Gardening With Roses

Roses are probably the most widely grown and most loved plant in the world.  Easy to grow, hardy, with season-long profuse blooms, roses are suitable for most any garden.  However, with 150 species to choose from it can be difficult to decide which is right for you.  The following is a description of the different types of roses and the potential uses.

There are basically only a few categories of roses; shrub roses, bush roses, climbing roses & ramblers.  Shrub roses are generally about 4′ tall have an arching habit and can flower repeatedly throughout the season.  Often they are mixed in with a shrub border, though they’ll do well as an individual specimen as well.  Bush roses are shorter than 4′, are constant bloomers and are best when planted in formal arrangements.  Climbers are, for the most part, constant bloomers and bloom on both old and new growth.  Ramblers, more vigorous and shorter the climbers, bloom once during the season on old growth. 

Shrub Roses

Perfect for hedges, shrub roses offer a low maintenance, easily cultivated solution for the garden.  Fertilize and prune in the spring for best results.  They provide color into the fall as they produce bright red rose hips.

Bush Roses

RosesHybrid Teas are the large flowered roses.  A hardy rose with glossy green leaves & richly colored, fragrant flowers the hybrid tea blooms repeatedly throughout the season.  With the blooms coming from old wood as well as new shoots the hybrid tea rose is pruned hard in the spring.

Floribunda roses are more disease resistant as well as slightly more hardy than the hybrid tea.  Blooming in small clusters of 25 or more flowers, the floribunda rose provides the garden with continuous color.

Groundcover roses are low spreaders with blooms along their entire stem.  A repeat bloomer, the groundcover rose is suited low edging and along banks and walls where they’re allowed to cascade and spill over.  Planted in masses they can create a low maintenance carpet of blooms.

Miniature/Patio roses are the easiest to grow in containers.  Basically they are smaller version of the floribundas.  Growing in a compact, dense habit and providing color throughout the season these low maintenance roses are ideal for the patio planter and container, though they can be used in a variety of ways.  Needing very little other than light pruning and deadheading, miniature roses are versatile.  Use as low hedge, with the shrub border, in containers or as accents.  If grown indoors, be sure to place near the sunniest window. 


Growing upright, climbers are great for training along arbors or trellises.  They produce large, fragrant flowers which bloom off of old wood as well as new side shoots.  If trained along a garden structure, climbers can produce the effect of a mound of color for the entire season.  Blank, stark walls can benefit greatly with the use of climbing roses, creating a focal point.  The warm microclimate along wall also benefit the plant.  Train some of the upward shoots sideway as in roses most of the blooms occur on side shoots. 


Ramblers tend to be very aggressive growers with long stems reaching out from the base of the plant.  With many showy flowers on the old stems they bloom once each season.  Easily trained with flexible stems the rambling rose is perfect for growing in arbors or trellises.  

Next: Pruning Roses

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