My Thoughts – Rosa mutablis

Some plants will reward me with abundant blooms with very little water.  Rosa mutablibis is a good example of this.  From late March or early April it is full of flower, these continue to a lesser extent for most of the summer.  Later when the cooler weather arrives they are covered with blooms again usually until Christmas.

This year I didn’t begin to irrigate until late June (more about this in my end of month view on the 30th July).  I noticed that one end of the hedge was beginning to flower again and put the difference down to the fact that one end was receiving more light than the other; always at the beginning of the season one end of the hedge starts blooming before the rest.  When I came back from Prague it was much more marked; there was a real cut-off point; up to one side of a line the roses were in full flower again to the other side not one flower!

No flowers and leaves yellow, sad roses

To the right lots of flowers and the foliage is green

Why, I wondered?  Then I realised that the point where the flowers stopped was directly in line with where the end of one of the vegetable beds was.  The light dawned! – The vegetables are irrigated and this bed has been watered since April.  Although I use porous hose for the vegetables and imagined that all the water was only going to the roots of the plants in this bed; some water was seeping down through the soil and spreading to the roses; so very little water was making all that difference.

A very marked difference.

Rosa mutabilis is also interesting as the flower opens pale peach colour, then changes to pink, then darkens to crimson.  This is largely dependent on temperature.  The higher the temperature, the faster the change takes place.

Mid stage, pale peachy pink

Deep crimson pink, the colour before the petals fall

Sometimes you have all the colours together

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13 thoughts on “My Thoughts – Rosa mutablis

  1. Glad you figured it out! Gardening can be quite a mystery sometimes! Love your use of this rose as a hedge! I’ve always wanted a hedge of this rose, but the only problem I have is where to put it! Yours looks perfectly placed.

  2. Beautiful rose in all its stages, clever you finding the solution to your problem, there certainly is a marked difference between the 2 halves of your hedge.

  3. beautiful rose Christina, amazing what a difference bit of water makes and glad you didn’t find anything terrible was happening to your lovely hedge, it must have been a bit worrying, Frances

  4. It’s fascinating how just slight differences can make such an impact. We’re having torrential thunderstorms at the moment and I’ve got a lot of plants that are looking a bit fed up with the weather which is reflecting the mood of the gardener! I was picking courgettes this time last year. The plants have barely grown since I planted them out 3 weeks ago. I do love the simplicity of the flowers of species roses and how fascinating that the colours change with the conditions.

  5. Your rose is really beautiful. I love how wisely you use water in your garden. Our weather is very unpredictable. We can be very dry for long periods of time or too wet. Thanks for the suggestion of the grass. I think grasses are the only plant, besides cactus, that will survive the heat from my window. I also save my unsalted cooking water and give that to my garden. Every little bit helps. You have a wonderful blog!

  6. The more I garden, the more I observe that small differences in location in a border or aspect, make all the difference to a plant’s performance. The rose looks beautiful.

  7. I was interested by the difference in the flowering and not flowering roses – The irrigation is a factor but I believe the front bricks also have on impact. The flowering begin where the wall steps up, the flowering ones have something to hold the moisture in and protect the soil around the root from evaporation. Just thinking.

    • Thanks for your observation, you couldn’t see so well from the images but the wall goes all the way along, although it is higher where they are flowering better but the line with the vegetable bed is too distinct for it ti be anything other than water. Christina

  8. When I saw a Rosa mutabilis growing in a garden on the way to town, I mustered the nerve to go up to the door and beg for a cutting. The gardener was generous and wouldn’t take my $5. One of the five cuttings survived and thrives in my garden, towering over me now. This is a dandy rose.

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