Stephen Big purple is 100% healthy in my alkaline clay, I don't spray. It survived 3 winters in zone 5a, very hardy and the first to bloom in mid-May, along with English roses. The scent is best among the purple roses, and lasts long in the vase. It's very heat-tolerant. Japanese Beetles can't get inside its tightly packed petals, so it's safe, along with English roses.
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