Soul Sister Koko Loko

November 7, 2019

I thought I was clear on this but when making my rose list for next year I find that many nurseries list them as separate roses carrying different descriptions,, much different. I am late to the party for modern floribundas so enlighten me please. I want another distant drum look not a washed out apricot (no fault in the rose just the Texas summer heat)Thanks

Comments (18)

  • philipatx

    Soul Sister is a very nice apricot rose in Kordes' Sunbelt collection. It does quite well in Texas, and the deep foliage (bronze turning to dark green) sets off the blooms *very* nicely. I like the fragrance as well. I cannot compare to Koko Loko as I don't have that one, but I can highly recommend SS. Very disease resistant as well.

    I don't know where your threshold is, but while it can be a little paler in our hottest months, I've never considered it washed-out. It remains apricot, and never just dingy white.

  • seil zone 6b MI

    Koko Loco has MANY colors. It can be tan, apricot, lavender and even gray. It will change color with the weather and as the blooms age.

  • nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

    Part of the confusion you're running into is that many roses have several alternate names that different companies or countries use, that are still recognized as official names for that rose. Most US companies market Koko Loko under that name, but Soul Sister is an accepted alternate name for the rose that's used in other countries or some vendors here. It helps to pay attention to the breeder of the rose you're looking for - Koko Loko is a floribunda by Christian Bedard, and the Soul Sister that most of us talk about under that name is an apricot shrub by Kordes as Philipatx points out. That's the rose that probably washes out to cream in the hot sun, though Koko Loko can get pretty pale in the heat too.

    If you get confused, the website Helpmefind Roses is a miracle at untangling the mysterious names and qualities of various roses. It's also a great source of photos and information by others around the world who grow the rose. Of course so are we (smile) so feel free to post other questions as they occur.


    P.S. Absolutely GORGEOUS photo of Koko Loko, Seil. That is an ultimate selling point for that rose if I weren't already hooked. Catching those darker reverse sides of the buds and blooms as well as the form of the flowers is really exquisite photography.

  • austinkisses2008z8a

    Got it thanks. HMF, along with this site, has been very helpful. I began rose growing in the late 70’s and planted all the ARS highest rated. Moved on to English when they hit US and kinda got stuck there. Semi retired this year so have time to branch out. Finding it very exciting. My yard is nice size for neighborhood lot but can see I will soon run out of planting space that has enough sun, esp. as my focus is a garden design that pleases me year round.

  • austinkisses2008z8a

    Thank u for the lovely pic it looks just like my Distant Drums which I love. DD is first rose I have planted in 20 yrs that did not have a great fragrance. My rose beds are flanked with Sweet Olive trees which says it all. It can sometimes get too heady for most but me. :))

  • philipatx

    I am in ATX as well, but no spray. I highly suspect that Koko Loko would suffer in my garden without spraying. The Week's roses I have tried have not done well for me here for some reason, and Koko Loko doesn't appear to be highly resistant, per HMF. If you want the lavender tones, however, you will not get anything like that with Kordes' Soul Sister. It maintains a solid apricot hue, somewhat deeper in cooler weather.

    Do the sweet olives do well for you? I'm originally from New Orleans, and I rather miss smelling those on cooler evenings walking my old neighborhood when the seasons were changing. The fragrance still takes me home. I *need* to plant a couple here.

  • austinkisses2008z8a

    Interesting note: when I googled soul sister and HMF, I got 2 hits. First hit mentioned Koko LoKo as an alternative name , listing all characteristics and breeder of Koko Loko rose as I know it. Pictures like Seil shared (though not as pretty) . The second hit gave all the information of the Sunbelt rose, pictures, description & breeding. Very misleading duplication, so glad I am now aware.

    My sweet olives started as 5 gal shrubs (7 of them) . I added Plant Success in hole when I planted them 11 yrs ago and they grew super fast. By 2nd year they were reaching for my roof. I now trim their Height every spring and try to maintain them at 16'. They make great trees but rather rangy shrubs. I have had them planted at every project I have done over the years unless the client objected. I little sweetness in the air is always a plus.

  • cyndita (west coast zone 9)

    Just FYI: Before you order, an easy way to know that you’re ordering what you intend to order is to check the breeder code (which you can find on Help Me Find). The code for the Kordes Soul Sister is KORconvent, and the code for Koko Loko is WEKbijou (KOR for Kordes, WEK for Weeks, etc.).

  • philipatx

    Yes. Both breeders (or their distributors) assigned the name 'Soul Sister' to one of their creations. It can get very frustrating when folks discuss cultivars by common names. One needs to take care to clarify "which one?" for a great many cultivar names. To add to frustration, many breeders will reuse the same name for their own roses. Likewise, many roses are marketed under multiple names depending on the market.

    You might just bookmark HMF's search page. They generally return a list of all cultivars sharing a common name, along with adequate info to know which is which:

  • sautesmom Sacramento

    Here is my Koko Loco this week, it is more tan than the pink seems.( My camera has problems with blues and tans) But definitely not apricot!
    Carla in Sac

  • austinkisses2008z8a

    Thank you, good info and great pictures. I ordered KoKO for next year, plan to place it in front of Distant Drums and Angle Face, both favorites. I am depending on Angle to give me good smells. It is those beige-y tones and the movement to lavender that I find fascinating enough to overcome the lack of good fragrance. I was trying to decide about adding Soul Sis as BenT had posted a lovely picture of it growing in his beds.

  • austinkisses2008z8a

    philipatx, yes Sweet Olive grow wonderful for me in Dallas. I was told when I moved here from Houston that they might freeze but this has not been my experience . The second winter after I planted was when Dallas temps dropped into the low teens and remained. They were at my roof by then and I had them professionally covered with packing material then plastic. they were warm and toasty in their little cocoons. I have not done that since and they are now 11 yrs old and have become actual multi trunk big caliber trees . I highly recommend them but be prepared you will often lose some of those wonderful smells as they cycle in and out of bloom. It seem we get a freeze about the time they in beginning to bloom.... like today. They do cycle about 3-4 times a year here so never are they all lost. In Houston, I seem to remember them blooming always but of course they rarely lost flower in freeze. Hope this helps.

  • BenT (8a Dallas, TX)


    Do you do landscape design professionally? How exciting, I have always thought that’d be a dream job that would encompass what I really like doing anyway.

    I’m an IT professional and I’m thankful for my career, but my true love is gardening.

    Yes, I grow the Kordes Soul Sister, which is an apricot floribunda. Koko Loco is also called Soul Sister and I know that one is very popular for its tan centers, but I’ve never grown it.

    Kordes Soul Sister

    I also grow Rosie the Riveter, which has Distant Drums as a parent, and can at times have a bronze center

    I just started with Distant Thunder, which is another child of Distant Drums

  • Lisa Adams

    Ben, you grow such beautiful roses! I’m always impressed by everything you show. I grow both Koko Loco and Soul Sister. I’ve always loved the oddball/lavender tan colored roses. They’re fun to work with in arrangements. Seil and Carla, great pictures of Koko Loco. I really enjoy mine, and always look forward to what the blooms will look like. They can vary greatly depending upon the weather. It’s a good bloomer, and seems to love the heat.

    So far, Soul Sister looks like it will remain a small, compact rose. It’s potted though, and I’m a little worried about it surprising me with growth, once in the ground. Do you or anyone else in a warm climate have any size estimates at maturity? So many so called “compact” roses grow large in my year round growing season. Thanks. Lisa

  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw

    My Soul sister is second year in the ground and is still short, maybe 2 feet. I was thinking of adding another one because she doesn't seem like she will ever be one that takes over.

    kristine_legault's ideas · More Info

  • austinkisses2008z8a

    OMG no Ben to Landscape design. Those ole plants just keep growing and changing, so I keep moving them. Hee hee. I do Interior Design more stable pays better.

  • austinkisses2008z8a

    Ben I have Rosie, Love Song, Lavender Crush, Plum Perfect, Bolero, KokoLoK on my spring list. Since our locations are so close do you have another "must have" to add to this? Understand I will be removing some big lovely roses to make room so I am being pretty picky. A big yard is never big enough. From your pics it looks like your front is a wonderful treat for your neighborhood. I am a hermit, so stick to the rear yard. I get focused and often do like like being interrupted to visit. My front is large and deep so maybe someday.

  • Lisa Adams

    Thanks Kristine. That’s really helpful and increases my options for spots where I can plant Soul Sister. I’m thinking of planting it in a small perennial bed, now that you’ve commented on her size and that “she doesn’t seem like she will ever be one that takes over “. That’s always something I worry about when placing a rose. Is yours own root, or grafted? Mine is on her own roots, and I’m hoping that will also help keep her on the small side. Thanks again, Kristine. Lisa

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