Growing roses is a favorite past time for many dedicated and passionate gardeners. For many years gardens were filled with hybrid teas, grandiflora and floribunda roses emitting aromatic fragrances and exquisite flower displays. Countless hours spent dead heading, spraying and pruning gave great peace, serenity and pride to those who treated their rose garden as well as one of their own children. In our company early February was the time that the nursery would begin buzzing while orders were being filled with hundreds of bare root, packaged and potted roses. Semi after semi rolled out the door with rose orders for early spring. That was then……..
This is now. The demand for the “old fashioned” types has dramatically changed in the rose market. Consumers no longer want to spend hours in their gardens maintaining plants nor do they have the time to do so. Whether we like it or not, today’s consumers don’t view gardening the same way as the gardening generation that came before them. In general, today’s consumer is looking for plants they don’t have to mess with, are “guaranteed” to grow, have multi-season interest with lots of color and look great in the landscape. Hmmm, that’s easy right?
When it comes to roses in the marketplace today, there are some types of roses that have a pretty good fit with consumer’s criteria. Proven Winners Oso Easy® series is one type of shrub rose to consider. This low maintenance rose blooms prolifically from early summer to frost with some varieties having a single flower and others a semi-double flower. Color variations range from pink, red, yellow and orange. Touted as being “so easy” to grow, the roses in the Oso Easy series are becoming known for being disease resistant and not susceptible to black spot or powdery mildew. In the past few years growing Oso Easy’s in our nursery we have had no issues with disease. These roses are self-cleaning and require little to no pruning. As with any other rose the Oso’s are best grown in full sun and benefit from good air circulation. They prefer well drained and slightly acidic soil with medium moisture.
Oso Easy Series Varieties
The Oso Easy series currently has seven different plants in the collection. Most are low growing groundcover type roses that stay fairly low and mounded while spreading equally as wide as tall in most cases. The Oso Easy series includes:
This plant is a new variety in the series. It has large, single flowers that are bright, candy apple red. In the center is a yellow stamen. It performs well in a mass planting or when used in a mixed border planting. It grows 2-4’ tall and spreads 2-4’ wide. It is hardy in zones 4-9.
Fragrant Spreader is the largest spreader in the Oso Easy series. While it only grows about 1-2’ tall, it spreads up to 5’ making it a great choice for large areas, steep slopes or areas that are difficult to manage. It has fragrant, single pink flowers and is hardy in zones 3-9.
Honey Bun is proclaimed to be the best in disease resistance with this series. It has an interesting flower color in that it ranges from a blush-pink to butter yellow to creamy white. It produces an abundance of flowers that are semi-double. Great choice for a mixed border or mass planting. It grows 2-3’ wide and spreads 2-3’. It is hardy in zones 4-9.
Mango Salsa is noted for its fantastic color that has been described as having a double flower with “shades of ruby red grapefruit, summer sunsets and those fancy tropical drinks with umbrellas in them.” It blooms from mid-summer through fall. A great choice for a “thriller” in a container planting or when used in mass plantings or mixed border planting. It is also small enough to plant near walkways or small spaces. Grows 2-3’ tall with a 2-3’ spread. Hardy in zones 4-9.
Paprika is a low mounding rose growing 1-2’ tall and spreading 2-3’ wide. It is a single flower having loads of reddish-orange flowers all summer fading to a soft coral with a yellow center. It looks especially attractive against the glossy green foliage. Paprika blooms from summer to frost and is a suitable choice for mixed borders and beds. It is small enough to use near walkways and small spaces. It grows 1-2’ tall and spreads 2-3’. Hardy in zones 3-9.
Peachy Cream is low mounding rose with large, double flowers that emerge peach then turning to cream and blooming from summer through frost.. It only reaches 12-36” inches tall and spreads 1-3’ making it a good choice for a small garden as it will be easy to maintain. Use this plant as a groundcover, in a border planting or mixed in a perennial garden. Peachy Cream can even be grown as a patio plant during the summer then planted in the ground in the fall. It is hardy in zones 3-9.
This plant boasts large, double flowers that appear as strawberry pink and then turn to a creamy pink. Blooms summer through frost and grows 1-2’ tall, spreading 1-3’. Strawberry Crush is a good plant choice as a "thriller" in a container as well as when used as a ground cover or in a mixed border. It works well when incorporated into a perennial garden and is a good fit for a smaller garden area. It is hardy in zones 4-9.
So for those looking for an easy care, easy growing and all around easy-peasy shrub rose with lots of flowers all through summer and fall, the Oso Easy series by Proven Winners is a good option.