Floribunda Rose 'Hot Cocoa'


Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Hot Cocoa
Additional cultivar information:(PP15155, aka WEKpaltlez, Hot Cocoa, Hot Chocolate, Kiwi, Nubya)
Hybridized by Carruth
Registered or introduced: 2003
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Cluster-flowered (incl. Floribunda & Grandiflora)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Bloom Color:

Russet (r)

Bloom Shape:


Flower Fragrance:

Slightly Fragrant

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Blooms repeatedly



Patent Information:


Other Details:

Resistant to black spot

Resistant to mildew

Stems are moderately 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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


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


Opelika, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Berkeley, California

Clayton, California

Cool, California

Fairfield, California

Forest Falls, California

Grass Valley, California

Livermore, California

Occidental, California

Reseda, California

San Clemente, California

San Dimas, California

San Jose, California

San Leandro, California

Stanford, California

Winchester, California

Boise, Idaho

Hampton, Illinois

Moline, Illinois

Topeka, Illinois

Council Bluffs, Iowa

Waterloo, Iowa

Baton Rouge, Louisiana (2 reports)

Marrero, Louisiana

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Clinton Township, Michigan

Brandon, Mississippi

Rye, New Hampshire

Brigantine, New Jersey

Binghamton, New York

Winston Salem, North Carolina

Columbus, Ohio

Geneva, Ohio

Haviland, Ohio

Grants Pass, Oregon

Norristown, Pennsylvania

North Augusta, South Carolina

Maryville, Tennessee

Corpus Christi, Texas

Dallas, Texas

El Paso, Texas

Garland, Texas

Iredell, Texas

Paris, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Layton, Utah

Charlottesville, Virginia

Bellevue, Washington (2 reports)

Olympia, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Sumas, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

West Bend, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 3, 2016, BlazingFungi from Sumas, WA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I'd describe the color of this rose as a complex mix of vermillion, red, terra cotta, coral, and peach pink; all of it misted with lavender. Not a brown tone in sight, but that doesn't hurt my feelings, since this rose positively glows as though lit from within. Nothing bothers it beside the occasional mason bee. The only drawbacks are two: 1. It needs more maintenance pruning than the usual run because it grows like a weed, and 2. This thing is armed so heavily there's practically no stem - the lower down the branch the worse. Josephs' Coat wishes it were this bada$$!


On Jun 13, 2015, doubledig from Winston Salem, NC wrote:

Cocoa is a great floribunda rose to have as a foundation planting. My concerns were keeping it at around 3 feet to complement the slow growing Hollies and Yews in front of my house. I have kept them around 3 feet using deadheading and late winter cut back to 18 inches. It is in it's second year. I purchase another one this year before they sold out late Spring here in North Carolina.


On Nov 28, 2014, DaylilySLP from Dearborn Heights, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

Registration name: Rosa 'WEKpaltlez'.
Bred by Tom Carruth (USA), 2002
Introduced in the USA as 'Hot Cocoa'. Also known as
'Hot Chocolate' & 'Kiwi'


On Jun 15, 2014, RosinaBloom from Waihi,
New Zealand (Zone 1) wrote:

Hybrid Tea Rose "Kiwi' is described as having ruffled blooms in shades of rusty terracotta-red with deliciously scented blooms which are produced throughout the season on a healthy shrub.


On Feb 17, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

I've cared for 9 of these over three years. Here in blackspot heaven, they've shown little blackspot---just a little near the ground---and I haven't needed to spray.

Very vigorous. So far the habit is rigidly upright and sparsely branched---I grow hybrid teas with a wider habit. I'll be doing more midseason pruning next season, but last year they reached over six feet high after having been cut back to 18" in the spring.

Produces flowers nonstop here. The color is rich and unique, a warm variable rusty orange-red with subtle smoky lavender overtones. It's complex and variable, and I think it's very beautiful. It varies a lot with the weather, especially the temperature---with more of the smokey lavender in cool weather, and a clearer brighter orange when it... read more


On Oct 5, 2009, Qortni from Binghamton, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

What an unusual rose! The best description of the color would be to call it "coral." Its true color is very difficult to catch on camera. The fragrance is sort of spicy, but not very strong. Regardless of a very poor growing season this year, Hot Cocoa bloomed repeatedly since I bought it in early spring. By October, it was just finishing up. I can only imagine how it would have performed had it had better weather!

The only bad part about keeping this rose is that the aphids swarm to it. I had to repeatedly spray, and really had to keep on it, lest they chew the buds and new growth to bits. However, the beauty of this rose was well worth the "chore."


On Aug 1, 2008, lrwells50 from (Lynn) Paris, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

I always have a lot of comments when I bring a vase of these to work. They almost look like they have been dusted with cocoa powder. The most unusual color in my garden.


On Apr 13, 2007, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Absolutely adore the brick color. Blooms last a long time. Hard to photograph. Conversation piece, for sure.


On Jul 9, 2005, jamie68 from Vancouver, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This rose is in my all-time favorite top 10!! Unique color blossoms, that keep coming all season, and wonderful disease resistance.....Great rose!!


On May 20, 2005, Gindee77 from Hampton, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a great rose with very little problem with disease. The foliage is shiny healthy green and the blooms are very pretty and different. The brick red is a color you don't see very often with roses. It's always in bloom in my zone 5 garden.


On May 11, 2005, doss from Stanford, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

This rose is a conversation stopper in the garden. It's hard to photograph the color but in my garden it starts out a rich red brown and then fades to a medium red with coral undertones. New growth in the spring is a dark green burgundy. Very floriferous and has an excellent rebloom habit. It is subject to black spot and powdery mildew - but then all roses in my area are. No exception. I advise treating it preventatively if you are in an area with these problems.


On Mar 2, 2005, kniphofia from Morpeth,
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

One of my favorite roses from last year with a most beautiful and unusual color. I especially like the way the aging flowers darken.

I'm crossing my fingers and hoping this one survives our Maine winter.


On Oct 20, 2004, trifunov from Brandon, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:

I planted this rose in spring, and it has bloomed continuously right until fall. The flowers on my bush are a very unusual smoky orange-brown, although I have seen some at the local nursery which were a much more boring reddish-orange. I wish it had a little fragrance, as it is so beautiful. My bush has reached about 3 foot in it's first year with strong erect canes.


On Apr 28, 2004, clantonnaomi from Iredell, TX wrote:

I have many roses, but I have to say that this one is my favorite. It's beautiful color is unique-I have never seen one even close to it. It does very well in central Texas and I would highly recommend it.


On Apr 27, 2004, bamasharon from Helena, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

Medium tall Floribunda with a smoky chocolate orange bloom ( sometimes with a hint of purple) Lightly fragranced, intense green foliage.The more sun the more intense the color. Does have a tendancy to develop black spot but it is easily controlled. I have 3 of these and they are my favorites in the garden.