Roses Are Plants Too!

The New Generation of Flower Carpet Roses. Color Me Impressed!

Amber Flower Carpet
Photo/Illustration: Tesselaar
Pink Supreme Flower Carpet
Photo/Illustration: Tesselaar
Scarlet Flower Carpet
Photo/Illustration: Tesselaar
Amber Flower Carpet
Photo/Illustration: Tesselaar
Pink Supreme Flower Carpet
Photo/Illustration: Tesselaar
Scarlet Flower Carpet
Photo/Illustration: Tesselaar

Those of you of a certain age may remember when the Flower Carpet Roses came out back in the mid 1990’s. They came in nice pink pot and had a small bag of fertilizer attached to it. As the name implies they were meant to stay low. They were also advertised as being very disease resistant. Since I am of a certain age I bought some.


I was living in Los Angeles at the time with a small garden so I tucked them in front of some other roses that were taller. My thought was they would fill in the base of those roses. What happened next is not what I expected. First they grew into a 4’x5′ plant. Now in Los Angeles it was not unusual for plants to get bigger than advertised because of the year around growing season. Yet, I thought this was a bit much. Second issue was they got disease. Granted most roses back then were not as disease resistant as today, but I didn’t expect that. I should say I was gardening organically even back then and maybe that had something to do with it. I don’t know how they were tested.


I tried a few other Flower Carpet varieties with the same results. I just chalked the whole thing up to a nice marketing campaign and forgot about them. Other rose gardeners told me similar stories about those early varieties.


Fast forward to early this year. I had written an article for a magazine and talked about some of the newer roses that were very healthy and came in a nice variety of colors, growth habits, and bloom styles. I did not include Flower Carpet based on my earlier experience and because quite frankly I hadn’t heard much about them since then.


Flower Carpet is the brainchild of Tesselaar Nurseries based in Australia. Their United States representative sent me an email after the article came out politely asking why I had not included them. I told her of my previous experiences with them. She told me there is a newer generation out and would I be willing to try some, to which I replied of course I would. They sent me three varieties, six plants of each. Amber Flower Carpet, Pink Supreme Flower Carpet and Scarlet Flower Carpet. They arrived bareroot and I planted them.


Four months later color me impressed!! We have had a brutal spring blackspot wise. Torrential rains, humid, cloudy days – have produced blackspot on my blackspot! 


Not the Flower Carpet varieties. Clean as a whistle. We had torrential rains last night, today it’s sunny and the humidity is somewhere north of a sauna, and they are happily flowering with amazingly clean, dark, glossy green foliage. I am quite comfortable saying these are appearing to be outstanding garden roses.


Their growth habit is staying smaller and the canes are working low to the ground in more of groundcover habit. I suspect they might get to 2′ high in certain conditions but they are not the bush my old ones turned into. They hold their color very well and are self cleaning – meaning the petals and old blooms fall off. I can see them in mixed border, in pots, hanging baskets, mass planted – they are very versatile.


I love finding “new” good garden roses and I love having my mind changed. These three roses have done that. I’m glad their representative reached out to me and I can pass this on to you.


Happy Roseing



PS. Video blogs will resume when it stops raining!

View Comments


  1. lasmithy 07/26/2013

    Thanks for this review--I've seen the Flower Carpet ads in magazines, and even though they always look great there, I always wondered how they'd perform in real life.

  2. privets 07/26/2013

    I'm not very familiar with flower carpets, especially in roses. Did you treat them any particular or novel way before introducng them? Do they take as much care as more traditional roses? Where would you find flower carpet roses for sale?

  3. PFZimmerman 07/30/2013

    Privets, They are a brand of roses and take little care. Generally you can find them for sale at garden centers and the like.

  4. GardenDaze 08/01/2013

    I couldn't agree more. I lecture, write and blog about roses and Flower Carpets were always my "here's one of the "easy cares" you probably want to avoid" roses. This year I've been traveling around with a 'Pink Supreme' and it's completely changed my mind.

    I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the Flower Carpets since they were one of the first roses I planted when I was first married and gardening at my house 18 years ago. So I'm pleased I can add them back to my garden again.

    By the way, so glad you wrote your book. My #1 question is "Why won't my Knockouts bloom?" It's always an issue of pruning (if it's not shade--and rarely is it shade!)

    Folks still think they have to prune down to that 5 petaled outward facing leaf! Old habits die hard!

  5. Alexsmith1 11/08/2013

    Writing a blog can be difficult, but even with the odds, you’ve managed to get quite an audience. I highly recommend that you consider writing an ebook one day.

  6. PFZimmerman 11/08/2013

    Thank you very much! I actually have written a book and it's published by Taunton Press. I believe there is an e-version available.

  7. Alexsmith1 11/13/2013

    The new generation off lower carpet roses that you have discussed in this blog post is highly admirable one.

    singapore florist

  8. user-7007036 06/22/2014

    I was at Lowes today looking to add to my Knockout roses at home for some variety. The blooms were very pretty and I was trying to decide which to buy of the dozen available when I noticed they all had black spot. Not a lot, but all had a little. That scared me away but I wonder if this was common or maybe just bad luck on my part? The tag said they were very disease resistant. I think they had fragrance unlike the Knockouts and the blooms weren't pointy like the double knockouts tend to get. I am open to other readers experience. Thanks

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest