Should We Risk Our Health for A Beautiful Rose? 
April 20, 2013
Allan in Roses, best selling roses, climbers, cold climate roses, hardy roses, mozart, mush rose, pesticides, reblooming roses, roses

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?

Article originally appeared on Garden Design, Montreal, Perennial Flower Gardens, Gardening Tips, Gardening Advice, Gardening Book Reviews (
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