Like most gardeners, I love roses. But I must confess, I have almost none in my own garden. Florida summers are terribly hard on roses, which need a lot of TLC even in ideal climates. For me to actually plant a rose, it has to be easy to care for and spectacular to boot. To earn a place in my garden, a rose must be disease-resistant, able to handle heavy rains and high humidity all summer long, and provide lots and lots of beautiful blooms. As you can imagine, there aren’t too many roses that meet my needs, so I was excited to come across the Tuscan Sun rose during a recent visit to a rose garden in Sarasota, Florida.
The Tuscan Sun rose caught my eye initially with an array of different colors of blooms on a single bush. The buds start out a brilliant orange, opening to display a deep apricot-colored flower. As the flower begins to age, its outer petals take on a pinkish hue, making the blooms bi-colored. Eventually, the whole flower becomes bright pink, fading gently to pale pink over time. Because the Tuscan Sun rose is a Floribunda, the blooms appear in a multitude of clusters and all these colors can be seen at once on the same bush. The effect is pretty spectacular, and rather like having three or four roses all in one.
Tuscan Sun roses grow in zones 6 – 10, and will survive winters with extra mulching and protection in zone 5. They’re noted for disease-resistance, being able to fight off both powdery mildew and rust. This means a Tuscan Sun rose actually has a decent chance of flourishing in the strong summer rains and sky-high humidity of a southern summer. It’s a bush rose, growing to 4 feet high and tall. The blooms have a mild spicy fragrance and make excellent cut flowers. You can find Tuscan Sun roses at multiple online vendors, or ask your local garden center or nursery to help you locate one nearby.
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