Suzanne Longley Farm

The Peggy Martin rose is a vigorous climber with an abundance of pink clusters, a repeat bloomer with a slightly musky fragrance. Photo by Suzanne Longley.


Peggy Martin Rose


The Peggy Martin rose is a vigorous, graceful climber for pillars, trellises, walls, fences, and arbors. It grows fast and blooms generously with clusters of dark pink flowers from March through May. And after establishing a couple of years, the blooms repeat every fall after the heat abates. Throughout the year, it displays flushings sporadically. Each spring, the flowering is more glorious than the year before.

A good rose for a beginner, the only pruning required is for shaping and removal of dead canes. It’s extremely tenacious, hardy, and disease resistant. The rose is thornless except for a small prickle at the beginning of the leaf. Give it room to grow to realize its full potential.


The Peggy Martin rose is thornless, making it safe for gates, entrance arbors, and play areas with children. Photo by Suzanne Longley.


Also known as the Hurricane Katrina rose, this rose is the symbol of renewal and growth. Peggy Martin, a leading rosarian of southern Louisiana, lost her home, parents, and a commercial fishing boat her husband used to supplement their income in Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Sea water of 20 feet inundated her home for two weeks. Returning, she found this unnamed pink rose in full bloom, emerging from the mud, while losing hundreds of other bloomers. Dr. William Welch, Texas A&M horticulturist, came up with the idea of renaming the rose and sharing marketing proceeds to help raise funds to restore parks and gardens in New Orleans, Beaumont, and Laurel, Mississippi, by promoting propagation with nurseries. The Peggy Martin rose has become a classic garden mainstay. Every rose is given a name when created, but many are dropped from commerce over the centuries, their names forgotten as new varieties come into vogue. Martin had planted cuttings she took from her hairdresser in 1989. Experts think it may have originated in Germany. This special survivor has been given a new identity as the Peggy Martin rose, now an inspiration for Gulf Coast communities for surviving devastation with tenacity, beauty, and grace. Peggy Martin continues to live in southern Louisiana, researching the origins of this rose that bears her name.