Feb 14, 2020
‘Earth-Kind’ roses named in time for Valentine’s Day
Susan Himes

If the thought of sending your beloved pricey roses for Valentine’s Day that may wilt right after Valentine’s Day doesn’t inspire you, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has an alternative for romantics looking for roses.

There’s nothing like giving the iconic rose for Valentine’s Day, but this year you may want to consider branching out and giving roses that can be enjoyed for years to come, said Allison Watkins, AgriLife Extension horticulture agent for Tom Green County.

AgriLife Extension has designated 21 types of roses as Earth-Kind, meaning these roses have demonstrated superior pest tolerance and outstanding landscape performance in extensive research and field trials in Texas.

The Marie Daly is one of 21 types of Earth-Kind roses. (AgriLife Extension photo by Jim Crocker)

If planted in a container now, your Valentine could be rewarded with Earth-Kind blooms throughout the spring, summer and fall. Many Earth-Kind roses have successive blooms over multiple seasons.

“Start with an Earth-Kind or another rose variety that is easy to grow. Make sure you read the label and understand how large it can get,” Watkins said. “Many roses will grow larger than the label states, if given the room.”

People often think of February as a time to prune the roses they already have, Watkins said, but now is also a time when you can plant container-grown roses.

Watkins said that while growing roses may seem like an intimidating project if you don’t have a green thumb, even a novice gardener can have success. She mentioned a few key things to keep in mind when planting roses are they require full sun and need plenty of space around them for adequate air flow as well as growth.

Selecting an Earth-Kind rose not only helps ensure growing success across the varied conditions present in Texas, but Earth-Kind roses also limit the amount of fertilizers, pesticides and water needed to succeed. Like all plants with the AgriLife Extension Earth-Kind designation, an Earth-Kind rose is designed to help preserve and protect natural resources and the environment.

“‘Beauty that’s Tough to Beat’ is the slogan for Earth-Kind roses and with colors from golden pearl to cherry red, and sizes from dwarf shrubs to climbing varieties, there is something well-suited for your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day,” Watkins said.

For more information about Earth-Kind roses and growing and planting tips, visit the Aggie Horticulture website.

For tips on how to take care of roses, once you get them, check out this article on the best way to prune roses.

Susan Himes works for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

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