Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Floribunda Rose, Climbing Rose
Rosa 'Joseph's Coat'

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Joseph's Coat
Additional cultivar information: (PP2488)
Hybridized by Armstrong-Swim; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1964

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3 vendors have this plant for sale.

35 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Cluster-flowered (incl. Floribunda & Grandiflora)
Modern Climber

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Bloom Color:
Yellow blend (yb)
Apricot and apricot blend (ab)
Orange and orange blend (ob)
Deep pink (dp)
Red blend (rb)

Bloom Shape:

Flower Fragrance:
Slightly Fragrant

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly

Trained to climb
Trained on pillar
Trained as rambler

Patent Information:
Patent expired

Other Details:
Resistant to mildew
Susceptible to black spot
Prone to weak stems
Stems are very thorny

Pruning Instructions:
Blooms on new wood; prune early to promote new growth

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
By grafting
By budding

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There are a total of 52 photos.
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20 positives
6 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive AmiraJ On Jul 8, 2013, AmiraJ from Killeen, TX wrote:

I planted this bush in November 2012 in a raised bed and since planting it's reached about 6' on my trellis and has thus far been more black spot resistant than my lavender lassie bush. I just left the roses to their own devices (no water/rain) for 9 days in 100 degree temperatures and the Joseph's Coat got larger and bloomed. This rose is awesome for hot climates, (we're in Central Texas).

Positive SinfulFlames On May 19, 2013, SinfulFlames from Londonderry, OH wrote:

I've had this rose for two years and in both it bloomed beautifully. Very fragrant and the color changes from sunlight exposure are stunning. Sadly after the two years a terrible wind storm came through the area, the rose was broken at base. I didn't think of digging up the remaining root system because I figured it would have died. A couple weeks ago after almost a year and a half of the rose being destroyed four new shoots have re-grown. I can't believe it and am so exited to see them growing again!

Positive checkerdchicken On Mar 8, 2013, checkerdchicken from Chantilly, VA wrote:

I bought two of these in the spring of 2010 and decided to train them along the side of the staircase leading up to the front door of my townhome, on the west side. They planted at about 18 inches tall, and were several feet by fall. In 2011, they grew well over my trellises, and in 2012, some canes easily reached the top of the bannister at the upper landing of the staircase. They are obviously trying to reach the longer days of sunlight... mine grow heavy at the top where they are exposed to sun all day (the parts at the bottom on the western facade of my staircase only get afternoon sun).

I can confirm everything that's been posted elsewhere. These roses have outstanding curb appeal, even in winter with the deep green, glossy, abudant foliage. Yes, people are astounded by the number of blooms and the variety of color. I ALWAYS get compliments when people see me working on them.

Blackspot is the troublemaker. This year, I plan to spray with sulphur at last frost. Once it gets growing, I'll spray after every rain with an antifungal. It should do well as long as we have lots of sunny days. The drier the climate you live in, the better this plant will do!

The bugs seem to prefer other plants in my garden, so it's not too difficult to keep the joseph's coat pest-free.

Here in Virginia, I covered the plants for the first two winters. This year, I didn't cover them at all, and was surprised to see several buds and even a few blooms in the middle of winter. They will bloom from early spring clear through fall if you prune diligently. An amazing plant!

Neutral TristensOma On May 21, 2012, TristensOma from Edmond, OK wrote:

We have had trouble finding this rose for sale. Maybe due to some of the problems a few people have mentioned??

For the person who's Joseph's Coat was broken down to ground level and it grew back bright red - I can only assume that it was NOT an "Own Root" rose. Many roses are grafted onto sturdier root stock and will revert in these circumstances.

Even with the problems mentioned, we still want to give it a try.

Positive VickieB1 On Apr 5, 2012, VickieB1 from MAYLENE, AL wrote:

I had this rose for years and loved it. It's a very abundant bloomer and has gorgeous blooms. It got broken down to the ground and sprouted from the roots. When this plant got big enough to bloom, the blooms were blood red and not the colors of the joseph's coat. Can anyone tell me what happened?

Positive green76thumb On Jun 4, 2011, green76thumb from Radford, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is a bit challenging, but worth it for the gorgeous blooms.

I had to move it from a spot where it wasn't getting enough sun--to where it now is, in partial sun. I (unwisely) transplanted it in the heat of summer. It took about 2 years to really get its roots established (during which time I had to baby it with frequent watering, trimming off blackspot affected leaves, and fertilizing.

After 2 years of this, and very little above-ground growth, I wasn't expecting much, but this spring I was amazed!! It was just covered with a multitude of beautiful blossoms and its growth has really taken off!

