By Iris Craig, Master Gardener
Joseph’s Coat (Rosa 'Joseph’s Coat') is a tall floribunda, or climbing rose. It is hardy, blooming from spring through the summer and early fall. Our rose is named from the story in the Bible that tells how Rachel made a coat of many colors for her beloved son Joseph. Similar to Joseph’s coat in the Bible story, its multiple colors are varied throughout the bush. The blossoms are four inches across, and range from a pale yellow center to orange to pink to red on the outer petals, with dark glossy leaves. Each individual rose may be a different combination of colors as they change from bud to full bloom. Developed in 1964 by growers Armstrong and Swim in the UK, a cross between a hybrid tea and a polyantha of “Buccaneer” crossed with “Circus,” it received the National Rose Society Trial Ground Certificate in 1963 and the Bagatelle Gold Medal in 1964.
To grow Joseph’s Coat pick a spot in your yard that has ample sunlight (six hours minimum with morning sun preferred) and a water source nearby for regular watering. A soil pH of 4.5 to 8 is preferred. You can purchase both pH testing kits and pH adjusters from your local garden supply store. Joseph’s Coat does take a bit of TLC. It likes drainage (i.e. a raised bed), regular dead-heading, compost, mulch, weeding around the base allowing for plenty of air, and frequent fertilization.
Joseph’s Coat rose can be grown as a six foot tall shrub, over an arch, around a pillar or porch, against a trellis, along a fence, or its canes can be stretched across a walkway to form a tunnel. It responds well to pruning.