Types of Roses for the Home Garden
The Many Types of Roses for the Home Garden
The American Rose Society lists seven major types of roses on its website, but if you include the many variations within each type, you're left with a stunning array of roses to choose from for the home garden. While roses have earned the reputation as finicky flowers, there are some so tough they can grow on rugged ocean cliffs and others that have withstood the test of time. The secret to growing great roses in your backyard is to choose the varieties and types suited to your climate as well as to your interest in growing roses. Some people want to plant a rose bush and do nothing more to care for it, while others don't mind fussing over their roses a bit. Knowing your time, skills, and climate is the true secret to growing great roses.
Hybrid Tea Roses
Hybrid tea roses are perhaps the rose most people think of when they think "roses." Long stemmed tea roses are the typical roses sold by the dozen in florist shops and used in bouquets for weddings and other special events. The American Rose Society describes hybrid tea roses as upright, bushy shrubs producing just one flower per stem. Many are grown for their superb fragrance. These are typically the most popular and desirable roses to grow but the fussiest, perhaps leading to the rose's reputation as a tough plant to grow in the backyard garden. If you choose to add hybrid tea roses to the garden, take care not to get water on the leaves when watering. Use a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose, mulch the roses well, and fertilize with rose fertilizer regularly.
Climbing roses produce long, flexible canes that can be trained to grow along a trellis, fence, arbor or even up into a sturdy tree. The flowers tend to be less striking than the other shrub type of roses but climbers produce multiple blooms, and once the canes climb up the trellis their blossoms create a startling display of flowers. Some favorite climbing roses are Blaze, a red climbing rose; Zephrin Drouhin, a pink climbing rose with a strong fragrance; and Joseph's Coat, a multi-hued orange rose that's quite striking.
Miniature roses are often sold in pots in greenhouse to give as gifts, and they can be grown indoors or planted in the backyard. They're actually quite hardy and do very well in the backyard garden. Most grow less than a foot tall and have a shrub-type form. You can find miniature roses in all colors including red, white, pink and yellow. If growing them indoors, they tend to attract spider mites and other pests, so check them regularly for pests. Outdoors the need the same care as a hybrid tea rose or any other rose bush.
Floribunda and Grandiflora Roses
Floribunda roses produce multiple blooms on their stems. Developed within the last 200 years, floribunda roses were bred to produce the same type of flowers as hybrid tea roses but with multiple blooms per stem and repeat blooming. It's not uncommon to find anywhere from three 15 or more blooms on a stem on a floribunda rose. Their form is a shrub rose, and they bloom freely and vigorously. They are available in most colors. Planting several together creates a hedge-like effect.
Grandiflora roses are a cross between hybrid tea roses and floribunda roses. Like floribundas, they have multiple blooms on a stem. They grow to about six feet tall and product flowers slightly smaller but just as beautiful as a hybrid tea rose.
Shrub Roses and Others
There are other types of roses, too. Shrub roses and landscape roses have small flowers and grow into vigorous shrubs. Many have flowers that resemble a rose but have a more open, airy appearance. Rosa rugosas, for example, are a shrub and landscape rose that can withstand sea breezes and a rugged environment.
Old-fashioned roses offer another intriguing garden rose to add to your landscape. Many of these have a strong rose fragrance and lovely large, multiple petal blossoms. David Austen Old English roses are the most popular old fashioned garden roses. While some are new introductions, many are descended from roses grown in Europe in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
Chooses Roses for the Home Garden
Now that you have a basic overview of the major types of roses, how do you choose the right ones to grow in your garden? Your first stop should be your local nursery or garden center. Most nursery managers order plants that they know will thrive in your local climate, called a gardening zone. If you're not sure, the County Cooperative Extension office may have a list of good roses to grow in your area and free rose care information. Look for them in the telephone book or search online. Lastly, try any rose marked "hardy." I've found that hybrid teas and grandifloras are the most fussy, while my floribunda roses, mini roses and climbing roses withstand heat, drought and Japanese beetles without so much as a pause in their flowering. Try one or two roses and once you have success, try more. Sometimes it is trial and error, but doing a bit of research beforehand and trying one of the hardier varieties first may help you become more successful at growing roses.
© 2011 Jeanne Grunert