Roses are divided into classes by their growth habits and flowering characteristics. Understanding the different types and classifications helps you to select the best ones for your growing conditions and to prune and care for them after they are planted.
Hybrid teas are the most widely grown roses. They are ever-blooming and are grown for their showy flowers. Plants grow from 2 to 6 feet high depending on the cultural conditions and pruning techniques. Flowers may be single or double, and the buds are long and pointed with single flowers or clusters of three to five flowers.They are grown as ornamental shrubs, and many are used for cut flowers either from the garden or greenhouse. They are not completely hardy and generally need some winter protection in most areas of Utah and need heavy protection in the colder locations.
Floribunda roses have flowers similar in size, shape and color to the hybrid teas. The flowers are born in clusters with short stems. Floribunda roses are hardy, disease-resistant and low growing. They are useful in beds or other areas where large numbers of flowers are desired.
Grandiflora roses are intermediate between hybrid tea and floribunda roses. Flowers are born singly on longer stems, but the flowers are smaller and more prolific. Their growth habit resembles floribunda plants, but the bushes are larger than hybrid teas.
Miniature roses are tiny versions of other types. Miniatures generally grow less than 2 feet high and are often used for edges or borders. They are also becoming increasingly popular as specimen plants or as indoor houseplants.
Old roses and heritage roses are varieties that were available before the 20th century. Old roses also include the wild and shrub roses. In the Intermountain area, this includes Nootka Rose (Rosa woodsii), as well as Austrian Copper (Rosa fotida), Father Hugo (Rosa hugonis) and many others. These are usually hardy, drought tolerant and pest resistant.
Climbing and rambler roses are tall plants with long, arching canes. Roses don't actually climb and must be attached to supports such as trellises, arbors or fences.
Climbing roses have many different colors and types of blooms available. Large-flowered climbers have stiff, thick canes 10 feet or more long and bloom several times during the summer and fall. Ramblers have long, thin canes with small clusters of flowers that bloom in the early sum-mer.
Tree roses are a classification based on growth form rather than flower type. They are created by grafting a bush type rose onto an upright trunk. They make an excellent accent in formal gardens or as specimen plants. Tree roses are not cold-hardy and need special winter protection to survive in Utah.
Select garden roses according to the size, shape, color and bloom period desired. As with other plants, roses need to be planted where they have good growing conditions. They bloom profusely and produce many attractive blooms if grown in suitable areas but will be unattractive and short lived if planted in the wrong site.