Everyone loves yellow roses, but they are not always easy to grow, and their color is not always stable. Many yellow roses fade to near-white in hot weather, or in the bright sun, and others only bloom briefly, with just a few blossoms. For landscape use, where we need reliable blooming on tough, disease-resistant plants that will fill spaces in our beds, the search for the perfect yellow rose has become the Holy Grail. Well it has finally now been found, appropriately enough in England, the land of King Arthur. Meet the Lemon Zest® Oso Easy® Landscape Rose, the ideal shrub rose for the lover of yellow roses – isn’t that all of us?
The Lemon Zest Oso Easy Landscape Rose grows vigorously and quickly into an upright, mounding plant with many stems, reaching 2 or 3 feet tall, and spreading just as wide. With its dense, rounded shape it is ideal for the middle of small garden beds, or the front of larger ones, and it will spill out over a patio, terrace or driveway in a very attractive fashion. Planted singly or in groups of 3, 5 or 7, it will fill your beds with handsome foliage all season, but even more importantly, it is covered with blooms continuously, and almost never out of bloom – a few even last late into fall and early winter. For group plantings, space plants between 2 and 4 feet apart, depending on the effect you want. 2-foot spacing will create a continuous, single mass of foliage and blooms, while a 4-foot spacing will show of the mounded form, and each plant will be seen separately.
The stems of the Lemon Zest Oso Easy Landscape Rose grow vigorously from the base, and plants have upwards of 10 stems, making a dense bush. The deep green leaves are glossy, and divided into 5 leaflets, each about an inch long. They are rounded, with fine ‘teeth’ along the edges, and they stay healthy and green all season long, because this plant is resistant to black spot, a damaging rose disease that causes the leaves to turn yellow, with black spots. They then fall, leaving your bushes almost bare by mid-summer – but not this zesty rose.
The blooms of the Lemon Zest Oso Easy Landscape Rose are carried singly at the ends of each branch, and 50 blooms in a season is normal. The flowers are held up, without drooping, maximizing their bright canary yellow color in the garden. A full 2 inches across, with up to 18 petals in each bloom, they open into a shallow cup, showing a few stamens nestling among the innermost petals – simply charming. They smell sweet and fragrant, with a hint of that lemon zest the name suggests. Most importantly, these blooms hold that rich color without fading to near-white – a real breakthrough in yellow roses. The petals hold well, and the flowers are persistent, until they finally drop, leaving a clean stem that needs no deadheading.
Plant the Lemon Zest Oso Easy Landscape Rose in full sun to maximize the blooming. Grow it in well-drained soil enriched with plenty of organic material like garden compost. Water regularly, because although this plant is reasonably drought resistant once established, dryness will reduce flowering significantly. Using a blended rose fertilizer in spring will give you the healthiest foliage and the most flowers. With its disease-resistance, spraying is not necessary, and its vigor overcomes most pests. In spring you can prune it for neatness and maximum blooms. Remove any weak or damaged branches. In zone 4 some stems may die back, but this tough plant will re-shoot from the base and flower like nothing ever happened. Trim back the remaining sturdy stems by about one-third, cutting just above an outward-facing bud. You can also pinch out the tips of the new shoots in spring when they are a few inches tall. This may delay flowering by a week or so, but it will encourage even more stems, and so more blooms.
The Lemon Zest Oso Easy Landscape Rose is the creation of Christopher Warner, an English rose breeder. He gave up his teaching job to breed roses, and he has been amazingly successful, winning multiple awards, in creating great landscape roses that bloom continuously and that are also disease resistant. He spends 5 years testing his plants for their resistance before releasing them. At his one-man nursery in Newport, Shropshire he makes hundreds of crosses, looking only for the best. In 2000 he took pollen from a rose called Yellow Ribbons® (‘Chewpatyel’) and used it on another landscape rose called Peachy Cream® (‘Horcoherent’). These are both roses he had already created. Among the seedlings he found what he was looking for – a vigorous non-fading yellow landscape rose with large blooms and excellent resistance to black spot. In 2016 he patented it with the name `Chewhocan`. It is today part of the Oso Easy® Landscape Rose collection developed by Spring Meadow Nursery Inc., of Grand Haven, Michigan. These great roses are perfect for growing as low-care garden shrubs, and Lemon Zest® is the yellow center-piece of the group. These new roses are proving amazingly popular, and garnering solid 5-star reviews, so they sell out fast. Order now, or we may not be able to satisfy your longing for the best yellow garden rose there is.