The Sweet Southern Noisette Rose

Bred in the South and perfect for our gardens, historic Noisette roses delight us with their beauty, fragrance, and ease of care.

Noisette Rose
Photo: Sylvia Martin

This old garden rose was born in Charleston, South Carolina and named for Philippe Noisette, a French nurseryman of the area in the early 1800s. The blooms resulted from crosses made by Southern landowner, John Champneys, between the ancient pink Chinese rose, Old Blush, and the centuries old, cluster flowered European musk rose. This floral union produced the most attractive traits of both roses and 'Champneys' Pink Cluster and then its seedling, 'Blush Noisette,' were created. Since that successful union, Noisette roses have been delighting gardeners for around 200 years with their easy, graceful, and fragrant flowers. Their shapely yet soft petals come in shades of cream, pink, yellow, apricot, and white. These large, healthy, and amazingly adaptable plants thrive in the warmth and soils of most Southern gardens. For generations, these prized specimens have been passed along through rooted cuttings and have become true living heirlooms. From spring to fall, these roses prove their enduring attraction by producing armloads of fragrant flowers to share and enjoy. If you miss that intoxicating scent of the roses in your grandmother's yard, then these Noisette garden roses will flood your senses with those sweet memories.

Noisette Roses at a Glance

Bloom: Heavy in both spring and fall, scattered flower in summer

Range: All South—though some may be tender in Upper South

Light: At least six hours direct sun

Soil: Any well drained

Water: Soak root zone with about 1 inch of water weekly during growing season.

Fertilizer: Apply a slow-release fertilizer (such as Mills Magic Rose Mix) at pruning times (usually February and August). Apply a liquid fertilizer (such as alfalfa tea or fish emulsion) every two weeks when rose is blooming heavily. Do not fee after October.

Nice to know: Noisette roses, while not impervious to black spot, thrive without being sprayed.

Some of our Favorites

'Aimee Vibert' (Noisette) - white climber, 6-10 feet, thornless

'Blush Noisette' - light pink shrub or bushy climber, 4-8 feet

'Bouquet d'Or' (Tea-Noisette)- soft gold climber, 10-12 feet

'Chapmpney's Pink Cluster' - pink shrub or bushy climber, 4-8 feet

'Crepuscule' - apricot climber, 6-12 feet

'Madame Alfred Carrriere' (Tea-Noisette) - blush white climber, 12-20 feet

'Reve d'Or' (Tea-Noisette) - tawny yellow climber, 10-12 feet

'Lamarque' - white, can climb up to 20 feet

Grooming Your Roses

If you choose to, prune bush-form Noisette roses back one-third to one-half of their total height in early spring (usually sometime in February); then trim them again lightly in late summer (mid-August to mid-September) to encourage heavy blooming. Remove any dead canes as needed. Hard pruning (as done with hybrid teas) will not hurt Noisette bushes, but they do not need it to form well-branched plants.

For climbing Noisettes, remove dead or undesired canes (as with bushes, in early spring and again in late summer) while preserving the graceful form of the plant. Do not cut back climbing roses, as this will damage their form.

Deadheading (removing spent flowers) climbing roses after spring bloom will promote somewhat heavier fall blooming, if you have a ladder and the inclination to try this. Almost all Noisettes will still bloom very nicely in the fall with no deadheading. (Note: It takes about three years for a climbing rose or large bush rose to reach full maturity, but most will still do their best to bloom as they grow.)

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