White roses are always top of everyone’s list for beauty, and they fit into any and every garden. You might be making an all-white garden area, or simply looking for brightness and light to set against the darker greens found in every garden. White is always welcoming, especially in the long evenings of summer, where it glows right into the twilight, continuing after all the other garden colors have faded into the gloom. On cloudy days white still glows brightly and it is always a great choice for anywhere in the garden. For gift plants too, there is something special about white – of course for weddings, but equally for all other family occasions, and for friends as well, you can never go wrong with white. These are some of the reasons why we made sure that in our range of miniature tree roses we included a fabulous white one – the Gourmet Popcorn Miniature Rose Tree.
You simply won’t believe the profusion of blooms on the Gourmet Popcorn Miniature Rose Tree. It grows into an upright plant with a strong central trunk topped with an upright rounded head of dense branches, leaves and blossoms. The crown is 18 inches wide, and 18 to 30 inches tall, giving a plant with an overall height of 3½ to 4½ feet. At that size it is perfect for giving height to small beds – beds too small for wide-spreading shrubs. Plant it at the corners of beds to give a formal touch, or in the spaces between clipped evergreens around your home. Plant one, or a row, beside a path for an amazing greeting. Grow it in planter boxes or containers for continuous blooming on a terrace, patio or balcony – yes, you don’t even need a garden to grow this fabulous plant.
The semi-glossy, mid-green leaves of the Gourmet Popcorn Miniature Rose Tree are relatively large, and they have between 3 and 9 leaflets in them. If you have learned that a rose-leaf must have just 5 leaflets, this is not true of this variety. The many leaflets give a full, ferny look to the bush, but honestly, the foliage is usually hidden beneath the profusion of blooms. The blossoms are each just 1¼ inches across, but they are carried in such abundance the bush is never out of bloom. Every branch is topped with an irregular pyramid of many buds, varying in number from one branch to another. The buds are white and pointed, and the flowers open cup-shaped to flat, with about 28 petals in each bloom, averaging 1¼ inches across. New stems topped with buds are produced continuously, so abundant blooms are always present on this amazing plant. The blooms have a wonderful honey fragrance, quite distinctive and much sweeter than the scent of most other roses – another unique quality of this fantastic bush.
Grow the Gourmet Popcorn Miniature Rose Tree in full sun for the most blooms. Ordinary to heavier garden soil is best, and it should be well-drained. Roses love clay soils, and this one is no exception, so turn your clay garden into a rose garden. Add plenty of rich organic material like compost or well-rotted manure when preparing the planting area and use it as mulch too. In spring before the shoots elongate, remove any weak or damaged stems, leaving a sturdy framework of branches. Shorten them back by half, cutting just above an outward-facing bud. Remove any shoots that might come from the trunk or roots below the crown as soon as they appear. This rose is resistant to common rose diseases and any pests are easily controlled. This is a tough, and time-tested variety that is very easy to grow.
For container growing use a pot at least 12 inches in diameter, with good drainage, and for the greatest longevity in a pot, blend one-third by volume of garden soil with a ready-made potting soil for shrubs and trees. Water when the top inch is dry, and feed regularly from spring to late summer with a liquid rose fertilizer. Outdoor trees should also be fertilized with slow-release or regular fertilizers, for the best results and most prolific blooming.
Back in 1973 Dr. Dennison H. Morey created a rose called ‘Popcorn’. It grows into a small rounded bush, with tiny white flowers about ½ inch across. Around 1985 Luis Desamero and Henry Fonda were growing this rose for Weeks Wholesale Rose Grower, Inc., who at that time had a nursery in Ontario, California. On one bush they saw a branch that was more vigorous than the rest of the plant, with longer branches, larger leaves, and flowers that were twice as large. They found that it kept those properties when grafted onto rose roots, and in 1989 they patented their discover with the name ‘Weopop’. It proved to be a wonderful bush, and it is even more popular today than it was 40 years ago. It was also sold as Shrublet™ for a time, but today we know this classic bush as Gourmet Popcorn. We had the growers attach it to a strong trunk, making a vigorous upright tree that moves this plant into a whole new dimension. These plants are going to sell out fast, so order now, you won’t regret it for a moment.