Types of Roses

Which Rose is the Best for Your Garden?

There are many, many types of roses. It is wise to know something about the different rose varieties before purchasing a rose or planning a garden.

It is generally held that roses first appeared in prehistoric times, exclusively above the equator in the northern hemisphere. We are not talking about the complex beauty with many petals growing in your yard today. Instead, the early rose was much like the wild rose – flat in design with a single layer of petals resting above the sepals or the slender pointed leaves that contain the bud and open out as the rose blooms.

Clearly, it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss the history of the rose. Suffice it to say that they have been admired for they delicate beauty and sweet scent, coveted, fought over, immortalized, researched, grown, groomed and hybridized for as long as there have been rose lovers. Today there is a bewildering array of types. It behooves anyone interested in acquiring a rose or starting a rose garden to know something about the various types of roses. What follows is a list and brief description of some of the most common.

Miniature Roses many of which are very small, seldom above thirty inches tall, are excellent for containers, lining a walkway or garden. The true miniature rose is perfect for the patio garden. Other roses of this type are miniature only with regard to their leaves and flowers. They can become quite tall. A word of caution here – make sure you know which one you are buying.

Species Rose, Wild Roses and their Hybrids are extremely hardy. They are the original roses and are usually of the climber or large landscape variety.

Hybrid Tea Roses are the most fashionable garden rose and range from about three to five feet tall depending upon sun exposure. This rose is greatly admired for its pallet of stunning colors, wonderful fragrance and gracefully symmetrical flowers. The hybrid tea generally produces one lovely rose on each stem.

Grandifloras are more robust than a hybrid tea. They can stand well over six feet tall. Their blooms can show as double, single or in clusters on long stems.

Floribundas are exceptionally hardy roses with the ability to adapt to many soil types and temperature variables. This rose produces a great number of flowers, sometimes singularly and sometimes in clusters. The bush is small, usually no more than three feet in height and relatively dense.

Mini-Floras fall between Miniatures and Floribundas with regard to blooms and foliage of intermediate size. Since 1999 when the American Rose Society identified this species many lovely varieties of this rose have been developed. This is a great rose for people who don’t have a lot of space, but want a rose garden.

Landscapes are large – up to five feet tall – disease resistant and extremely hardy in most climates. They are prolific, all season bloomers. This is the best rose for a beginning rose gardener.

Climbing Roses do not climb – they have no way to climb. They lack tendrils and can’t twine. Climbing roses simply have incredibly healthy growth habits. They just grow into things with their stiff – even woody – canes, grabbing on with their thorns. They show blooms singularly and in clusters. Most of them bloom all season, however, know what you are buying. Some climbers often called Antique or Victorian only bloom once a season.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to grow roses. Buy roses from reputable nurseries or garden shops. Plan your rose space before purchasing the rose. For instance, how large will the space be, and what companion plants will share the space if any. Talk to the gardening professionals in your area about soil type and about water requirements, best over winter performance and disease resistance of the roses available to you. Not all roses are hardy in all areas. As with any gardening project, plant the rose where it belongs. Roses require at least six hours of sun per day. The optimal exposure is eastern and southern sun. Western sun burns the delicate tissue of the rose bloom.

There is no trick or great difficulty to growing roses. Respect them – give them the sun, the space and the care they need. They will repay you a hundred fold.

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