A 2006 All-America Rose Selections winner, Tahitian Sunset has apricot buds that open to 5-inch, peachy, apricot-pink blooms with yellow highlights.
Each rose has about 30 petals and a rich, licorice fragrance. Its coloration is more intense in the summer sun and early fall. Long stems, dark green foliage, perfectly formed blooms, and excellent resistance to black spot make this a top-quality rose.
All-America rose winners complete a two-year trial program in testing fields with a wide range of climates throughout the country. Roses are evaluated for vigor, disease resistance, flower production, fragrance, and overall value. Tahitian Sunset was also awarded "Best Hybrid Tea or Grandiflora" at the 2005 Barcelona International Rose Trial.
Common name: Tahitian Sunset
Plant type: Hybrid tea
Height: 5 feet
Zones: 4 to 11, but heavy winter protection is necessary in Zones 4 to 6 (see below).
Parentage: Seedling x Sun Goddess
- Sun: Full sun
- Soil: Well-drained, humus-rich soil
- Moisture: Moderate, consistent moisture
- Mulch: Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch around roots to deter weeds. Leave a couple inches between rose stems and mulch to prevent excess moisture from collecting on the stems.
- Fertilizer: Balanced fertilizer every three weeks in spring and summer.
- Pruning: Deadhead spent blooms. Tahitian Sunset blooms on new wood, so trim to promote new growth.
- To protect roses in colder zones, try the tipping method. Trim roses after several hard frosts and dust with sulfur to prevent fungal diseases. Gently tie canes together. Dig a trench out from the side of the rose, loosen soil around the other sides, and tip the rose over into the trench. Fill the trench with soil, covering the rose with 3 to 4 inches of soil. Mulch with about 12 inches of leaves when the soil is frozen. In spring, reverse the process.
- Rose cones also protect roses in colder climates. When the ground is near freezing, prune the rose to fit under the cone. Then mound several inches of soil over the crown of the plant to help insulate it. Place the cone over the rose, securing it with bricks or soil. Provide ventilation, either with air holes or a removable top, for sunny days when it can get extremely warm inside the cone and damage the canes. Around mid-April, remove the cone, but wait until buds start forming to remove the mounded soil. Remove dead wood and shape the plant as needed.
Pests and diseases
- Leaf-cutter bees sometimes attack roses, but the damage is cosmetic and won't affect the plant's health.
- Powdery mildew is a fungal disease which covers leaves with a powdery appearance. It is more common where roses get poor air circulation and in fall when humidity is high and night temperatures are 60ºF to 70ºF. Sulfur is one of the least toxic controls. Spray both sides of leaves at the first sign of disease and repeat every 7 to 10 days, according to label directions. Spraying will not cure fungal diseases, but it will protect new leaves from becoming infected.
- If aphids attack, control them as soon as you notice their presence, before they multiply. Use a strong stream of water from a hose to dislodge them, paying special attention to buds, green growth tips, and undersides of leaves. For stronger control, spray with insecticidal soap.
Text by Mary Pestel, photo courtesy of All-America Rose Selections