As far as training it, this is not a variety that can simply be woven in and out of a fence. The stems are stout, very thorny, and even the newest growth is very brittle. It is quite unforgiving of being bent. You'll have to work with it to learn how it responds. I have had the most success by tying it up frequently, as it grows, because as the stems get older they really harden and hold their position.

Positive GreeneLady On Apr 7, 2011, GreeneLady from Oak Island, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Joseph's Coat is my favorite climbing rose due to the range of colors. However-for those colors I fight black spot constantly, never quite winning the battle. And the thorns, Lord God Almighty, they are thorns of the devil. The leaves on this plant are quite light green, more so than most roses.And if you prune it more than just removing the spent flowers, it stubbornly refuses to rebloom for a year. Knowing this,I would not recommend this rose bush for beginners. If you love Josephs's coat for the unique colors and you are a beginner rosarian, give Rio Samba a shot. You get the same colors, and you don't need a trellis for Rio Samba.

Positive HolyChickin On Jun 1, 2010, HolyChickin from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

This is my first climber and BOY AM I HOOKED!!

I love all the different colors all on the same bush! How does it DO THAT?!?!

I was a little worried because the leaves seem to be a little lighter than my hybrid teas but, after speaking with a friend, it seems to be normal. Well, I hope.

I got it two months or so ago as a bare root. After several weeks, it, bloomed like crazy... I just cut off the last spent bloom and I am already seeing some more buds. Now I live in S. Florida, it's humid, of course right now we are in the thick of the rainy season, and it's hotter than Mercury (it's perpetual Summer around here)! This climber is still popping out blooms and isn't showing any signs of slowing down.

I have been doing disease control treatments and haven't seen even ONE sign of blackspot yet. I have hybrid teas that get the same treatment and they have blackspot... go figure. SO, the blackspot isn't as bad as some other roses. Trust me... I live in an urban swamp and KNOW blackspot!

The only complaint I have is the stems are VERY thorny... there are times I am messing around in the garden and my clothing almost always gets caught when I pass too closely.

Positive therica On May 18, 2010, therica from Falling Waters, WV (Zone 7a) wrote:

Spectacular grower, prolific producer of flowers all season long. We bought 2 of these from (which I DO NOT recommend!) in 2004 and planted them.

One is on the end of a 3 foot by 8 foot concrete pad which forms the central point of an arched garden around it. It quickly became a nice bush, nothing to climb on after post-hurricane winds blew through and destroyed our rose arbor. It's continued to fan out nicely and always gets comments.

The other was planted out by a pasture gate in basically poor clay soil, watered a few times the first year and basically forgotten and ill-cared for. It's actually bigger than the one in the arch garden! It also has a 4-foot high farm fence to climb but it mostly shrubs out and looks gorgeous.

Positive Katherine_in_CA On Mar 18, 2010, Katherine_in_CA from Redding, CA wrote:

I have seen my St. Joseph's Coat grow up to 15' tall, up the gutter pipe to the roof-line, and it just kept on going! Impressive specimen. Gorgeous blooms, very mind scent. Continuously blooms, colors may change or fade in a single day. All of my roses benefit from my horse's composted manure - I've noticed that the flower's smell become a little more pungent when you use a nice, soft, rich horse or cattle manure (but avoid nitrogen burn - make sure it's composted). It is "that rose" that everyone comments on, people are amazed that such a variety of color exists on one single plant.

Positive Zamudio On Nov 14, 2009, Zamudio from Spring Valley, CA wrote:

I grew this rose for many years when I lived in Alabama. If pruned correctly (prune each stem down to first set of leaves below expired flower) it will bloom abundantly, grow rapidly and hold it's leaves from spring to fall. I used miracle grow a few times a week and sprayed it with soapy water now and then to deter insects. It had full son all day long. Prune to six inches and mulch heavily in winter.
Joseph's Coat is so beautiful that strangers would stop to ask what kind of rose it was. If you're an attentive pruner this rose will surpass all your expectations. I think many of the problems people mention about legginess and loss of leaves may be due to poor pruning and fertilizing.

Neutral Zone6aPA On Apr 10, 2009, Zone6aPA from Central, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

This was a healthy and vigorous rose until it reached mature height (around 12' in 3 years) and then began to die. After nursing it for several years I gave up and removed it. It was stunning while it was thriving.

Neutral Joan On Apr 6, 2009, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

Editor's Note

Plant Patent number 2488 has expired
Positive Loess01 On Jul 6, 2008, Loess01 from Atalissa, IA wrote:

I just put in one of these roses this spring. We have had record-setting rainfall this year, but still no black spot to be found on this plant. I did make sure to plant it where it would get good air circulation and not be crowded by anything else.

