Know Your Roses – Types Of Roses

Types Of Roses

There are hundreds of different types of roses grown around the world. Roses vary greatly in height, size, color, and shape.

It is important to know the different types of roses and understand their characteristics and growing conditions before you decide which roses will work best in your garden. One of the most important things to do when growing roses is to choose the right kind for your garden.

There are five main classes of roses. Which ones are suitable for your garden?

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Hybrid Tea Roses

Hybrid Tea Roses

The hybrid tea rose, perhaps the most popular choice, comes as either a standard or a bush.

The flower is the classic rose with a pronounced core of petals in the center.

There are a wide range of colors and they are usually scented. The roses are borne as single flowers or small clusters.

Generally, they have a long flowering period from about June to October.

They can be grown in sun or partial shade in good, well-drained soil. An alkaline soil should have well-rotted compost added to it. 

This group of roses is subject to the usual pests and diseases and the large flowers can be damaged by strong wind and heavy rain so they should be planted in a sheltered position.


Floribunda Roses

floribunda rose

This is another favorite group and comes from crossing hybrid tea roses with polyanthus.

The flowers are borne on large trusses (groups of blooms).

The flowers are less of the classic rose shape than the Hybrid Teas and very few varieties are fragrant.

Many varieties bloom continuously during the summer, though. It is also less susceptible to damage by wind and rain.

Cultivation is much the same as for hybrid tea roses.

Heirloom Roses Rose Plant - Sparkle & Shine™ Yellow Rose Bush, Floribunda Live Plant for Planting Outdoors
  • Own Root - All of our yellow rose bushes at Heirloom Roses are own root, which means they will produce more blooms, be more hardy, and stay true to variety throughout their lifetimes, contrary to grafted roses.
  • One Gallon - All of our Floribunda rose plants are 12-16 months old and delivered in one gallon containers with rich soil.
  • Hardiness Zones: 6-10
  • Moderately Fragrant & Repeat Blooming - Will bloom in flushes throughout the growing season.
  • Approximate Size: 3' - 4' x 3' - 4' - This is the indefinite size of the yellow rose plant when it reaches full maturity. Upon delivery, roses will be around 12-15 inches tall and may be partially defoliated to ensure plant health during shipping.

Modern Shrub Roses

Modern Shrub Roses

This group is a cross between species roses and old roses.

The flowers are more like wild roses with a flat bloom and, like floribunda, few are fragrant.

Many varieties have repeated flushes of flowers throughout the summer.

Although they can be used as single plants on a border, they are also good for hedging.

They need only light pruning but make sure you cut out dead or diseased stems.

Heirloom Roses Rose Plant - Sally Holmes White Rose Bush, Roses with HIPS for Planting Outdoors
  • Own Root - All of our white rose bushes at Heirloom Roses are own root, which means they will produce more blooms, be more hardy, and stay true to variety throughout their lifetimes, contrary to grafted roses.
  • One Gallon - All of our white rose plants are 12-16 months old and delivered in one gallon containers with rich soil.
  • Hardiness Zones: 5-10
  • Moderately Fragrant & Continual Blooming - Will bloom continually throughout the growing season.
  • Approximate Size: 6' - 7' x 6' - 7' - This is the indefinite size of the rose plant when it reaches full maturity. Upon delivery, roses will be around 12-15 inches tall and may be partially defoliated to ensure plant health during shipping.

Climbers and Ramblers

rose rambler

In the 19th century, this group of roses was probably the most popular. Now they are ideal for decorating a pergola, arches, old trees, or a house wall.

Ramblers have long supple stems but are prone to mildew and only flower for a short period in June and July.

They are more suitable for pergolas and arches rather than for growing against walls as the lack of air circulation makes mildew more likely.

The flowers grow in large trusses that are about 2 inches in diameter. 

Climbers have much fewer supple stems and they have smaller trusses of flowers but the individual blooms are usually larger, 3 to 5 inches in diameter, than those seen on ramblers.

Pruning is easier too because the flowers are borne on mature rather than new wood.

Many varieties also have repeat flushes of flowers during the summer.

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Miniature Roses

Miniature Roses

This class of rose is growing in popularity.

The height of these delicate, pretty plants varies from around 9 to 18 inches.

Some people like to grow it as an indoor plant but it is often unhappy indoors and does poorly.

The tiny flowers, measuring as a little as 3/4 inch to less than 2 inches, are borne in small clusters in June and July with many varieties giving repeat flowerings.

Cuttings can be taken with a reasonable degree of success. If they are budded onto a different rootstock, though, their miniature character will be lost.

They can be grown on the border but not with tall plants otherwise they will be swamped and their beauty will not be appreciated.

They make good outdoor pot plants but they should be fed and well-watered and repotted annually.

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Know Your Roses - Types Of Roses
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