November Roses Not Ready To Call It Quits

November is not thought of as a time for roses in Chicago, but a couple of our roses refuse to take the hint from the cooling weather.

shrub rose 'cassie'
Shrub rose ‘Cassie’ refuses to let the calendar tell her when to stop blooming.

Most notably, ‘Cassie’ continues to pump out clusters of little white semi-double flowers. No doubt this is a product of the odd autumn weather, but I find it cheering even so. Nobody’s going to tell ‘Cassie’ when to stop blooming.

shrub rose cassie
‘Cassie’ just doesn’t want to give up – new buds preparing to bloom.

And ‘Cassie’ isn’t even conceding that these are her final blooms of the year. Look and you will find new buds in varying stages of maturity.

shrub rose 'strike it rich'
The last flower bud from ‘Strike It Rich’.

‘Strike It Rich’, my new shrub rose, is also unready to retire for the season. Even though her leaves are dropping, she still has one bud racing with the frost to see if it can burst into bloom.

'Darlow's Enigma' rose hips
‘Darlow’s Enigma’ rose hips.

There is one area in which my roses have been rather disappointing: rose hips. ‘Cassie’ and ‘Darlow’s Enigma’ have a scattering or tiny red hips, though most are still green. Not sure if they will last long enough to ripen. I wonder if I was wrong to keep cutting back the faded flowers in order to encourage continued blooming. Both of these roses bloom exuberantly in early summer, then produce flowers at a steady pace through the season.

Rosa 'Sally Holmes'
‘Sally Holmes’ back in June. This is a great shrub rose with lovely cream flowers.

‘Sally Hoimes’ produced its last flush of blooms in September. But her hips have little color at this point. And I was surprised that my wild Prairie Rose, (Rosa setegira), doesn’t seem to have any hips at all.

Are your roses providing you with blooms and colorful hips, or have they quietly slid into dormancy?

44 Comments on “November Roses Not Ready To Call It Quits”

  1. A lovely pale rose Jason – very attractive. I still have some ground cover roses in bloom, which are frequently dead-headed but don’t produce hips large enough to notice anyway. But my Rugosa rose rewarded me with loads of hips this year – I completely ignored her and didn’t cut off a single flower and yet she still produced enough new flowers to keep me and the bees happy until September! I think it’s a matter of choice – either flowers or hips, but we can’t have our cake AND eat it! Enjoy those last roses… wonder how long they’ll keep going.

  2. Here, the roses bloom into December most years. Yesterday I saw that a local gardener has beautiful images of them in hoar frost and I have taken photos of them in snow. They just keep blooming. Right now, Iceberg and the red carpet rose have many blooms. I suspect both will be topped with snow soon. If the weather warms up after a snow, they keep right on blooming. Having similar weather to you, I am not surprised to see your roses blooming. Maybe they will make it into December too.

  3. My David Austins are trying to decide whether to go dormant or not. ‘Darcey Bussell,’ ‘Generous Gardener,’ and ‘Abraham Darby’ are still going strong; ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ is being of two minds about things, and my others are gently dozing. Winters here, though, don’t get terribly cold, and I often have to force them all into a short nap in January.

      • I have eight, ranging from two large climbers to a few that are perfect container-size roses. They go about 90% dormant on their own, but if we often get a short warm spell in January that coaxes them to put out new leaves. When that happens (because February is always the worst), I have to give them a gentle hit of lime sulfur. Other than that I don’t use any chemicals on them…and it shows, I think, but it’s okay with me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I’m thinking of proposing a Growing Season Redistribution Bank. The bank would take growing season days from regions that have too many (defined as “more than I have”) and redistribute to those that have too few. I still have some technical details to work out.

  4. Cassie is really beautiful, Jason. As I don’t no most of your roses, I wouldn’t know if they’re meant to have lots of hips. Shall look them up later. Plenty of hips here especially on the established ones. I moved some and they sulk a little still.

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