It has bloomed beautifully since the second week of June. It is loaded with blossoms, and I can't say enough about how beautiful those flowers are. Everyone loves them!

Even though we've had several severe storms with a lot of wind, I have not experienced any problems with fragile canes. I think it's probably best to tie them to the trellis or support while they are still quite young and bend easier. Beware of those thorns, though! Mine has some thorns that are almost an inch long.

This is one plant I will definitely go out of the way to make sure it survives our winter. I want this one to live for a long time!

Positive bethanski On Jun 10, 2008, bethanski from Rochester, NY wrote:

I planted this rose earlier in the year as a bare-root plant, and it is already around 4 1/2 feet high with plenty of buds and leaves. It has been prone to blackspot, as others have noted, but I fell in love with this rose years ago on a vacation in Ireland and am more than willing to treat the blackspot in exchange for the many colors that are to come.

Negative Jam1112 On Jun 11, 2007, Jam1112 from Kansas City, MO wrote:

I planted two Josephs coats. The first two weeks it bloomed like crazy. I applied some rose food as directed and in a week it quit blooming and has not bloomed since. Could I have done something wrong? Is this a norm for this rose?
does anyone have any ideals how to get the bloming restarted?

I love these roses and would hate to have to replace them and start over with another type of climber.

Any help would great, James in Missouri

Positive keyi On Jun 25, 2006, keyi from Yukon, OK (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is by far, my favorite rose. It produces masses of multicolored blooms in the spring, slows down during the heat of summer, then comes back with an even more stunning show in early fall. In my garden, it loses most of it's leaves in the summer so looks pretty yuck, but the bloom show makes up for it, and I am starting a clematis at it's base to make up for the lack of summer leaves.

Positive pforrester On Jun 7, 2006, pforrester from Fallbrook, CA wrote:

I have had 30+ of these roses for nearly 20 years. They line our long curving driveway. All I have to do is feed and prune them. They might do even better but I have raised seven children and did not have time to fuss with them and they have been great. We had a cool damp spring here in southern California and they looked awful after the first new growth, well it might have had something to do with all the poppy's coming up in their beds. Anyway the competition with the poppys was not good for them. I tried that Bayers 3 in 1 for the first time because they did not look good. It has been about 2 weeks since I used it and the new growth is looking good. Everyone thinks they put on the most beautiful display. I love the variety of color. A couple of them are more in the shade and they definitely don't do as well but they are still alive.

Positive Citrine On Apr 30, 2006, Citrine from Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a) wrote:

This rose blooms in all the lovely colors of a delicious citrus salad! At the same time you can see, yellow, white, pink and orange and the smell is divine. This rose is one heck of a climber, always finding its way up over the patio roof, completely bypassing the trellis.

The thorns are something frightful. They are plentiful and super sharp! I've been scratched many times by this beauty. Ahh, the color and frangrance make it all worth it, though.

This rose does cope with shade rather well, but will climb very high to get to the sunlight it craves.

Positive ptcaroline On Jan 16, 2006, ptcaroline from Bainbridge Island, WA wrote:

I love this rose. Fragrance is delightful, and more than just slightly fragrant. I call it a soapy, clean, rose fragrance. Colors are fantastic. Definitely blooms with less vigor after first flush in the spring (in western WA). Everyone who has seen mine or gotten one of the beautiful flowers in a vase is enchanted with the fragrance. Recently tried propagating with cuttings, 4 of 10 made it. Treacherous thorns on this one, but low maintenance. Got to be about 8-10 feet, at least 7 years old but probably older. Got rather leggy at some point and I pruned it nearly to death (so I thought), but it came back very nicely and rewarded with abundant blooms. I was, however, much nicer to it after that! I've submitted photos to show the color variance. Looking to plant in my new garden--worth seeking out in my opinion.

Neutral chicochi3 On Sep 28, 2005, chicochi3 from Fayetteville, AR (Zone 6b) wrote:

Beautiful flowers, but blackspot is definitely a problem.

Positive mairenn On Aug 19, 2005, mairenn from Monroe, GA wrote:

I just planted 2 of these this spring. When they are not blooming they are putting on new growth. They are completely healthy while their neighbors have killing blackspot, and they are incredibly fragrant. The brilliant color is visible from down the street!

