Time to Smell the Roses!

Delilah Onofrey

What do we miss the most in modern roses on the market? Perfume!

“We’ve put fragrance back in roses,” says breeder John Gray of Australia. “Brindabella Roses have fully formed flowers, lots of petals. They look like a rose, smell like rose, yet they’re on a modern shrub that will grow to the 3- to 4-ft. mark.”

“These roses repeat bloom, producing clusters of flowers every six to eight weeks without needing to deadhead,” he adds.

Brindabella Roses captured a lot of attention when they were introduced at the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS) and Tropical Plant International Expo (TPIE) and received Cool Product Awards from the Garden Center Group. Brindabella Purple Prince also received Best New Flowering Plant Award at TPIE.

This collection of tough shrub roses was selected for superior garden performance and show-stopping flowers: bushy growth habits, excellent disease resistance and fragrant double flowers in an array of traditional and modern colors.

Low-maintenance and vigorous, Brindabella Roses grow to only 4-ft. tall and wide in two years’ time. Well-suited to home gardens and commercial landscapes, the foliage is among the cleanest to be found in any shrub rose and the fragrance will stop any passerby in their tracks. They offer excellent resistance to black spot and powdery.

Growing Brindabella Roses is easy and matches production practices for modern, vigorous shrub roses:

• Crop time: 14 to 20 weeks for gallon pots and 26 to 30 weeks for 3-gal. pots.

• Growing media: Use a porous, free-draining mix. Substrates may include a blend of bark, coir, peat, sand and perlite, depending on the grower’s preference and region.

• Fertility: Pre-plant incorporate a slow-release granular fertilizer. Top dress as needed. Feed them—they want to grow!

• Planting: Plant immediately upon receipt of liners. One liner per pot. Do not bury the crown.

• Exposure: Full sun in field production. If greenhouse grown, provide 30% shade.

• Irrigation regimen: Water at regular intervals, allowing pots to dry down between irrigation cycles to where pots are moist, but not wet. Water early in the day to ensure that foliage is dry overnight.

• Pinching/pruning: Pinching at planting isn’t required, but doing so will encourage branching. Likewise, pruning during production isn’t necessary, as Brindabella Roses are naturally well-branched and exhibit early bud production and flowering. However, plants will respond well to pruning.

• Pest management: As with any rose production regimen, it’s essential to maintain a thorough integrated pest management approach, with regular scouting practices to monitor for symptoms of downy mildew and twospotted spider mites. Early treatment is essential with high-efficacy fungicides and miticides at full label rates. Brindabella roses are inherently resistant to blackspot and powdery mildew, although producers should still monitor for infection and treat if necessary.

Liners are available from Sun-Fire Nurseries in Sarasota, Florida. For more information, visit and


Brindabella Roses MagnifiSCENT Seven!

Brindabella Dawn: Gorgeous old-world blooms in salmon, with hints of apricot as the heat of summer arrives, and powerful true rose perfume.

Brindabella First Lady: Beautiful lavender-pink flowers in that romantic old-world style, coupled with wonderful traditional rose perfume.

Brindabella Fresh Powder: White flowers with hues of light pink as flowers age and moderate fruity fragrance with hints of citrus.

Brindabella Glow: A chameleon in the garden, with ever-changing blends of pink, yellow and apricot and very strong fruity fragrance with hints of citrus.

Brindabella Red Empress: Large, well-formed, crimson-red flowers with a traditional rose perfume.

Brindabella Purple Prince: Large, well-formed purple flowers with the most perfume you could ever expect in a rose in the truest sense.

Brindabella Touch of Pink (Pictured): Soft romantic flowers with pale pink centers and white outer whorls, and very strong fruity perfume with hints of citrus. GT

Delilah Onofrey is license manager for Suntory Flowers in North America. She can be reached at (440) 522-1447 or