Although many people think of one particular variety when they think of roses, the plant is actually incredibly diverse. There are heirloom roses, climbing roses, groundcover roses, English tea roses, and more. And while caring for some roses can be labor-intensive, others are much more forgiving of a gardener's time and effort. To help you sort through the differences, the Rose section of the Better Homes and Gardens Plant Encyclopedia includes many types of roses, sortable by both scientific and common name and distinguished by USDA Hardiness Zone. The Plant Encyclopedia also contains common growing conditions and limitations such as moisture, sun, and shade. You'll also find rose-care tips such as ideal pruning and garden locations, growing habits and rose types, as well as ideas for using roses in the landscape. View a list of roses by common name or scientific name below.
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garden plans for roses
Although your garden visitors may not believe you, this horticultural kaleidoscope is only one rosebush -- even though it blooms in three colors and varying shades thereof all at once. New foliage and bud sheaths are a coppery-bronze, and the established foliage is clean green and shiny to boot. And adaptability? The butterfly rose is disease-resistant, shrugs off humidity, and grows taller the more shelter it is given. This arching shrub is at its best covering a wall or tall fence, with its splayed, wrinkled petals flitting in a soft breeze. Spiffy, huh? That said, one proviso -- this is most certainly not the hardiest rose in the galazy. Mutabilis is almost exclusively a southern or western beauty.
Here's how the petal coloring works: At first a vivid orange, the buds open to a honey yellow, then the next day, after pollination, they become pale pink, deepening in the following day or two to nearly crimson.
The acrobats of the rose world, climbing varieties develop long canes well adapted to training on pillars, fences, arbors, and gazebos. Most climbing roses are mutations or variations of bush-type varieties. They develop either large, single flowers or clustered blooms on a stem. Climbers may bloom once a season or continually, depending on the variety. Climbers can be treated to bloom more heavily by leading their canes in a horizontal direction. Loose anchoring to a support will encourage young plants to climb.
One of the biggest challenges for late 20th-century rose breeders was restoring fragrance while improving vigor of new rose introductions. English-style roses provide a lush, romantic solution. The flowers are densely filled with petals, much like antique roses, and most possess a strong fragrance that harkens back to old-fashioned tea roses. Yet their growth habits, health, and, most of all, their tendency to repeat bloom, are an improvement on their ancestors.
English roses are a good choice for cutting gardens. Their full, intensely perfumed flowers make sumptuous bouquets. Some varieties climb if left unpruned and can be trained along a fence or arbor
Shown here: Heritage English rose
Floribunda roses offer a bouquet on every branch. The small flowers look like elegant hybrid tea blooms but appear in clusters instead of one flower per stem. Floribundas are a cross between polyantha species roses and hybrid teas, combining hardiness, free flowering, and showy, usually fragrant blooms. Sizes of these hardy roses vary from compact and low-growing to a more open habit and heights of 5-6 feet, ideal for tall hedges. The foliage on floribunda roses tends to shrug off diseases, making for a low-maintenance plant that delivers maximum impact with its continuous bloom cycles. Most floribundas require very little spring pruning -- just removal of dead or damaged wood.
Grandiflora roses blend the best traits of hybrid teas and floribundas. They produce the same elegantly shaped blooms as hybrid teas, but in long-stemmed clusters that continually repeat, like floribundas. The plants tend to be tall (up to 7 feet), hardy, and disease-resistant. Because of their size, grandifloras are suited to hedging and flower-border backgrounds. This rose category was created to accommodate the unique 'Queen Elizabeth' rose introduced in 1955.
Groundcover roses are one of the newest trends in roses. These low-growing, sprawling shrubs are actually not a class of their own like many other rose types. Generally, what people consider groundcover roses are just low-growing shrub roses. But no matter what they are, these plants are great at filling space with nonstop blooms. These roses also tend to be extremely disease resistant and low-maintenance.
Hybrid tea roses are the standard for cut flower roses. With their iconic bud shape and petaled blooms, hybrid tea roses are well worth the effort of growing them. Although hybrid tea roses are some of the more finicky roses on the market, they can be truly rewarding. These are roses that have beautiful form, delightful fragrance, and wonderful color options.
Gardeners limited in space can enjoy all the fun of rose growing by cultivating miniature roses in containers. They also adapt well to flowerbed edging, front-of-the-border socializing with perennials and annuals, and low hedges.
Miniature roses first came into being in the early 1930s as an accidental result of rose hybridizing. Since then, master miniaturists have created many jewel-like varieties featuring perfectly shaped tiny blooms on clean, healthy plants that generally stay under 2 feet.
Miniature roses respond to all the care basics of regular-size roses -- deep irrigation, sunshine. and regular fertilizing -- but they do need extra winter protection in colder climates. To ensure the plant doesn't die back to the roots, in Zone 5 and below, bury the rose plant in a mound of soil.
The classic rose has long been loved for its aroma and looks. However, they also come with a high-maintenance regime. Enter the shrub rose. One of the easiest classes of roses to grow, shrub roses combine all of the best characteristics into a beautiful, low-maintenance plant.