Neutral electfew On Jun 6, 2005, electfew from Milford, DE wrote:

I put this in the front corner of our home, facing east, about 10 yrs. ago. It is indeed VERY THORNY, and gets blackspot very bad here. I tried everything to treat it for that, but nothing worked until now. We live in the country, but are within 8 miles of a fishing beach, and have marshland near us. The humidity is rough on roses, no doubt about that! Blackspot is the worse enemy here, of roses. I've tried everything out there, but I did try a new item this year to battle it, when I felt like giving up. It's Bayer's 3 in 1 for Roses- I hope no one thinks I'm advertising this, I only want to share that it works. I had the 2 in 1 last year, but it doesn't have fungicide in it like this does. I used it twice so far this year, and it seems to be working well. It lasts for 6 weeks, and is fertilizer, insecticide, and fungicide in one. It's not cheap, but it could be worse...found it in Walmart for $14.98 or so. In a garden mart it was $4 more, but if it works, it's priceless! It says it makes 10 gallons on the label, but not if you're going to treat for Blackspot...only if you use it for lesser damaging things that require less chemical to water. I just want to spread the word that finally there is a product that does what it says, to relieve the rose lovers out there. There is one thing I don't understand, the roses were all different colors the first year it bloomed, but now they are all deep reddish purple every year since. Can anyone tell me why? I have about 8 rose plants of asst. kinds, and they all get a dose of it and are fine. The real humidity of summer just came today, and I will check and see how they are all doing as time goes by. My Peace Rose never got as big and bushy as now, so I'm glad this stuff works, as it's giving me high hopes of success.

Neutral Gindee77 On May 21, 2005, Gindee77 from Hampton, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I love the look of this rose, but I had no luck with it thriving here. It would put out a few blooms per season and just never showed it's full potential. I was a bit disappointed in it.

Positive janders On Apr 2, 2005, janders from Rockwall, TX wrote:

Must be sprayed every few weeks to keep black spot in check, but the gorgeous blooms are worth it. Extremely throny, so I keep it in the back of the yard where it is thriving.

Positive carolann On Jul 26, 2003, carolann from Auburn, NH wrote:

Impressive climbing rose - lovely colors - contrasts well with whites and purples planted around it. Super hardy and not a difficult rose to find in most areas.

Positive cgarnier On May 21, 2003, cgarnier wrote:

Inexpensive beginning: a find at Wal-Mart for $6.00.
Hardiness: I live in Saint John, New Brunswick Canada (zone 5a-5b) and this rose has done reasonably well despite some exposure to winter north winds (base was covered & canes wrapped).
Curb-Appeal: Anyone who walks by comments on this rose when it's in blossom... people can't get over the beautiful colors.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cullman, Alabama
Oneonta, Alabama
Warrior, Alabama
De Queen, Arkansas
Malvern, Arkansas
Calabasas, California
Ceres, California
Clayton, California
Clovis, California
Fairfield, California
Fallbrook, California
Hercules, California
Highland, California
Livermore, California
Long Beach, California
Los Angeles, California
Oak View, California
Phelan, California
Quartz Hill, California
Redding, California
San Diego, California (2 reports)
San Jose, California
San Leandro, California
Santa Rosa, California
Milford, Delaware
Washington, District Of Columbia
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Lithia, Florida
Marianna, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Fitzgerald, Georgia
Harlem, Georgia
Boise, Idaho
Belleville, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois (2 reports)
Hampton, Illinois
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Atalissa, Iowa
Hubbard, Iowa
Kansas City, Kansas
Bastrop, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Gonzales, Louisiana
Natchitoches, Louisiana
Pineville, Louisiana
Zachary, Louisiana
South China, Maine
Lakeville, Massachusetts
Tyngsboro, Massachusetts
Glennie, Michigan
Midland, Michigan
Novi, Michigan
Bay Springs, Mississippi
Grenada, Mississippi
Las Vegas, Nevada
Auburn, New Hampshire
Wyckoff, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico (2 reports)
Roswell, New Mexico
Rochester, New York
Cary, North Carolina
China Grove, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Bucyrus, Ohio
Canton, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio
Londonderry, Ohio
Edmond, Oklahoma
Harrah, Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Yukon, Oklahoma
Harleysville, Pennsylvania
Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania
Osceola, Pennsylvania
Palmyra, Pennsylvania
North Augusta, South Carolina
Baxter, Tennessee
Abilene, Texas
Cleburne, Texas
Garland, Texas
Gorman, Texas
Houston, Texas
Killeen, Texas
Needville, Texas
Plano, Texas
Rockwall, Texas
Willis, Texas
Chantilly, Virginia
Radford, Virginia
Olympia, Washington
Port Townsend, Washington
Redmond, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Falling Waters, West Virginia

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