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If you favor a slightly wilder look in your garden, look to the ancestors of roses you grow and enjoy for many of the same admirable qualities. Most species roses offer small blooms, and they usually appear only once a season, but the landscaping benefits make them worthwhile to include in borders and background plantings. Most species roses can tolerate extreme weather conditions and because of their colorful hips (fruit), they are good choices for attracting birds and other wildlife to the garden. The canes are often vigorous and arching. Stems may be highly colored but are almost always thorny, making large species good candidates for privacy hedging and deer-frequented areas.
Part Sun, Sun
From 3 to 20 feet
3-10 feet wide, depending on species
garden plans for Species Rose
top varieties for Species Rose
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 trained to bloom more heavily by leading their canes in a horizontal direction. Loose anchoring to a support will encourage young plants to climb.
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.
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.
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 arborShown here: Heritage English rose
A new breed of landscaping roses came about with the advent of shrub roses, which offer beautiful ways to fill in borders and cover bare earth. The low-growing groundcover roses are useful for mass planting in a border or under a tree, and to mix colorfully with perennials or shrubs, line a path, cover a slope, or to be planted in hanging baskets or window boxes for a bloom-spilling display.To reinvigorate groundcover roses each year, cut back the plants by two-thirds while they are still dormant in early spring.
Shrub roses take the best of the hardiest rose species, and combine those traits with modern repeat blooming and diverse flower forms, colors and fragrances. Some shrub roses may grow tall, with vigorous, far-reaching canes; others stay compact. Recent rose breeding has focused on developing hardier shrub roses for landscaping that need little to no maintenance.
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.
Hybrid teas traditionally produce the showiest blooms. In fact, most roses at florist shops are hybrid tea varieties. Today's rose breeding emphasizes fragrance as well as plant vigor. The form of a hybrid tea rose is tall and upright, with sparse foliage toward the base. The blooms develop singly on long stems, and the buds are often as elegant as the open blooms.Hybrid teas require careful pruning while still dormant in early spring to ensure good air circulation through the plant and development of vigorous, healthy canes. A sunny location with well-drained, fertile soil and rose food applied at least three times a season will guarantee abundant flowers to enjoy in a vase. Protect roses in climates colder than Zone 6 with heavy mulching around the base of the plant.
more varieties for Species Rose
(Rosa gallica 'Versicolor') boasts vibrant, carmine-pink blooms that are scented. The cupped, semidouble blooms appear in spring to early summer and are followed by orange-red hips at the end of the season. R. gallica plants are rounded and compact, growing 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Zones 3-9
Austrian briar rose
(Rosa foetida) bears skunky-scented, single radiant-yellow blooms that open to reveal very showy golden stamens. Red hips follow the flowers in fall. Canes on the open, upright plants arch. Blooming in spring or summer, the plants grow to 5 feet tall and wide. Zones 3-8
(Rosa eglanteria) bears single, dainty flowers in shades of light pink, which appear in late spring to early summer. The foliage bears a distinct apple-like fragrance, too. In fall, the plant produces red hips that draw overwintering birds. It grows 8 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-9
Father Hugo's rose
(Rosa hugonis) features reddish new stems, fern-like foliage, and cupped single, lightly fragrant pale yellow flowers that appear in late spring. This Western Asian species forms a dense shrub and grows 6 feet wide. It's also known as Rosa zanthia var. hugonis. Zones 5-9
(Rosa moyesii) is a charming species that deserves to be more widely grown. Its bright-red, single flowers provide a beautiful backdrop for the showy golden stamens. Large, orange-red hips follow. The Moyes rose produces large, vigorous canes that grow 12 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Zones 4-9
'Reine de Violettes' rose
Rosa 'Reine de Violettes' is also known as 'Queen of Violets'. This boldly fragrant, mauve rose is nearly thornless and grows best in fertile soil. Zones 6-9
(Rosa glauca) has blue green foliage and reddish new stems that are highly ornamental in a mixed border. The abundant, small red hips add spark of color to winter landscapes. Flowers appear on the arching canes in late spring or early summer. It grows 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Zones 2-8
White rugosa rose
(Rosa rugosa alba) offers large hips, prickly thorns, and wavy leaves. Its white flowers open from pink-tinged buds, are sweetly tea-rose scented, and appear through the season. It grows 8 feet tall and wide. Zones 2-9
Winged thorn rose
(Rosa sericea subsp. omeiensis f. pteracantha) is known for its showy red thorns. It bears white flowers in spring and grows 8 feet tall. Zones 6-9
Yellow Lady Banks rose
(Rosa banksiae 'Lutea') is a favorite of southern gardeners. It bears double yellow flowers in late spring and climbs to 20 feet. Zones 8-9