Rose Types

Confederate Rose

The Confederate Rose is not a rose, as the name might suggest, but is actually a member of the Hibiscus family (Hibiscus mutabilis). It's also known by many as a rose mallow or cotton rosemallow. The outstanding feature of this perennial is the flower; prolific blooms average from 4 to 6 inches is size, and there are many gorgeous varieties that feature both single and double blooms and some that bloom singly or in sets of two. The blooming season runs from summer to late fall. What's of special note, however, are the color transitions of the bloom. Confederate rose flowers are white (or very light pink) in the morning, pink during the noon-hour gradually deepening in pinkiness through the afternoon and by evening-time appear a darker shade of red. Red flowers alone can be found in the "Rubra" type. 

Single flowers only survive for a couple of days, but since every plant is generally laden with blooms they are able to be admired in the garden all summer long, for an extended period of blooming.

Confederate Rose - What's in A Name?

The Confederate rose is so named due to a proclivity to thrive in the warmth of the southern or Confederate states. The Confederate rose blooms throughout Louisiana as well as the other gulf states, but also thrives in certain regions of Texas too. "Moy Grande" is a giant type of Confederate Rose that was introduced by Dr. Jerry Parsons in San Antonio a number of years back. The flowers can reach a staggering 9-12 inches in width! I guess when they say they grow them big in Texas, they're not kidding!

Confederate Rose Care

Confederate RoseThe Confederate rose matures very quickly. If seeds are planted in the early spring season, large flowers will flourish even in the very first year. You can also propogate new plants from cuttings. One can take cuttings from the root at any period of the year; however the cultivation of the rose plant by cutting roots is best done in the early spring season.

This versatile plant thrives in rich, moist, well-percolated soil and is amenable to either full sun or partial shade, growing best in hardiness zones 7 through 9. They grow best in bright sunlight but do tolerate some areas that are a little shaded. Since they grow to a generous height, it would be a good idea to plant them in the last row of the patio garden so that they can be a visible backdrop over the shorter plants without taking over the whole garden. Confederate roses can reach 12 to 15 feet in height, but generally most are found around the 6 to 8 feet tall mark. The shorter height is almost shrub-like in appearance and is more common than the tallest counterparts of the genus, but as a bonus is the one that yields the most flowers.

Confederate roses enjoy well-soaked soil every few days. Water generously but not every day in order to help the plant thrive. Feed every second to third week with a high potassium fertiliser, being sure to water well after each feeding. Remove blooms when they are finished to help prevent the plant from going into premature seeding. In the fall, mulch well and in late fall / early winter, you can prune any old, crossed, crowded or diseased wood.

Here's a link to enjoy on youtube that shows a time lapse of the flower color transition. Enjoy!