2019 Best Roses of the Year

05/03/2019 | Ken Davis In the Garden, Landscaping, Roses

by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener

  • Roses that grow best.
  • Are roses easy to grow?
  • When to buy a rose bush. 
  • What is the prettiest rose?
  • World’s prettiest flower this year.
  • Do floribunda roses bloom all summer?
  • How to keep a rose bush blooming.
  • Roses with the most fragrance.

The mountains of Arizona are famous for easy-care roses.  Because of the dry air and alkaline soils we just grow a better, brighter, more fragrant rose without the disease and insect issues that plague gardens in the high-humidity states. Every landscape and garden deserves at least one rose bush whether in the ground, raised bed, or a container.  4 Major Rose Types Explained.

Winners of the Best Mountain Roses for 2019 are those with fragrance, ease of care, long bloom cycles, and fadeless colors. The roses described below are by no means the only roses you’ll find here at Watters Garden Center this year, but they are the winners. Roses are listed in alphabetical order, not in order of popularity.  Enjoy reading about this year’s list of the best mountain roses.

Angel Face

Angel Face (Clear medium lavender blooms with ruby-blushed edges – floribunda) Loads of ruffled lavender blossoms permeate the air with the strong perfume of sweet citrus flowers. A perennial favorite because of its low bushy habit, the continual production of blooms, the unusual color, and the sweet fragrance.

Arctic Blue

Arctic Blue(Double ruffled lavender blossoms – floribunda) Pointed buds slowly unfurl to reveal spiraled flowers of lovely lilac pink, fading to lavender blue with a cream reverse. The petals hold their color well, remaining attractive right until they are finished. Top 10 Winner

Brilliant Pink Iceberg

Brilliant Pink Iceberg (Cerise pink painted over petal’s creamy background – floribunda) This color mutation of the renowned Iceberg occurred in the far reaches of Tasmania!  The plant is exactly like its parent except that the color has been kicked up a notch to a brighter cerise pink painted onto the cream. Color intensifies in our mountain conditions. Top 10 Winner

Celestial Night

Celestial Night (Mystical shade of bottomless plum – hybrid tea) The long-lasting color of this rose, a mystical shade of deep plum purple, almost could be described as “out of this world”.  Full blooms have a cupped, old-fashioned form that makes a stunning presentation both on the bushy plant and in a vase. Dark, glossy green foliage completes the look of this newcomer that is destined to become a star.

Coral Cove

Coral Cove (Pretty pink blooms shading to orange – shrub)  Incredible color, petite size, really easy to grow. This everblooming gem has double blossoms with petals that are dark pink changing to orange and finally to bright yellow at the center.  The color is so natural to a companion plant, that it should have a place in every wild perennial bed. Top 10 Winner

Double Delight

Double Delight (Cream blushing red petals – hybrid tea) A repeat winner, Double Delight fulfills the two highest demands of a rose:  an eye-catching color combo and a beautiful nose-pleasing fragrance. The prolific bush provides lots of creamy pointed buds that blush strawberry red. Best mountain color and flower size where days are warm and nights are cool.

Drop Dead Red

Drop Dead Red (Dark red velvet blossoms- floribunda) – This killer color truly is a stop-them-dead-in-their-tracks kind of red that is certain to lure to lingering. And it remains that red color to its very finish!

Edith’s Darling

Edith’s Darling (Soft apricot gold with lighter edged petals – shrub) A new addition to the popular series of roses inspired by Downton Abbey characters, it is a fitting tribute to Lady Edith and her beloved daughter, Marigold.  Although diminutive in size, this darling of a rose exudes a robust fresh-cut apple and fruity perfume that evokes Edith’s, unconditional motherly love.


Elina (Radiant soft yellow blooms – hybrid tea) This Irish lass complements and illuminates all other colors you might want to grow nearby. Best of all, she grows and blooms with the greatest of ease producing armloads of long stems with large full flowers and deep green foliage.

Gentle Giant

Gentle Giant(Vibrant pink with a golden petal base – hybrid tea) Monstrous vibrant pink flowers grow the size of the human hand with an inner glow of golden yellow.  Long stems are perfect for a bouquet, but it doesn’t take many of these giant beauties to fill a vase. Top 10 Winner

Head Over Heels

Head over Heels (pink cloud-like flowers – shrub) Full, fluffy, light pink flowers bloom repeatedly through the season. This upright rose with glossy-green foliage makes an excellent plant for the middle of your garden or for easily elegant containers. Top 10 Winner

Hot Cocoa

Hot Cocoa (Burnt orange petals washed with smoke – floribunda) There’s just no other rose color like it. Pointed buds of deep rust unfurl to reveal a chocolate haze of velvety smoked tones that can even take on a purple cast. Set against an abundance of glossy foliage, the fragrant ruffled flowers are mirrored by super-green leaves.


Intrigue (Novel plum purple blossoms- floribunda) No other modern rose captures the deep purple-red bud and velvety plum-colored flower of this award winner. It pleases the nose with a pronounced perfume of citrus and rose. Dark green leaves enrobe the bushy rounded plant. Top 10 Winner

Ketchup & Mustard

Ketchup & Mustard (Petals of ketchup red tops with a mustard-colored bottoms – floribunda) Truly a layer of the brightest red petal slapped onto a backside of most profound gold. Tidy enough to tuck into a landscape, lend an accent to a container, or to enhance a rose tree. No buns or weenies required to complete this “bold & beautiful” flower!

Let Freedom Ring

Let Freedom Ring (Bright light red blossoms – hybrid tea) – Many think the epitome of “a rose” is a long-stemmed red flower. This striking trophy stealer lovingly created by WWII veteran and hybridizer, Ernest Earman of Virginia, is at home in Arizona.

