University of Florida

Drift® Roses

These small-scale roses can make a big impression in your landscape.

Characteristics

If you keep up with plant trends, you're probably familiar with the Knockout® roses that are touted as being tough, easy-care shrub roses. But what if you're looking for a smaller rose to tuck into a container garden or a tiny corner of your landscape?

Well, you're in luck. The company that launched the Knockout® series also has a series of smaller roses called Drift® roses. Like Knockout® roses, the roses in the Drift® series bloom almost continuously and offer flower colors that include apricot, peach, pink, coral, red, and pale yellow that turns to white.

Name Flower color Flower form and size
Apricot Drift® (Rosa 'Meimirrote') Apricot Double; 1 1/2"
Coral Drift® (Rosa 'Meidrifora') Bright coral orange Cuplike; 1 1/2"
Peach Drift® (Rosa 'Meiggili') Soft peach Cuplike/small; 1 1/2"
Pink Drift® (Rosa 'Meijocos') Pink with a white center Semi-double; 1 1/2"
Red Drift® (Rosa 'Meigalpio') Medium red Cuplike/very small; 3/4"
Sweet Drift® (Rosa 'Meiswetdom') Medium pink/light pink Double; 1 1/2"
Popcorn Drift® (Rosa 'Novarospop') Yellow, fading to creamy white Cup shaped; 1 1/2"

Drift® roses are the result of a cross between groundcover roses and miniature roses, and the result is a compact rose that's perfect for growing in containers, at the front of landscape beds, or as a groundcover. Individual plants will grow two to three feet wide and just one and a half feet tall.

Drift® roses generally have good disease resistance and require less spraying than hybrid tea roses. They are best suited for planting in USDA Hardiness Zones 4-10.

Planting and Care

Choose a spot that receives at least six hours of sunlight. Plant the rose in a hole that's about twice as wide as the root ball and no deeper. Fill in the hole with soil, and apply mulch around the plant but not on top of the root ball. As with other roses, it is always best to amend the soil with plenty of organic matter.

If you're planting your rose in a container, choose a pot with good drainage holes and use a high-quality potting mix.

No matter where you're planting, water your rose thoroughly at the time of planting and then regularly until it's established.

Most roses benefit from periodic applications of fertilizer during the growing season. Shop for a product containing all or some of the nutrients in a slow-release form.

Drift® roses are relatively problem free in many areas and have excellent disease resistance to rust, powdery mildew, and black spot. However, they can be susceptible to chilli thrips and Cercospora leafspot.

Deadheading isn't required, but it will encourage reblooming and give the roses a nicer appearance.

For more information on Drift® roses, contact your county Extension office.

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