Drift groundcover roses

Drift groundcover roses are low growing landscape roses. Drift series were first introduced by Conard –Pyle/Star roses who brought out the Knock out Family of Roses. Drift rose series were designated as Louisiana super plant selection for fall in 2013. They are a cross between the full size ground rose and miniature roses. They seem to have inherited the best traits from both. From the miniature roses they get their height and free flowing nature.

They only grow up to 2-3 ft tall and spread to about 4 ft or more. Like the ground rose they are tough and resistant to disease. They produce flowers in clusters and sometimes produce double flowers too. They provide a complete carpet cover of colorful flowers when in full bloom. Drift groundcover roses produce 5 flower cycles and hence are picturesque almost throughout the year. The best are the spring bloom in Apr/May and fall bloom in Oct/Nov. Drift groundcover roses come in varieties of colors. They come in shades of pink, coral, red, peach, apricot, popcorn, icy and sweet drift. They have rich green foliage and colors can be combined and contrasted with spectacular results. They have fragrance but it is not overpowering.

Planting drift groundcover roses

Drift roses are planted in the fall in well prepared beds. Good drainage is essential so wet areas must be avoided. The bed must be enriched in organic matter. They must be planted 3-4 ft apart. The soil pH must be slightly acidic (6.0-6.5). The plants must receive about 8 hrs of sunlight daily. A slow or controlled release fertilizer should be used every spring. However care must be taken to follow instructions given on the label.
Mulch is essential for drift groundcover roses. Mulch prevents the soil from drying soon and also weeds are prevented. The roots also establish better this way. Weekly watering is sufficient except in case of areas of sandy soils when frequency may be increased. Drift roses are low maintenance and hence once the initial care is given they thrive very well. This plant is ideal for the busy lifestyle of today. Drift groundcover roses require pruning as they mature.  Pruning is not very complicated. It just involves taking a pair of shears and cutting off about 1/3 to ½ of the plant. They will grow again stronger and with more blooms.

Landscaping ideas

Drift groundcover roses are excellent to use in your landscape

Drift groundcover roses are excellent to use in your landscape. Drift roses can be grown in both large and small gardens. Being easy to maintain they can be your foundation plants. They make wonderful border plants. Their height makes it possible to use them to edge taller plants. They are ideal for terraces, pots, hillside etc. They brighten borders and can be used to fill empty spaces when landscaping.  Clustered together their bright colors make them stand out. If you have a pool groundcover roses can be planted around. They achieve both beauty and safety. They can be used against fences to give a colorful look.
They are used as borders in driveways. If your garden has boulders or walls they can be used to soften the effect. Drift roses look beautiful in containers and they can be grown easily in them. These containers can be placed wherever you feel the need to add color. They can be placed on either side of your front door, in the back yard patio or near the garage. Drift roses also look good in hanging baskets.

Awards and Prizes

Sweet drift rose was selected as one of the University of Georgia’s Plants of Distinction in 2013. Sweet drift rose was awarded the gold medal for Ground cover roses at the Rose Hills International Rose Trials in 203 and also won the Frederick Law Olmsted Award for Best Groundcover at Baltimore International Rose Trials in May 2013.


Rose plants can be got from a nursery. They can also be ordered online. Browsing the net will show you a variety of colors and places where you can get drift roses. They are resistant to pests and hence do not require great gardening skills to maintain. Drift groundcover roses are great blooms and with a little bit of creativity you can create a magical effect in your garden.



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