Music Box

Music Box(Petals of creamy yellow surrounded by delicate pink – shrub) Sings with double blooms of creamy yellow centers surrounded by blends of delicate pink. An everblooming mound of blossoms sits atop foliage that is resistant to all diseases and problem insects. An ideal accent to bring harmony to your garden. Top 10 Winner


Octoberfest (Ever-changing shades of orange petals – grandiflora) An intoxicating drink of autumn colors captures the spirit of the fall festival year ’round.  The celebration of flowers in ever-changing yellows, oranges, and reds is partnered with gorgeous glossy green leaves and dark red new shoots. Add to all this a wonderful fragrance, and you’ll raise your glass to say, “Prosit!”.

Oh My

Oh My (Classic velvety deep red blooms- floribunda) This is the red rose that Prescottonians love… velvety, bright, long-lasting deep red…it’s just right.  The full, bushy 4′ tall plant could be used as a flowerful hedge, a showy mass planting, or all by itself…a red beacon for all Arizona gardens.

Opening Night

Opening Night (Glow-in-the-dark red flowers- hybrid tea) Bred from two of the most famous red roses of all time, Olympiad and Ingrid Bergman, this superstar has inherited elegant blooms and superior garden performance from her parents. Long stems explode in red giving a glittering performance year after year whether for stunning bouquets or left bright and full in the garden.


Oregold (Deep yellow-gold petals – hybrid tea) Whether named after the metal or the beautiful state, the lasting deep yellow color flowers are indeed a beauty to behold. The polished dark green leaves are an impressive background for the striking blooms.

Pearly Gates

Pearly Gates (Evenly soft pastel pink blooms – climber) Here’s the heavenly honey of a hard-to-come-by hue in climbing roses. This fast-growing climber has gorgeous well-formed flowers saturated in sweet, spicy perfumes. Blooms on both new and old wood for natural, free-flowing flowers.

Rock & Roll

Rock & Roll (Creamy buds open to reveal wild stripes of burgundy, red, and white – grandiflora) Big creamy buds set the ‘beat’ for what’s to become a rockin’ show of colors. Each petal unfurls to reveal a different pattern of striped & splashed burgundy, red & ivory. This is a live performance that involves your nose ’cause the fragrance is a killer. Rock on! Top 10 Winner

Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter (Orangey-suffused pink with gold reverse petals – floribunda) Pays tribute to the women who worked in the factories of WWII. The exquisitely shaped buds are proudly held on top of dark glossy foliage, a symbol of feminine charm and strength. The zesty fragrance is the perfect complement to this youthful icon. Yes, we can do it!

Smokin Hot

Smokin’ Hot  (Blooms of fiery orange overlaid with purple –  hybrid tea) – The smoky purple overlay on the fiery orange is unique to this rose.  But it isn’t all about flames and smoke; it’s an intensely prolific bouquet factory!

Stormy Weather

Stormy Weather (Deep smoky shade with a lighter reverse – climber) Mysteriously smoky deep purple blooms with just a touch of cloudy white on the reverse.  Set against loads of grey-green leaves. Clusters of this unique color bloom and repeat again the very first season. This climbing rose is bound to cause a garden commotion in 2019. Top 10 Winner

Super Hero

Super Hero (Bright sky-red petals – shrub)You don’t have to be a Super Hero to grow great roses. Clusters of perfect, red blossoms stand out firmly against the clean satiny foliage.  More javelina resistant than other easy-care roses.  Top 10 Winner

Sweet Fragrance

Sweet Fragrance (Blooms in tropical tints of coral and orange – shrub)  Hybrid-tea-shaped buds in tropical tones of coral and orange with a deep yellow base swirl open to full, sweetly fragrant, apricot blossoms. Each bloom matures to salmon-pink, adding interest with its range of color. Clusters of buds and flowers are held on sturdy canes making them perfect for cutting. Top 10 Winner

Veterans Honor

Veterans Honor (True heart-blood-red flower- hybrid tea) The epitome of the ultimate red rose, this long-stemmed beauty is a fitting tribute to the men and women who have served our country. Big shapely buds unfurl perfectly into blossoms of perfect form and stunning red color. Ideal for picking up a few blue ribbons at the Yavapai County fair, or for making a simply grand bouquet.

Yellow Brick Road

Yellow Brick Road (Lemon yellow blossoms – shrub) Neat, round, compact shrub covers itself with clusters of lemon-yellow flowers. Interestingly, the outer petals are slightly lighter in color. Blooms mature to butter-cream, extending the palette of colors. Excellent flower effect.

There you have ’em, the roses you’ll find mountain gardeners talking about in 2019.  With 700+ roses showing at Watters Garden Center, the variety of fragrances and colors are bound to provide the right rose for every garden.
View all 29 rose winners for 2019 at Pinterest.com/WattersGardenCenter.

Feeding roses with my specially blended ‘Flower Power 54’ water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks will produce HUGE blooms!  Water your new rose bush deeply twice a month for bouquets of full, plump, flowers all season long.

Watters’ roses are ready to plant for Mother’s Day and will produce waves of flowers for cutting by the important women in your life. 

Until next issue, I’ll be helping local gardeners pick just the right roses here at Watters Garden Center.

Ken Lain can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through her web site at WattersGardenCenter.com or  FB.com/WattersGardenCenter .

2 Replies to “2019 Best Roses of the Year”

  1. do you have carpet roses in stock in Sept.
    Can I plant in a pot?

  2. We have a wide range of Rose’s in inventory. Since we are in the peak of our Fall sale you would need to come in to see our current selection.

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