Types of roses – Learn about the different roses available

Last updated on January 24th, 2022

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Types Of Roses

Rose plants are some of the most popular of all types of plants available and can be used in many different situations, from climbing up an old tree to forming a spectacular hedgerow or even as a focal point in the garden.

Most roses will flower for long periods of time usually from around June/July to around September/October. The main types of roses are as follows:

  • Hybrid Tea roses
  • Floribunda roses
  • Old English roses (Shrub roses)
  • Patio roses
  • Climbing roses
  • Rambling roses
  • Ground cover roses
  • Standard roses
  • Rosa rugosa

The different types of roses explained

Hybrid Tea Roses

Hybrid Tea roses are probably the most popular of all roses. They produce large flowers, usually on individual stems and there are hundreds of different varieties available in many vibrant colours. They usually grow between 80cm (30 inches) and 150cm (5ft) tall depending on the variety, regular deadheading will encourage a longer blooming period. We recommend they are cut back to 20-30cm in spring just before they begin to shoot. Hybrid tea roses are usually planted spaced and make excellent rose beds.

hybrid tea rose - different types of roses
Hybrid Tea Rose – ‘Crimson Glory’

Floribunda Roses

Floribunda roses are also known as cluster roses and they are available in many colours and varieties just like Hybrid tea roses. The main difference between Hybrid Tea and Floribunda roses is that they produce many flowers upon one stem, giving them the name ‘cluster rose’, rather than the single blooms of a HT rose. Some varieties, such as Stromboli, can also be used to form hedges and will create an interesting display thanks to the large masses of flowers they produce.

golden wedding rose type
Floribunda Rose – ‘Golden Wedding’

Old English Roses

These are a favourite for many gardeners and they produce the most fantastic flowers. From the two-tone cream and pink flowers of ‘Mundi’ to the dark scarlet flowers of ‘Tuscany Superb’. Most Old English varieties are very old breeds and have large flowers made up of lots of petals. They generally have lots of very small thorns and grow to around 150cm (5ft).

Old English Rose – ‘Gertrude Jekyll’

Patio Roses

Perfect for tubs and planters on the patio, these roses produce lots of very small flowers and usually only grow to around 60cm (2ft) tall. Less vigorous and more petite than larger varieties, prune in spring hard and remove spent flowers throughout summer to encourage more flowers.

baby masquerade PATIO ROSE
Patio Rose – ‘Baby Masquerade’

Climbing Roses/Rambling Roses

Climbing and rambling roses are both ideal for climbing up a wall, over a pergola and simply left to scramble up and over trees. The main difference between climbers and ramblers is that ramblers only flower once, usually around June to July whereas climbers can flower twice throughout the summer giving a longer flowering period. Although not the case with all varieties, ramblers tend to have smaller single flowers in clusters and climbers produce large flowers similar to that of Hybrid teas that look more like a proper rose flower. Ramblers can also be more vigorous.

albertine rambling rose
Rambling Rose ‘Albertine’

Groundcover Roses

If you have got some open ground to cover then these roses could be what you are looking for. They produce long spreading branches low down and produce the perfect cover. They produce masses of small single flowers throughout the summer.

Standard Roses

These roses are great for adding a focal point in the garden and are technically a rose on the top of a tall stem. These roses are formed by grafting the main rose (the variety you choose) to the top of a long rose stem that is used to support the main rose. These are usually available as half standards, which are around 3ft tall, and full standards that are around 5ft tall. These are available with types including hybrid teas and floribundas.

Rosa Rugosa

Rosa rugosa is mostly used to form hedgerows and can be left untended once fully established. They produce small, scented, pink or white flowers followed by red hips. The small flowers are usually made up of only 5-6 petals and the small green foliage is deciduous although in sheltered mild areas is sometimes evergreen.

Tips when growing roses

  • Roses are hungry plants, mix good quality compost into the soil when planting.
  • Water regularly until fully established.
  • Mulch every winter and spring with well rotted farm manure.
  • Spray in the spring with a fungicide to help prevent rust, black spot and mildew.
  • Plant in well-drained fertile soil, mix grit into the soil to improve drainage if necessary.
  • Deadhead spent flowers to encourage more blooms throughout the summer.
  • Space freely to allow air to circulate around individual plants, this helps prevent mildew.

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