Going Big On PW Roses
roses

Balanced Enviroments

February 7, 2023

roses

The official start to spring may still be weeks away, but we’re counting down the days until our spring season begins at the nursery. One thing that always gets us energized at the beginning of a new season is talking about new plants, and this year is no exception. We’re especially excited when it comes to new shrubs for 2023 because, after taking some time to rethink our rose lineup, we’ve decided to go all in on PW roses. Over the past several years, while we’ve been busy keeping up with all the new and improved Hydrangea introductions, there hasn’t been a lot to get excited about when it comes to roses. When the original Knock Out® was first introduced 20 years ago it revolutionized the rose market. The improved genetics of the Knock Out® series made roses more accessible and less intimidating to everyone from casual gardeners to landscape professionals, and the subsequent marketing efforts were nothing short of groundbreaking in our industry.

But, in the years since, the Knock Out® and Double Knock Out® have become something of a commodity. Once touted as the most disease-resistant roses on the market, they have become increasingly prone to black spot. And, ironically, along with all the rigorous breeding efforts to select for traits like disease-resistance, repeat-blooming, and self-cleaning, we lost the one quality that roses were once most prized for: fragrance. That’s why we’re so excited that Proven Winners® has made it a priority to focus on breeding the fragrance back into roses.

After years of trials, we’ve decided it’s time to shift our focus away from Knock Out® and onto the improved genetics of the Oso Easy® series of roses. There isn’t a rose on the market today that isn’t promoted as disease-resistant, but the Oso Easy® series actually lives up to that claim, both in production and in the landscape. With over 10 varieties in the series, the collection offers every color, from the standard red, pink, and white of Double Red®, Easy Peasy®, and Ice Bay™, to the more unique flowers of Italian Ice®, Honey Bun, and Mango Salsa.

Oso Easy Double Red® is a seedling of Double Knock Out®, and it makes a great replacement for the overused older variety, with more fully double, tulip-shaped flowers. We were so impressed with the bright, non-fading yellow flowers of Oso Easy Lemon Zest® and the distinctive pink-blushed, soft yellow blooms of Italian Ice® last year that we’re increasing production of both for 2023. We’re also adding Oso Easy® Mango Salsa, Oso Easy Peasy®, and Oso Easy Ice Bay™ to our lineup this year. Mango Salsa reaches only one to three feet tall and features unique, orange-pink flowers reminiscent of grapefruit. Easy Peasy® produces abundant, deep pink-red flowers from early summer until frost and is a past winner of the American Rose Society Award of Excellence in the No Spray division. We’re excited to trial Oso Easy Ice Bay™, new for 2023 and the first white rose of the series. We’re also adding Suñorita®, Ringo All-Star™, and Rise Up Emberays™, to the mix. While they aren’t part of the Oso Easy® series, these last three were all bred for disease resistance, continuous blooming, and improved color. Rise Up Emberays™ is a fragrant climbing rose with bright orange flowers and is new for 2023.

The Oso Easy® series itself isn’t new; we’ve been trialing varieties like Oso Easy Double Red®, Oso Easy® Paprika, and Oso Easy® Urban Legend® since 2017. While we were impressed with them early on and felt they offered an improvement over older varieties, sometimes market demand isn’t in line with what we want to grow. But we believe that now is the time to make this transition into what we see as the next chapter of landscape rose production, and we think the market is finally ready.

Sincerely
Krystal Flogel
Production Manager

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