Here Comes the Suñorita
2022 Landscape Rose of the Year

By Kymberly Taylor




My many years of gardening have taught me a lesson: let the professionals who are admirably obsessed and highly educated tell me what to plant. Why complicate life? If I follow the directions for a Proven Winner™ exactly, I usually have great success. 

Suñorita is their Rose of the Year for 2022 and promises “masses of blooms” from spring until frost without deadheading. Suñorita also won the American Rose Society 2021 Award of Excellence. I was especially drawn to “Extremely Durable” in its description, so I can’t wait to try it out, as it grows in our zone 7b.

Bred by Christopher Hugh Warner, Suñorita grows to a height of 3’ to 4’ with red-orange buds that open to reveal a soft orange bloom, shaped to form a classic rose “bowl.” As the blooms age, they develop a golden-peach tone. The directions say to plant in full sun (6+ hours daily) and to prune in early spring, just as the new growth begins. 

Proven Winner™ is a commercial brand that supplies many retail nurseries in our area. But that is not a bad thing, as much research is involved before a plant earns this designation. 

Four Star Greenhouse in Carleton, MI, and Pleasant View Gardens in Loudon, NH, founded Proven Winners North America in 1992. Their plants go through a rigorous selection process that takes two to six years, with test gardens and university field trials all over the country and the world. Rick Schoellhorn, director of new products at Proven Winners North America, provides context: “Out of probably 3,000 plants a year in our trials, maybe 10 to 15 are adopted. The rest are refused. They may be OK plants, but they aren’t great plants.”

Trial universities in our general region include Cornell University and the University of Delaware Botanic Gardens. Additional trials are set in public gardens, where plants are displayed in beds and pots, and many private and professional gardeners visit to gather ideas. You will find them at the Philadelphia Flower Show and other major regional floriculture events. 

I like a little research behind my roses, as I want them to do well! Unlike the moody floribunda, a shrub rose is rugged, with a cheerfulness I appreciate. They remind me to carry on, no matter what is happening or not happening. As I rush out to the car in a garden of voices, they are the sunny “good morning” I need to hear and answer back.


Photo Caption: The landscape rose grows horizontally rather than vertically and is bred to resist diseases. However, most need insect treatment and light pruning.


Follow Kymberly Taylor on Instagram: @thehighheeledgardener



© Annapolis Home Magazine
Vol. 13, No. 1 2022