Throwback Thursday: 'Old Blush'

'Old Blush,' a semi-double hybrid of Rosa chinensis, is truly a throwback, having been in cultivation for more than two hundred years. During that time, it has been known by many names, including Common Monthly,  Old Pink Monthly, and Common Blush China. Now, however, rosarians have settled on the name 'Old Blush.'  It is one of the most common of old roses and also one of the most valuable because of its incredible blooming prowess. It blooms steadily throughout the season from about April through October in my garden. Because of its constant reblooming, it is not a good cut flower. The blossoms drop quickly to make room for their successors.

'Old Blush's' flowers are medium, semi-double lilac pink and grow in loose clusters on the full, upright bush. The bush grows rather slowly to over five feet in height and sports neat, healthy foliage. The flowers have a very faint but fruity and pleasant scent.

The plant can be used as a hedge, a specimen, or in a border. Regardless of how you use it, it should be treated simply as a flowering shrub and not be fussed over. It is very hardy and prefers to be left alone to do its thing.

If you are a fan of antique roses as I am, you will appreciate this tough old rose. It will grow under even difficult conditions and will reward the grower with a constant supply of color when more modern hybrids pout and fail in the summer heat and drought.

A throwback to what is best about the historical rose is what 'Old Blush' is. But you can bet I won't be throwing it back. I grow many roses and this is one of my favorites.


  1. How beautiful! Though I can't tell one rose from another. :-)

    1. As long as you can appreciate beauty, that is the important thing.


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