Photo courtesy of Speckled_Hen
Listing last updated on 18 Jan 2020.
San Antonio, Texas
USDA Zone: 8b
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Best performing roses for me in San Antonio have been (with no spraying and minimal care):
* Lady Banks (white) - getting bigger every year, I may have to rein it in soon. It's enchanting when it blooms in the spring. The blooms are so white, they gleam in the dark and emit the most intoxicating scent of violets. I don't know why anyone would choose the unscented yellow Lady Banks over the white form. It's thornless but occasionally I encounter a tiny barb. The cut canes make the coolest cat toys. Cut one about 4 ft. long, bring it inside, waving it around in front of your cat and see what happens - they will go crazy for it, thinking it's a giant insect tentacle or somesuch thing. One of my cats actually meows at me through the window when he sees me walk toward the Lady Banks with my clippers in hand, begging me to bring him a giant tentacle to vanquish in battle. It's ok to let them chew on it as roses are not poisonous to cats and there are no thorns.
* Mutabilis - gets huge here and makes a lovely free-blooming barrier hedge. A very tough rose, it (and Martha Gonzales) are often the only plants blooming at the height of summer not only in my yard, but on my entire street.
* Prosperity - makes a nice large arching shrub that is ideal for shady or difficult sites with poor soil.
* Martha Gonzales - fabulous performer, the hardest working rose I've ever seen. The easiest rose to propagate by simply placing 4" cuttings into potting soil. This rose gets no care from me other than occasional pruning and it's completely clean, disease-free, and blooms 11 1/2 months a year. Foliage is burgundy red in cooler months. Would be a good choice for creating a long low hedge along a driveway as it's very drought-tolerant and can take however much sun, heat, and neglect you can throw at it.
* Cramoisi Superieur - mine took a while to grow to full-size. Now it wants to be a big bush and I have to keep whacking it back to maintain it at 5ft. Very nice rose, good color, nice scent. Blooms shatter quickly though and don't last long. Still though, a rose I would never want to be without as it provides beautiful color, it's so healthy, and the scent really is nice.
* Natchitoches Noisette - should be more widely grown, a great rose. So easy to propagate too. Blooms most of the year, a nice medium shade of pink that goes with everything. Some have said theirs acts as a climber. Not so for me - mine have all behaved as shrubs.