During times past, roses have gotten a bad reputation. Due to breeding for a huge rose blossom that looked beautiful at the expense of disease resistance and hardiness, many roses were developed that took an extreme amount of care to live. The truth is, there are a lot of roses out there that are tough, beautiful and easy to grow.
In an effort to provide maximum garden and landscape enjoyment, Texas AgriLife Extension service developed and education program called Earth-Kind. This program uses organic and traditional practices to create a new approach that delivers optimum enjoyment with no negative effects on the environment.
This is where roses enter the picture. The roses that were being developed needed huge amounts of fungicides, insecticides, and fertilizers to stay healthy and bloom. These practices are not earth friendly or friendly to the average gardener. Through research in the Texas AgriLife Extension service, roses are being selected for the Earth-Kind program. To be given this designation, roses must undergo a rigorous trial and only those that display extreme disease resistance and pest tolerance make the cut.
These roses are easy to grow and once established, the roses exhibit excellent drought and heat tolerance. For a Texas gardener, those traits are certainly valuable! When a rose is selected by a gardener with the mature height and width in mind, these roses will grow with very little care. There are 21 cultivars at this time. Below are pictures of each Earth-Kind rose, copied from Chamblee’s Rose Nursery in Tyler, Texas. Chamblee’s Rose Nursery is a great place to buy roses, they were the first of offer Earth-Kind roses. All 21 are available from them.