The Gulf District of the American Rose Society has named Cinco de Mayo as the 2016 Gulf District Rose of the Year.

“Cinco de Mayo is an outstanding floribunda rose that has done well in southern United States trials since its 2009 introduction and is an All-America Rose Selections winner,” says LSU AgCenter horticulturist Allen Owings.

Cinco de Mayo flowers have 25 petals, are 3-3½ inches in diameter and are slightly fragrant with the scent of cut apples.

What make the Cinco de Mayo unique is the bloom color, described as smoky lavender to a blend of rusty-orangy red, Owings says.

In the landscape, Cinco de Mayo is a slower grower. Mature height is 36-42 inches with an equal spread. Plants have a nice deep glossy green foliage appearance.

Cinco de Mayo would work well blended into perennial flower beds.

Individual plants should be placed 3 feet apart in the landscape for best performance.

This low-maintenance rose does not want to be pampered, Owings says. Water it occasionally during dry weather the first year or two after planting. Once it is established, this rose, as with most tough landscape roses, rarely requires supplemental irrigation.

Cinco de Mayo also is adaptable to planting in a container.

“More problems with these roses are likely created by overwatering than by anything else,” Owings says.

If extraordinarily dry weather occurs and irrigation is necessary, water deeply and thoroughly no more often than once a week.

Mulching roses with 2- to 3-inches of pine straw reduces maintenance by suppressing weed problems and conserving soil moisture.

Cinco de Mayo generally stays disease free in the landscape, and fungicides are normally not needed.

Most independent retail garden centers in the region carry Cinco de Mayo.

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