Flower Carpet Roses, or more correctly, ground cover roses, are one of the most popular selections of roses in the world, for more than one reason. (Please note: "Flower Carpet" rose is a registered trademark name, not an official category of roses!)
Not only do Carpet Roses have a long flowering period which takes them well into winter but they repeat bloom, they have a strong resistance to disease and they only require minimal pruning.
It is said that they are probably the most widely grown roses in New Zealand, and in North America, just check the plantings down the center of the roads, along the sidewalk edges and around the gas stations: chances are they are Flower Carpet roses!
They are considered a ground cover shrub to about 18 or 24 inches. Leaves are generally bright green and the small 2 inch blooms, cluster on arching stems. They were introduced by Noack of Germany in 1991, but at that time there were only two colors: Pink (double) and White (single).
Later in 2000, three additional varieties were introduced: Red (deep red with yellow centers and single), Yellow (bright yellow and double) and Apple Blossom (pale pink and single).
These I am told are a little shorter in stature, to 12 inches only. I believe now that there is also a coral and a scarlet available.
Pruning is more like giving the little bush a haircut. Cut out dead canes and trim back to about 10 inches from the ground, in a pleasing, ball like shape. They are easy care.
Water frequently, grow in a sunny area and mulch in very hot summers.
I said it was easy!
Please note however that if you are planting in USDA zone 5 or colder, you will need protection. They do very well down to zone 6 and then need help to go through the winter. Some have reported problems with long winters in these zones; northern Canada, for example.
These roses are best used in mass plantings, in large containers and for landscaping. They make perfect roses for commercial landscaping because of their low maintenance and "showey" blossoms.
The obvious one is easy care, easy maintenance.
They have a good resistance to pests, if they are kept healthy and well watered.
They are brightly colored and their color doesn't fade in the hot summer sun!
They also come in a variety of colors although not everyone is overwhelmed by the, some would say, "shocking", red. Suffice to say that do produce masses of color, on a low stumpy bush.
They are very durable, which is why they are used so extensively in landscape planting.
They have a long blooming period, and although you're not going to win any Rose Show contests with the bloom shape, the show, "en-mass", is quite astounding.
They can survive a certain time in drought conditions....when you forget to water!
And finally, they can grow in a semi-shady situation.
All in all, a gardeners dream!
As we know, roses are the worlds best loved perennials but some gardeners shy away from them, believing that they are difficult to grow. That used to be true, but with such easy care and low maintenance shrubs as Flower Carpet roses, so easily grown, there is no need to shy away.
They are said to come from "rambler" blood. We do know carpet roses have been known to produce as many as 3000 blooms in a season: all about 2 inches across and all with between 15 to 20 petals. And we do know they have been the winner of over 10 Gold Medals in the growers awards for disease resistance and for number of blooms!
My cousin in New Zealand tells me that when they were first advertised there, they became an overnight success, mainly because of their easy management and landscaping capabilities.
City Councils started planting masses of these carpet roses, in traffic islands, in large civic concrete planters and along sidewalks. (pavements?)
Bright pink and bright red were the mass favorites.
Why don't you give them a try?
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