The Fairy Shrub Rose

The Fairy Shrub Rose
The Fairy rose is by far my favorite rose. It is a very special polyantha variety. Just to be clear on this issue, this article is about The Fairy shrub rose rather than The Fairy climbing rose.

The dense, spreading plant is upright and dwarf with a bushy compact growth habit. Typically two feet in height, it has been known to sometimes grow to three or four feet in height. The spread is three to four feet.

This plant is highly recommended as a ground cover rose.

Adapted to part shade, the Fairy rose is disease resistant and attracts butterfly. This plant is moderately thorny, which might discourage some gardeners from considering it. But, do keep in mind that roses develop thorns as a means of self defense.

Hardy to zone four, this very reliable plant has been around for nearly a century. So, it can definitely be called an heirloom. It was introduced in 1932 in England. This was introduced to America by Conard Pyle. Sources disagree as to the name of the hybridizer. At least one source credits Ann Bentall, while others say it was J.A. Bentall.

The plant’s parentage included the Paul Crampel rose and Lady Gay rose. This is an ideal plant for novice gardeners and for those with challenging growing conditions.

The Fairy rose is one of those plants that can withstand neglect and poor soil. It has been described as being “virtually foolproof.” Texas A & M Agricultural Extension Service designated this variety as an EarthKind variety.

This old garden favorite is an ideal choice for perennial beds and borders, and as low hedges. It can also be grown in containers, such as large hanging baskets.

If growing this plant in pots or other containers, keep in mind that it will need winter protection in zones four through seven. This can be done by planting the container in the ground pot and all. Other ways of overwintering the containers is to keep it in a protected place that is above freezing, such as in a garage or cellar.

My Heirloom Roses catalog describes the Fairy rose as “one of the most amazing roses.” Generally compact, the dense plant is upright and bushy. It features slightly cascading, graceful stems.

The Fairy is a polyanthus rose, meaning it bears large pyramidal clusters that contain small blooms. This can literally be covered with hundreds of blooms at a time from top to bottom.

Considered a repeat bloomer, this has an excellent repeat bloom that makes the plant appear to be largely everblooming. The flower color is best in cool climates.

The lovely flowers as well as the flower buds are highly recommended as a candied treat. This is assuming that the plant is being grown organically. For that reason, the Fairy rose is recommended for edible landscapes.

The pendulous flower clusters are up to 1½ inch across. The very dainty, cupped, double, ruffled blooms have a high petal count, 20 to 30 petals.

These unscented flowers vary slightly in the shade of pink. They range from pale pink to shell pink, medium pink, or bright pink. The petals conceal the stamens. The blooms are one to 1½ inch wide.

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