Double Delight Rose

The Double Delight Rose, A Most Interesting Flower

The Double Delight rose has become exceedingly popular with gardeners over the past several years. There are a couple of theories as to what is behind the name of this rather special rose. One is, the blossoms contain two distinct colors. The colors may vary some, but basically consist of red petals surrounding a cream colored center. The other theory is that the rose is so named because not only are the blooms themselves magnificent, but the fragrance is all you could ever expect from a rose.

The Double Delight rose is a hybrid tea. It was introduced in the late 1970's, with it parentage being two other hybrid teas, Garden Party and Granada. The Double Delight was given an All-American Rose Selection award the year of its introduction (1977) and was inducted into the World Rose Hall of Fame in 1985. International awards have also been given for its fragrance. Its growth habits are similar to other hybrid tea rose bushes, although there is also a Double Delight climbing variety. In bush form it will grow to a height of between 3 and 4 feet and requires the same amount of spacing. If not tended, the rose bush could reach 6 feet in height. A recommendation by one gardener is to plant this rose in groups of three for a more spectacular display (plus a greater abundance of cut flowers). Very often in our rose gardens we tend to plant one each of several different varieties, especially the hybrid teas. Planting the same variety, whether it is Double Delight or not, in groups of three, seems to make a lot of sense. The Double Delight rose is highly prized as a cut flower. The double blooms grow on long sturdy stems, and it is a long lasting cut flower. Of course as a cut flower, you can take the wonderful fragrance indoors with you.

Culture - The Double Delight rose is hardy in USDA Zones 5 through 10 and can usually handle fairly frigid winters. Once established, the plant will bloom continuously, starting in late spring or early summer. The rose likes an acidic or mildly acidic soil. The color of the blooms can at times vary in accordance with the acidity of the soil. Bloom color is also influenced by the amount of direct sun the rose receives. Rose bushes planted in partial shade or filtered sunlight will often have different shades of red, and interiors that are more white than cream. If you are aware of this, you can to some degree design or at least influence the bloom color by a judicious choice of planting location and soil acidity. The coloring of the blooms may also change somewhat as the plant matures, with the bloom overall becoming more and more dominated by the red color. If you review a number of owner’s comments however, you will note that different gardeners report quite a difference in coloration as far as their plants are concerned. Some of this no doubt is a function of where they live.

Like most hybrid tea roses, the Double Delight rose is propagated from cuttings, grafting, or budding. Also, like many hybrid teas, it is somewhat susceptible to black spot and mildew, though many owners report that Double Delight seems to be less troubled by these problems than are most roses. The climbing variety has the same general coloration as the bush variety. It blooms all summer and can be quite spectacular when trained along a fence or on a trellis.

Care And Pruning - Caring for the Double Delight rose is no different than for other hybrid tea varieties. Pruning is also the same. Be aware that each year blooms appear on new growth, so pruning is best done in early spring, if not in late winter. The bush is generally cut back about a third, keeping several of the sturdiest canes and removing spindly ones, or ones that cross or grow in a direction that detracts from the appearance of the plant. Always be sure to make pruning cuts at an angle to avoid stem rot or disease.