Well a rose may be a rose but just what kind of rose it is makes all the difference if you want to pick the plant that’s perfect for your garden. Familiarize yourself with these rose types to make sure you get the rose that will inspire your own poetry.
Hybrid Tea Roses
These are by far the most iconic of roses. “Long Stem” roses are almost always Hybrid Tea varieties. Generally flowers are large, showy, held singly, and atop a long straight stem. Hybrid Teas are however generally the most finicky and problem prone roses for our hot humid climate. Be prepared to treat for insects and disease with these roses but your work will be rewarded 10 fold in beauty. Upright plants can grow tall up to 6 feet.
Tighter and more rounded plants than Hybrid Teas the Floribunda roses produce clusters of blooms rather than held singly. Flowers come in a range of shapes and colors and are good choices for a bright show. Floribundas are generally easier to care for than Hybrid Teas.
These roses have traits of both Hybrid Tea and Floribunda roses producing flowers in clusters as well as singly. A good multipurpose rose for smaller gardens gives you plenty of color and enough blooms that are fit for cutting. Grandifloras are generally easier care than Hybrid Tea.
This class of roses grows more like vines than bushes. Stalks can range from 6 – 20 feet long!
Structures like fences or arbors are recommended to support these large growers. In general Climbing roses are very disease and insect resistant but do require more specialized pruning than other roses which makes them the second easiest to grow. Make sure to ask a professional or do some research on climbing rose pruning to ensure you get the most blooms possible out of these tough garden winners.
No doubt the most familiar rose to spot on a nice stroll through your neighborhood (think Knockout and Drift Roses). Shrub roses are generally very easy care having strong disease and insect resistance. Shrub roses grow tight and full and many don’t even require regular pruning. While these plants won’t give you the traditional dozen roses to cut for Valentine’s Day they will give you color up to 9 months out of the year while expecting very little from you and your limited time.
Whatever your tastes there are colors, shapes, sizes, and levels of ease to meet your lifestyle and hopefully knowing the different attributes of each category will inspire you to try new plants and find out what works best for you. I find the real problem is in deciding which ones I can do without in my garden.
*This article was written by Jonathan Burns (Tallahassee Nurseries Outdoor Manager, FNGLA Florida Certified Horticulture Professional)