Relatively new to the rose word, Hybrid Hulthemia roses are becoming more and more popular. As you scour rose catalogs this month, you might want to take a close look at these unique plants. True Hulthemia roses are native to Persia and are tough, thorny plants that bloom sparsely. They are often considered weeds. Their uniqueness comes from the pink to red center or "eye" of the flower, which gives them a totally different look for roses. Hybridizers have crossed the Hulthemia roses with modern roses and created a new group of better-behaved hybrid roses. Better-behaved simply means these varieties require less pruning and offer the benefit of repeat blooming.
Among the first notable Hulthemia hybrids were the Halo Series hybridized by Ralph Moore, known as the father of the miniature rose. Favorites include Halo Today, which has orange-pink blooms with a darker center, 5-14 petals and prominent stamens. A miniature in character, it grows about 18 inches high but is not widely available.
Newer, more widely available Hulthemia hybrids include the Eyeconic® Series, which have a very distinct red eye and well-behaved habit. There are five varieties, including Eyeconic Lemonade (yellow with a red eye; 4.5 feet high and wide) and Eyeconic Pink Lemonade (pink with a dark red eye; 3 feet high and wide). Due to their susceptibility to Black Spot, other varieties of Eyeconic roses are only recommended for western states.
Raspberry Kiss™ is one of the newest Hulthemia Hybrids. It has single, pink, fragrant flowers with a very distinct red eye. It grows 3 feet high and wide with an arching habit and good disease resistance. Plant Hybrid Hulthemias in full sun. Water and fertilize regularly. Control insects and diseases with All-In-One Rose & Flower Care. For more rose sources, go to helpmefind.com.