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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

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Should We Risk Our Health for A Beautiful Rose? 

Image:-, a Canadian catalogue and online plant provider.Recently, the French language garden magazine Fleurs Plantes et Jardins published a pictorial review of roses that survive cold climates. Included in that article was a photo of the hybrid musk rose, Mozart. A continuous top seller at many retail and online nurseries, it caught my attention because it is striking and beautiful.  

Researching this plant online, I discovered that it flowers profusely, producing a non-stop show of enormous sprays of small, single pink blooms with white centers and reddish-  pink edges. Its arching habit allows the gardener to grow it as a cascading specimen or as a climber against a fence.

This is a perfumed rose that tolerates light shade, re blooms until autumn, and grows 3 to 6 feet tall depending upon growing conditions. In some locations, it is reported to spread wider than 8 feet. In the fall, the color display is followed by showy orange hips.

Most importantly, it has excellent resistance to disease. With a winter tolerance for CND Zone 4 or USDA Zone 5, the description of this rose is impressive. What’s not to like? Plenty!

While Mozart is virtually disease resistant, it is not pest free. Here is a list of all of the bugs that might attack this rose, depending upon a gardener’s local eco-system:-  Aphids, leaf hoppers, spider mites, scale, caterpillars, sawfly larvae, cane borers, Japanese beetles, rose stem girders, rose midges, rose slugs, rose chafers, and  leaf-cutting bees.

If Mozart is such a cafeteria for bugs, it may be necessary to spray it with pesticides. However, many gardeners worry that using such products compromises the health of all living things; some are not convinced that it does while still others pay no attention to such matters.

I don’t want to tempt fate by trying to prove who is right and who is wrong. I prefer to be cautious. Consequently, I am reluctant to plant this versatile, eye-catching rose. Those who are concerned about the residual effects that toxic substances have upon all living things will opt for carefree plants that need no pesticides to survive.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if breeders could develop a pest- free rose that performs just like Mozart does?

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Reader Comments (4)

We have enjoyed Mozart in our garden for at least 15 years and consider it completely disease and pest free. We live in the western part of Denmark where summers are very rarely (in fact hardly ever) hot - maybe that makes a difference.

April 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

Thank you for reporting your experience with Mozart. I hope there are more readers out there who have grown this rose pest free.

April 21, 2013 | Registered CommenterAllan

I also want plants hardy enough to repel pests, mainly because I'm lazy. The other part of me doesn't want the additional chemicals.
I remember my cousin's dog getting mini-tumors all over from chemicals applied by a lawn service. If push comes to shove, I'd rather have healthy animals and to stay healthy myself than to pollute by using pesticides to have unique plants.

April 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiane C

Hi Allan, This Rose, Mozart.seems just right for our Aberdeen garden. Disease resistant is good enough for me, can't say I have ever expected them to come up with pest resistant. Greenfly appears to be the only problem which we have, A spray with the garden hose seems to help.

May 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlistair

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