3810 Whites Creek Pike, Nashville, TN 37207 (615) 876-1014

Archive date:  April 19, 2002

What are you looking for in a rose?

Some Basic Rose Types

When shopping for a rose there are many things to consider in addition to the spectacular beauty of the blossoms. Different types of roses vary in height, fragrance, disease resistance, and growth habit. The list below may help highlight roses best suited for your unique needs. Once you decide on a type or two, there is sure to be an abundance of colors and fragrances to choose from. All of the varieties mentioned below are re-bloomers.

Hybrid Teas are quite popular roses with large flowers on long, sturdy stems. Hybrid teas will re-bloom providing more than one season of color, and many are incredibly fragrant. These bushes are very upright in growth habit. ‘Olympiad’ is a fantastic bloomer with velvet red petals. If white roses are what you’re looking for ‘Garden Party’ is the best for the Nashville area. Sometimes the blossoms will have a tinge of pink to them, depending on the weather. Best of all, ‘Garden Party’ is disease resistant and can withstand our crazy weather.

Polyanthas are more low-growing shrubs with large clusters of small flowers. They will reach about 2 feet, are extremely hardy and bloom continuously. Shrub size and flower power are the strengths of this group. ‘The Fairy’ rose is a popular variety with pale pink rosettes of flowers that blanket the entire shrub. This rose is a spreader and may stretch twice as wide as it is tall.

Floribundas have clusters of flowers on slender stems. They are hardy, shrubby bushes that bloom continuously. Once they start they don’t stop until frost, quite impressive. Generally, floribundas will reach 3 to 5 feet in height and width. ‘Iceberg’ is an amazing, true-white flowering, floribunda. ‘Gene Boerner’ is a delicate pink with recurved petals. ‘Angel Face’ is a really cute deeper pink with a slight ruffle to the petals.

Grandifloras have clustered flowers like the floribundas but they are larger, and longer stemmed. Most importantly, grandifloras are tall, often over 6 feet. They produce masses of color and are excellent as background plants. ‘Queen Elizabeth’ is the most common and for good reason. She has beautiful pink blossoms on tall stems and blooms all at once, bursting into color; she will have several flushes throughout the season.

Shrub Roses are generally robust, spreading roses that bloom fairly constantly until frost. ‘Carefree Wonder’ is an adorable shrub rose with blush pink flowers. It makes an excellent hedge or background plant reaching 4 to 6 feet tall.

Rugosa Hybrids are some of the hardiest roses and are very easy to care for. This is a good thing because they are extremely thorny. In fact, they are so disease resistant that they should not be sprayed with all-purpose rose sprays. They don’t need it! ‘F.J. Grootendorst’ is an oldie but a goodie having been around since 1918 it is a proven performer. It has clusters of pinkish-red, double blossoms.

Climbing roses don’t climbing on their own, rather the tall canes, with support, can be trained to grow upright against a trellis. ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ is a lovely pink ever-bloomer and best of all it’s thornless! ‘New Dawn’ has beautiful light pink blossoms that fade to white in the heat of the summer.

Miniature Roses are exceptionally hardy, primarily because, unlike most modern roses, they are grown on their own rootstocks. ‘Carnival’ is a fun miniature rose with multi-colored blossoms in shades of pink and yellow