First thing’s first, I tend to avoid buying perennial plants that stay small since I feel like the bigger the plant, the more value I get out of my money. I prefer perennials that get at least 5 feet tall & I have a hard time even looking at small variations. Because of that, I tend to stay away from miniature & ground cover roses, instead preferring the standard floribundas & hybrid teas. I’m so glad ignored my instincts when I saw the popcorn drift rose at my local garden center, The Growing Place. Like nearly all of my roses, I found this one during an end of the season sale for only $10! It has become one of my prized roses ever since. Keep on reading to find out why.
The name is what caught my eye first, just like my Barbra Streisand rose. Across the board, I’m a sucker for a catchy name & clever packaging. Also, I love popcorn! Salt is my cruel mistress, so salty popcorn is right up my alley. Like I said before, I almost didn’t buy it because of its small size. I admired it, then walked away, returned to it & put it in my cart all before I decided to buy it. I know that sounds silly, since it was only $10, but I have a small yard with limited space (especially in my rose garden), so I do need to make careful choices when it comes to perennials. Thankfully, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a rose named after popcorn & I ended up bringing it home.
Let’s take a minute to appreciate whoever came up with this name for this rose because it is absolute perfection. The flowers look exactly like popcorn with a buttery goodness center that fades out to popped kernel white petals. I love a good fade. It is as popcorn as you can get without actually being popcorn. It honestly does look good enough to eat & it takes beautiful pictures. I have a lot of flowers in my garden that for whatever reason, just don’t photograph well. However, popcorn drift rose is always ready for its close-up, Mr. DeMille.
This rose is small but mighty. I have had mine for going on three years now & it always tops out at about a foot high & tall. It’s a little guy, but that also means that you can easily tuck it in anywhere. The ability to tuck in small plants into existing landscapes is clearly a skill that I still need to learn. However, even I have to admit the value in being able to pop in a one foot tall rose bush into a full flowerbed. You may not have space for a 5 footer, but you always have space for a 1 foot one The popcorn rose is also one of my most dependable roses. It seems like it is always in bloom, which is a welcome sight during summer lulls when a lot of my other roses are going from one bloom cycle to the next.
The flowers are small with a slight fragrance. While they do have a good vase life, I prefer to leave the flowers on the bush. The flowers grow in clusters that tend to bloom in succession, so unless I want to carefully clip out tiny little stems I usually end up sacrificing a few buds that never end up fully blooming in the vase. Generally, I will only clip a handful in the course of the season to use with my other roses in arrangements. That’s the beauty of having a rose garden though. You can buy varieties solely for cut arrangements & still have the beauty of a rose garden when other varieties are left to showcase their beauty outside.
I planted the popcorn drift rose in an area that gets full morning sun & then dappled sun the rest of the day. Roses are full sun-lovers that thrive when they get as much sun as possible, so I always advise planting them in all day sun spots. But, sometimes I like to fudge the lines & try a plant in less than ideal spots. Popcorn has thrived in my partial sun area, so I recommend it if you have a spot similar that you’d like to put a rose in. It’s also pretty disease resistant & often times it has fared far better than some of my other rose varieties when the whole rose garden decides to come down with something. I battle black spot every year & so far so good when it comes to popcorn.
Do I recommend this rose to you? Of course, I do! It’s a good buy, whether you’re looking for a hardy little rose bush that you can just pop right into your flowerbed or you’re like me & the name alone intrigues you. It’s a gorgeous little grower that is pretty much guaranteed to bring a smile to your face whenever you see it & also make you crave buttery popcorn at the same time. Snatch this one up if you see it, you won’t regret it. Happy gardening, everyone!