We have entered a whole new era with rose growing. The older varieties are out of favor, and new plants have moved the rose from being tricky plants needed dedication, to become plants for our garden landscapes. These plants are as easy to grow as ordinary shrubs, yet they flower profusely and often through the seasons. The best of this new generation, which began with the Knockout roses, has been brought together in the wonderful collection called the Oso Easy® Landscape Roses. Fantastic as it is, when it first appeared this range lacked the one type of rose that everyone loves – a rich, full double bloom of vibrant red – so we waited anxiously, and our wait has paid off with the appearance of the Double Red® Oso Easy® Landscape Rose.
The Double Red Oso Easy Landscape Rose has all the great characteristics we look for in a landscape rose: It’s as easy to grow as a shrub; it has a full, mounded form that fills garden spaces; it is tough and resistant to disease; it needs no special attention; and best of all it rewards us with a near-continuous display of wonderful rich red blooms. It quickly develops into a good-sized shrub, reaching 3 or 4 feet tall and wide in a few short years. Allow enough space for its full develop when choosing a planting spot – always good advice with any plant. It has many upright branches rising from the base, keeping it bushy and full. Since it is very disease-resistant it won’t be dropping leaves by mid-summer and looking bare – no, right into fall it is lush and green. The leaves are a little over 5 inches long, but divided into 5 or 7 separate leaflets, each almost 3 inches long, with a rounded oval shape and finely toothed edges. The foliage is tough, leathery and slightly glossy, colored rich green, with a red tone when young, and retaining a red central vein for a long time after it emerges. In fall the leaves turn yellow before dropping for the winter.
The abundant flowers are carried at the ends of the stems in clusters of 1 to 5 blooms, well-separated from each other by longish stems. Each bloom begins as a pointed bud, and it opens into a cup-shaped flower that is a full 3 inches across, with about 25 petals filling in a dense, fully-double blossom. The color is a rich bright red with warming pink to orange undertones. A shrub in bloom is bright and it shows across the garden without fading in the distance. A mature plant will produce many blooms on a single bush in the season, with a large showing in early summer, blooms continuing through summer, and then a big display in fall, when the flowers are few in the garden.
Use the Double Red Oso Easy Landscape Rose in the spaces between evergreen bushes, for lots of color around your home. Plant it singly or in groups in the middle area of your garden beds for continuous display and great structure. Plant a row along a fence or driveway or use it as an informal barrier, separating one part of the garden from another. For group planting or rows, spacing the plants 2½ feet apart will give continuous coverage.
Grow the Double Red Oso Easy Landscape Rose in full sun for the most blooms, and in rich, moist but well-drained soil. Roses are vigorous growers and this one is no exception. Mix in plenty of organic material with the soil when planting and use it each fall or spring as mulch. Using rose fertilizers will maximize both the growth and the extent of blooming. Water regularly, as periods of dryness will reduce flowering. The petals fall cleanly when the flower is over, so dead-heading is not needed. Once a year, in spring, you can trim your bush a little by removing thin, weak or damaged stems completely, and reducing the main branches by about one-third, cutting back to just above an outward-facing bud. That’s all the pruning needed, and since this plant has very few thorns, it’s a quick and easy job. This rose is resistant to black spot, and especially resistant to powdery mildew, so its leaves say fresh and clean all season long.
The Meilland family has been breeding roses in France for many years. They are most famous for the ‘Peace’ rose introduced after World War II, but in more recent times Alain Meilland has been breeding many new roses, focusing on easy-care plants and continuous blooming. To create the Double Red rose he began by crossing two roses – one he had already created called Deborah® (‘Meinoiral’) a dark pink rose, and a golden-yellow rose from the breeding of the German rose expert Kordes, called ‘Golden Holstein® (‘Kortikel’). He took one of the seedlings that grew from this cross and crossed it with the famous American modern red rose, Knockout® (‘Radrazz’). Among the seedlings was one that stood out, for its great blooms, disease resistance and vigorous growth. He named it ‘Meipeporia’, and it was patented in 2016. This is the rose called Double Red®, and it is part of the fantastic Oso Easy® Landscape Rose collection put together by Spring Meadow Nursery Inc., of Grand Haven, Michigan. We love this collection for its range of great garden shrub roses, and the Double Red rose is at the top of our list. Everyone is planting these roses and their reviews are great, so our stock will be gone very soon. Order now, because this rose is, ‘Oh, so easy!’