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Drift Roses-Review

Posted by Jacob VanOteghem

Best Groundcover Roses?

The story goes like this.  The Drift® Rose prototype was introduced roughly 20 years ago.  However, it was considered too small for commercial use and to be honest was ignored due to the ever-successful Knockout series.  Although it performed excellently in trials, there wasn’t a place for this little guy in the market.  Times have changed and there is now a growing demand for these great miniature groundcover roses.  They were released regionally in 2007, full scale in 2008, and have been growing in popularity ever since.

Characteristics of Drift® Roses

The Drift® is a cross between full size groundcover roses and miniatures.  It fortunately adopted beneficial traits from each of these: resistance from disease and winter hardiness from the groundcover, and a repeat-blooming nature from the miniatures. Drift® Roses work perfectly in small gardens where a larger shrub might not be appropriate.  They are great for filling in empty spaces and will spread gently around pre-existing plants.  There are currently 7 varieties in the Drift® series: Apricot Drift®, Coral Drift®, Peach Drift®, Pink Drift®, Popcorn Drift®, Red Drift®, and Sweet Drift® (all of which are being grown here at Home Nursery). I read that list and thought, “The names are self-explanatory minus ‘Popcorn’ and ‘Sweet’ Drift.”  Popcorn Drift® is a mutation of the Peach Drift® that starts off yellow but then fades to a cream white bloom.  Sweet Drift® has pink double flowers that cluster atop dark green, glossy foliage.  Drift Roses only grow to be 1 ½’ x 2 ½’ wide, they have small blooms with a high bloom count (close to 20) with the exception of Pink Drift® (close to 10).  They are hardy in zones 4-11 and are resistant-even more resistant than initial expectation-to black spot.

Specific Plant Descriptions taken from conard-pyle.com the official website of Star® Roses.

Apricot Drift®Apricot Drift

Apricot drift exhibits a true groundcover habit and offers a fresh look to the series double apricot colored flowers begin flowering in spring and display a season-long show of color. It is just as tough and disease resistant as others in the Drift® series.  Best suited for small gardens or along paths and walkways.  Height 1-2’   Spread 2-3’



Coral Drift®Coral Drift Rose

Bright coral-orange blooms cover this small mounding shrub from mid Spring to mid Fall. Coral Drift® has the most vibrant flowers that catch your eye from anywhere. Mix and match with similar or contrasting colors to really wow.  Fully Winter hardy and disease resistant. Height 1-2’  Spread 2-3’




Peach Drift®Peach Drift

Peach Drift® is one of the most floriferous dwarf shrubs available. Soft peach blooms cover the plant from mid spring to the first hard freeze of late Fall.  Peach Drift® pairs well with existing perennials in any landscape. The mature plant is approximately 1 ½’ by 2’ and exhibits strong disease resistance.





Pink Drift®Pink Drift

Pink Drift® is low-growing with distinctive mounded flowers that reach 1 ½’ in height with a 3’ spread.  Deep pink flowers with a soft faded center bloom in abundance throughout the season.  This disease-resistant plant is easy to care for and easy to combine with other perennials.





Popcorn Drift

Popcorn Drift®

Popcorn Drift® is a mutation of the popular Peach Drift®. It represents a new color in the series. Popcorn Drift® starts out yellow and fades to a cream white, sometimes suffused with light pink.  It is hardy to zone 5 and possibly 4 pending results from further testing. The overall impression is yellow and cream; reminiscent of buttery popcorn.  Height 1-2’   Spread  2’




Red Drift

Red Drift®

Red Drift® has the most petite flowers of all the Drift® Roses. It is perfect for use in front border plantings. Red Drift® makes a beautiful statement when it drapes naturally over a rock wall or edge. Mature height is less than 1 ½’ with a wider spread. Great flower power and disease resistance.





Sweet Drift

Sweet Drift®

Clear pink double flowers seem to float in clusters atop dark green glossy foliage. Most double-flowered of all the Drift® Roses. Abundant and continuous flowering in addition to exceptional disease resistance makes this a perfect choice for use along pathways, hillsides or at the fronts of a border.

Tags: Plants, Branded Plants, Shrubs