How to Grow the Peggy Martin Rose in the Coastal Bend - The Bend Magazine

How to Grow the Peggy Martin Rose in the Coastal Bend

Elegant, hardy and low-maintenance, here's how to grow and maintain the Peggy Martin Rose in the Coastal Bend region

The Peggy Martin Rose grows excellently in the Coastal Bend region.

The Peggy Martin Rose is a Southern classic with a survival story for the ages. This beautiful rose with numerous pink blooms that herald the arrival of spring is a symbol of resilience.

Mrs. Peggy Martin was a Louisiana gardener whose home lay in the path of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. When Martin returned to her house after the storm, she discovered that this unbelievably tough rose had survived after two weeks of being submerged in salt water.

Before the hurricane, this rose was nameless. Dr. William Welch, a Texas A&M University horticulturist, had been a guest in Martin’s home before the storm hit. When Welch learned how this remarkable rose survived the hurricane, he named it the Peggy Martin Rose. He then propagated and sold the Peggy Martin Rose, with the proceeds going toward garden restoration projects along the devastated coast.

The Peggy Martin has since become a highly sought-after rose with more and more gardeners discovering this new variety that thrives in our southern coastal climate and has many attractive traits. It is thornless and an aggressive climber, so try to plant it under a trellis or near some other climbable structure. Peggy Martin is a fragrant rose that attracts bees and other pollinators to your garden. It is disease-resistant, with very few pests to worry about.

This vigorous rose puts on a stunning show when mass-planted and will take off quickly. Consider planting so it will run together along the top of a sturdy fence or wall and train its canes to transform your landscape with a beautiful pink display.


Growing Up

Peggy Martin is easily grown in the Coastal Bend region and an ideal choice when considering its tolerance for drought and heat. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil. This rose does not mind even the hottest Coastal Bend summer days. No supplemental water should be needed after established. It will grow quickly in alkaline or acidic soils. After the first blooms arrive, give it a boost with your favorite fertilizer; I recommend Medina Growin Green 3-2-3.


The best blooms are produced with at least 6 hours of sunlight per day and by adding compost to the loose soil. Spacing should be 3’ to 5’. Height will be 6’ to 15.’ Water the soil around the base early in the morning or late in the afternoon to reduce evaporation. Prune gently after the last freeze, removing any dead vines or canes. Remove any inward or crossing canes to promote good air circulation and prevent disease.

Fun Facts

A Peggy Martin cutting makes a great gift. These roses take root easily and grow quickly — and when I say easy, I mean my wife stuck a Peggy Martin rose cutting into the ground as an experiment and it took off, currently enveloping a cattle panel arbor next to our garden with prolific pink blooms. Now, while this is not an advisable approach, it’s a testament to just how tough this graceful rose can be.

Interested in growing your Coastal Bend garden? Check out these expert tips for bok choy, chile pequin or microgreens.