Rose Varieties

Roses are one of the most popular flowering shrubs because of their long blooming season featuring blossoms of various colors, sizes, and ease of growth.

Roses steal the show in June while the annual beds are still working up to their full potential. After June, roses become less showy, but they continue to produce flowers that spark up the beds throughout the summer. You can encourage blossoms by clipping spent blooms to the first five-leaflet leaf below the blossom; encouraging a replacement a few weeks later.

There are several different types of roses to choose from–grandiflora, floribunda, shrubs, tea roses, heritage, and climbers–with several different cultivars. Taller varieties are used among tall plants and near walls. Smaller varieties and miniatures fit into borders or container gardens and among lower plants.
Hybrid Teas are the most widely grown roses and are available only as a grafted rose (meaning a small piece of the desired variety has been grafted into a wild vigorous rose). They have showy blooms throughout the growing season. They grow from two to five feet high. Flowers may be single or double. Buds are long and pointed with single flowers or clusters of three to five flowers per stem. Hybrids needs protection in severe winters.

Floribunda roses are similar in size, shape, and color to hybrid teas but the flowers appear in clusters with short stems. Floribundas are hardy, disease-resistant, low-growing shrubs. Use them in beds where you desire many flowers.

Grandiflora roses are an offspring of hybrid teas roses. These flowers are borne singly or in clusters on longer stems. They resemble hybrid teas but are larger and grow 3 to 6-feet tall.

Miniature roses are tiny versions of other roses. They grow less than 2-feet high and are often used in mass plantings or borders.

Shrub roses are hardy, spreading plants that require little maintenance. Varieties grow 4 to 12 feet tall with many canes and thick foliage. Flowers can be single or double and are borne at the ends of the canes or on branches along the canes. Some flower once in the spring while others flower continuously. They tolerate heat, drought, and wind.

Climbing/Rambling roses have long, arching canes. The bushes don’t actually “climb” but rather must be attached to trellises, arbors, or fences. Large flowered climbers have thick, stiff canes up to 10 feet long with flowers that bloom through the summer and fall. Ramblers have long, thin canes and small clusters of flowers that bloom in early summer.

Tree roses are created by grafting bush roses onto an upright trunk and are used as accents in formal gardens. They are not cold hardy and need special winter protection.

Buying roses
Rose plants are sold in three grades: No. 1, No. 1 1/2, and No. 2. Grades are based on the size and number of canes. For example, No. 1 roses are best and have at least three canes three-eighths of an inch or more in diameter. Purchasing a top-grade plant will produce superior blossoms, both in quality and quantity; and they produce them sooner than inferior plants.

Roses are sold bare root or packaged with shavings around the base. Potted roses are often started in a greenhouse so that they bloom for early sales.

When purchasing a bare-root bush, make sure that the stems are green and not shriveled. Stems should not feel soft when squeezed between your fingers. They should have at least three stems or more that are a 1/2-inch or larger in diameter. The stems should have no new growth and the buds should be dormant. Early spring is a good time to purchase roses. The selection is at its best and the plants have not gone through a long, hot summer in a container.

Most roses available are grafted roses. Own-root roses, however, are the most advantageous because they are more disease free, virus resistant, and winter hardy. Grafted roses usually die or send up suckers that may not be true to the desired variety. Own-root roses start out small and are a little more expensive than grafted roses, but they grow rapidly after they’ve become established. Own-root roses have a long life span and can live up to 100 years or more! While grafted roses’ life span is that of 10-15 years.


  • Temple Square Gardening by Christena Gates
  • Photos by Jennifer Scott, Susan Gautier, and Unknown
About Jen

Jen is owner, author, and creative mind behind Bakerette. Jen eats a vegan diet and recently converted Bakerette to a plant-based website that offers a smattering of healthful recipes! Jen is author of the cookbook Festive Feasts: Meals and Memories from Halloween to Christmas, which can be purchased online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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