usually 2 feet wide
Exposure: Full sun to part shade
When to Plant: In spring as soon as possible
How to Plant: Soil flush with crown of plant
Soil : Reg ular garden soil
Watering: Moist, well-drained soil
When to Prune: Trim back spent foliage when you’re particularly ambitious
When to Fertilize: Standard fertilizer once a month during spring and summer
In Your Landscape: Excellent at the front of the garden or as a low hedge or border plant
Sue Speichert owns Gertrude’s GardenFarm, an organic garden shop with public display gardens, miniature farm animals and garden-devoted day care.