On The Garden Path

New 'Flower Carpet Scarlet' is an easy-to-grow rose

| March 2007

Those who find the prospect of growing roses daunting have never grown an easy-care, repeat-blooming Flower Carpet rose. The addition of scarlet to the series lineup this spring provides a compelling reason to give these popular roses a try.

This spring, 'Flower Carpet Scarlet' - a compact, garden-hardy bush with glossy green foliage and abundant clusters of vibrant red double blossoms - becomes the seventh color in the Flower Carpet rose series, joining pink, white, yellow, appleblossom, red and coral. Flower Carpet roses are known for blooming profusely, being naturally disease-resistant, and being hardy in Zones 5 through 11.

These aren't fussy show roses. They are bred for the garden, with densely compact bushes that sport lush, glossy foliage that looks satisfying even when the roses aren't in bloom, which isn't often, since Flower Carpet roses bloom in flushes from early summer until late fall. A mature bush planted in full sun can produce more than 2,000 flowers in a season.

'Flower Carpet Scarlet' is a top performer, especially in warmer climates. However, in areas of intense dry heat, it should be protected by planting it in partial shade, with plenty of filtered light, and by keeping it well-watered. In colder zones (5 and 6), it needs a little extra care in its first season, especially if planted in the fall. It can even handle Zone 4, with ongoing winter protection.

Flower Carpet roses are classified as ground cover roses. Unlike show-type hybrids, they don't require fancy pruning. To invigorate annual bloom and performance, use hedge clippers and chop it back annually in late winter or early spring. And because these bushes are self-cleaning, with petals that fall away on their own, deadheading is unnecessary.

The double-flowered blooms of 'Flower Carpet Scarlet' are 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter, with six to eight flowers in each cluster. The bushes are vigorous and sturdy, with a compact, dense growth habit. 'Flower Carpet Scarlet' grows from 24 to 32 inches tall and up to 40 inches across.

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