|Souvenir de St. Anne, an Earthkind rose|
Earthkind is a trademark given by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and is a designation given to roses that are heat, drought, and pest tolerant. The Earthkind program was started in 1996 to evaluate roses scientifically for low maintenance in Texas landscapes. Roses grown with no fertilizers, no pesticides, no fungicides - trying to be a bit kinder to the earth - thus Earth-Kind, get it?
|Carefree Beauty, an Earthkind rose|
The roses in these field trials are never fertilized, never sprayed, never deadheaded, and never pruned. Mulch is applied, and after the roses are established for a year, irrigated water is reduced by 70%. Think: a rose that any home gardener could grow!
|Perle d'Or, an Earthkind rose|
The Earthkind roses that have been selected presently are good in hot climates. They are:
Duchesse de Brabant
Madame Antoine Marie
Mrs. Dudley Cross
Souvenir de St. Anne
*The original 11 Earthkind roses. These roses were grown through a 67-day drought with no supplemental watering and daily temperatures of 100 degrees F or more. Earthkind roses affected by blackspot lose 25% or less of their leaves.
|Mutabilis, an Earthkind rose|
In 2002 the Houston Rose Society felt this program was so siginificant, it agreed to fund tests for roses nationally. There are now rose field trial gardens not only in numerous counties in Texas, but also in the states of Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia, and the countries of Bermuda, Canada, India, and New Zealand.
|Mrs. Dudley Cross, an Earthkind rose|
The cultivars are selected based on eight years of research and testing. With the extension of the testing nationwide as well as to other countries, perhaps eventually anyone will be able to grow an easy-care rose in their garden, suited to their particular climate.
Isn't that a great dream?