An HTA British Rose Group workshop heard that the public often prefer older varieties even though newer plants have superior qualities such as disease resistance.
"If you're selling disease magnets to first-time gardeners, they will be put off," said Henry Street Roses breeder Mark Goold. "Modern roses will give better results. If garden centres aren't stocking them, why not? Perhaps royalties make them more expensive."
Pococks Roses co-owner Stewart Pocock agreed: "People bang on about black spot, but it is difficult to get with modern roses. A lot of garden centres are just missing a trick. This has to be a several-pronged approach."