Saturday, January 22, 2011

Proven Winners Home Run Rose

We gathered for lunch looking out on Lake Michigan to hear hybridizer Tom Carruth tell us the history of two new rose introductions Home Run Red and Home Run Pink.  Our group was a mix of landscape designers, garden writers of blogs, books and newspapers and representatives of the plant growing and marketing industry.

This rose has been marketed in limited supply by Weeks Roses (who does not sell to the public) and now will be marketed on a large scale to the general public by Proven Winners Color Choice.

Home Run Red

Home Run Red is a cross of City of San Francisco and Baby Love, with their offspring then being crossed with the original Knockout Rose.  The result is the best of all worlds,  The new Home Run Red is a brighter truer red, resists powdery mildew (which the original Knockout did not) and black spot, shrub-like growth habit, quick repeat flowers, first rose to bloom in spring and fragrant buds.

City of San Francisco

Baby Love

The foliage is a deeper glossy green, more compact and hardier than the original Knockout.  The growth is spiky at first and with continued growth becomes shrub-like.  I was surprised that Home Run can set hips but does not stop flowering.

Original Knockout

The one thing that all rose people will have to remember with this plant, no deadheading recommended!  The new buds form right where the spent flower falls off so any deadheading will cut down on the continual flower display.

Home Run Red should be plentiful this year but the pink (a sport of Home Run Red) is still only offered in small pots through online nurseries.  If the pink one (which would be my choice) is your desire try these nurseries, and

These are the websites that were given to me that would possibly be marketing small containers of Home Run Pink.  In checking them at this time only Great Garden Plants is carrying Home Run Red.  I guess we can check back later to see if they are added to their websites.

Home Run Pink

Check out Mr. Brown Thumb's Blog for another look at Tom Carruth the hybridizer of Home Run.