By Dan Gill
LSU AgCenter Horticulturist
Belinda’s Dream rose is the first Louisiana Super Plant selection to be announced for the fall 2011 season. With beautiful flowers, excellent disease resistance and a bushy growth habit, it well deserves the recognition.
The Louisiana Super Plants program is an educational and marketing campaign that highlights tough and beautiful plants that perform well in Louisiana landscapes.
New selections are announced and promoted each spring and fall.
Louisiana Super Plants have a proven track record, having gone through years of university evaluations and/or years of observations by landscape industry professionals. Home gardeners and professional horticulturists alike can benefit from using Louisiana Super Plants. Louisiana Super Plants are "university tested and industry approved."
Belinda’s Dream rose is no stranger to awards. It is the first rose to be named a Texas Superstar selection and the first rose to receive the prestigious Earth-Kind designation by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Earth-Kind roses are selected for their tough constitution, disease resistance, attractive growth habit, low maintenance requirements and attractive flowers.
Belinda’s Dream rose was created by rose breeder Dr. Robert Bayse. He was a mathematics professor at Texas A&M University who bred roses for most of his life.
Following his retirement, he continued to breed roses on his 50-acre property in Caldwell, Texas. He passed away in 2000.
Many of the tough, resilient landscape roses that perform so well for us have flowers that are nice, but they’re nothing like the beautiful hybrid tea flowers that epitomize the ideal rose flower. The outstanding Knock Out rose is a great example of a rose that performs like a trooper in the landscape, but it has open, semi-double flowers that leave a lot to be desired in the minds of many gardeners.
Like hybrid teas, however, the high-centered buds of Belinda’s Dream gracefully unfurl to create an exquisitely shaped, fully double flower. This is a rose with all of the toughness and disease resistance of Knock Out but produces the beautiful flowers so many of us crave.
The large flowers are a clear, medium pink and generally reach about 4 inches across. The fragrance may be rich or light, depending on the time of year and time of day you smell them. Flower production begins in April and continues in flush after flush all through the heat of summer and into December, with only brief rests between periods of bloom.
The foliage is also notable. A rich, dark green with slight bluish undertones, the attractive foliage is a wonderful backdrop for the flowers. It also looks great when these roses are cut for indoor arrangements.
Left alone, this rose will easily grow to be about 5 feet by 5 feet over time. But like most everblooming roses, it will be fuller, shapelier and more vigorous if it is pruned back once or twice a year. This can also keep it to a smaller size, if desired.
The heaviest pruning is done in late January to early February when the bushes are cut back by about one-third to one-half.
A second pruning in late August or early September is generally lighter, and the bushes are cut back about one-quarter to one-third. After pruning, the roses should be fertilized with a general-purpose fertilizer or rose fertilizer following label directions.
This low-maintenance rose does not want to be pampered. Water it occasionally during dry weather the first year or two after planting. Once it is established, this rose (as with most tough landscape roses) rarely requires supplemental irrigation. More problems with these roses are likely created by overwatering than by anything else. If extraordinarily dry weather does occur and irrigation is necessary, water deeply and thoroughly no more often than once a week.
And don’t forget to keep your roses well mulched with 2 or 3 inches of your favorite mulch. This will reduce maintenance by holding down weed problems as well as conserve soil moisture so you don’t have to water as often.
Belinda’s Dream does not need to be sprayed with fungicides; the foliage stays wonderfully free from major disease problems like black spot. The only pest problem I’ve regularly observed is thrips on spring and early-summer flowers.
Sprays with spinosad will help with that. Thrips are not generally an issue for summer and fall flowers.
With its beautiful flowers, excellent disease resistance, attractive growth habit and low maintenance requirements, Belinda’s Dream rose is a well-justified and welcome addition to Louisiana Super Plants. Look for it at local nurseries near signs with the Super Plants logo.
To see a list of nurseries participating in the Louisiana Super Plants program, go to www.lsuagcenter.com/superplants.
|The Belinda’s Dream rose was recently named a Louisiana Super Plant by the LSU AgCenter.|