Types and Varieties of Roses That Will Make Your Garden Beautiful

Types and Varieties of Roses

These flowers are popular, timeless, and delicately beautiful. In the genus Rosa there are over 300 species and thousands of varieties of this classic flower.

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Due to the vast number of rose species and varieties, it has been necessary to organize them into categories. There are three main categories of roses. These categories are:

Modern Roses

This category of roses was introduced to the gardening world in the late nineteenth century. Their blooms are larger than the other categories of roses and they bloom more than once a year. One of their downsides is that they do not have the robust fragrance that is experienced when smelling roses from the other categories. The other downside of this category is that they are more prone to disease than the other categories.

Old Garden Roses

This category is very hardy and disease-resistant. They also produce a very strong fragrance. Their one downside is that it produces double-flower blooms only once each growing season.

Wild Roses

This category of roses has not been cross-bred or hybridized with other varieties. The roses in this category are almost exclusively pink and they produce only one bloom with five petals.

Popular Types & Varieties

Within these three main categories of roses, different varieties of roses have been categorized and labeled to help with the process of organization and identification. These varieties are:

Alba Roses

This variety dates back to 100 A.D. They produce blooms that are white or pale pink in late spring or early summer. They are extremely hardy, resistant to diseases, and unfussy. An example of a rose from this variety is the Semi-plena rose.

Types and Varieties of Roses

Bourbon Roses

This variety is a hybrid of Damask and China roses. They produce full blooms in various shades of red, pink, and white. They have a strong fragrance and few thorns. An example of a rose from this variety is the Souvenir de la Malmaison rose.

Centifolia Roses

This variety produces blooms that resemble the head of cabbage. Their blooms are fragrant and come in shades of white or pink. An example of a rose from this variety is the Bullata rose.

China Roses

This variety is used to produce many of today’s popular hybrid roses. They produce fragrant and compact blooms in many different colors between summer and late fall. An example of a rose from this variety is the Louis Philippe rose.

Climbing Roses

This is not a variety of roses but is rather a description of roses within a variety that have stiff canes that can be trained to grow around supports. Climbing roses can grow up to fifteen feet tall, have large flowers, and usually bloom several times a season. An example of a rose from this variety is the Tangerine Skies Arbrose rose.

Damask Roses

This variety includes roses that date back to Biblical times. They include Summer Damask and Autumn Damask. Summer Damask produces one bloom in the summer, while the Autumn Damask produces a bloom in both summer and autumn. The blooms are so fragrant that they are used in the perfume industry. An example of a rose from this variety is the Duc de Cambridge rose.

English/David Austin Roses

This is not an official variety of roses. It is rather a group of roses that were bred by David Austin to produce roses with a tight rosette and strong fragrance. The goal was to produce roses that have the best features of both Old and Modern Roses, and while this was a success, the downside is that these roses are susceptible to disease and not very hardy. An example of a rose from this variety is the Abraham Darby rose.

Floribunda Roses

Floribunda Roses

This variety is a hybrid of Polyantha and Hybrid Tea roses. They have stocky shrubbery and come in a wide variety of colors including orange, yellow, white, pink, and purple. An example of a rose from this variety is the Anne Harkness rose.

Gallica Roses

This variety produces one bloom in the summer that may be colored in pink, red, and purple. They can even produce blooms that are striped. An example of a rose from this variety is the Rosa Mundi rose.

Grandiflora Roses

This variety is filled with roses that are hybrids of Floribunda and Hybrid Tea. These roses follow the growth cycle of Floribunda roses but have the blooms of Hybrid Tea roses. They have large, upright shrubbery and produce large blooms on long stems. An example of a rose from this variety is Queen Elizabeth rose.

Groundcover Roses

This is a variety of rose that is easy to care for, hard, disease and pest-resistant, compact, and beautiful. An example of a rose from this variety is the Avon rose.

Hybrid Musk Roses

Hybrid Musk Roses

This variety is typically categorized as an Old Garden Rose even though it isn’t officially recognized as such. They produce single flowers that smell like musk. An example of a rose from this variety is the Buff Beauty rose.

Hybrid Perpetual Roses

This variety produces large blooms multiple times in a season. Their blooms can be shades of white, red, purple, or pink. An example of a rose from this variety is the Reine des Violettes rose.

Hybrid Rugosa Roses

This variety hails from East Asia and is unofficially considered part of the Old Garden Roses category. They produce small blossoms with a nice fragrance. An example of a rose from this variety is the Polaris rose.

Hybrid Tea Roses

This variety is a popular Modern Rose used for cut flower bouquets. It produces a large pointed bloom on a long upright stem and comes in a wide range of colors. An example of a rose from this variety is the Charles de Gaulle rose.

Miniature Roses

This variety includes Hybrid Tea roses in miniature versions. They are small and only grow up to 18 inches tall which makes them an ideal houseplant. They come in a wide range of colors and bloom up to three weeks at a time. An example of a rose from this variety is the Sugar Baby rose.

Moss Roses

This variety produces extremely fragrant blooms that are vibrantly colored. They grow as shrubs and are very hardy plants. An example of a rose from this variety is the Crested Moss rose.

Noisette Roses

This variety is a decedent of China roses. They produce clusters of fragrant blossoms in a variety of colors. An example of a rose from this variety is the Madame Alfred Carrier rose.

Polyantha Roses

This variety produces many small blooms between spring and fall. They come in shades of red, pink, and white. They are hardy, resistant to disease, and perfectly sized to grow in a plant container. An example of a rose from this variety is the Cecile Brunner rose.

Portland Roses

This variety is named after the Duchess of Portland. They produce strongly fragranced blossoms in clusters around a small stem. An example of a rose from this variety is the Comte de Chambord rose.

Rambling Roses

This variety can be trained to grow up structures or allowed to grow unimpeded as a groundcover. They produce clusters of small or medium-sized blooms on long and flexible canes. An example of a rose from this variety is the American Pillar rose.

Shrub Roses

This variety includes an assortment of roses that are typically hybrids of Old Garden and Modern roses but don’t fit alongside any other variety. Because they are hybrids, they don’t have features that can be categorized. They can produce single blooms, double-blooms, and anything in between. An example of a rose from this variety is the Molineux rose.

Species Roses

This variety consists of wild roses that have not been hybridized. They produce five-petal flowers in the summer. These very hardy plants have grown wild in the Northern Hemisphere for millennia. An example of a rose from this variety is the Rosa Rubiginosa rose.

Tea Roses

This variety hails from China and is one of the parent plants of the Hybrid Tea rose variety. They produce blooms that smell like black tea and come in shades of pink, yellow, or apricot. An example of a rose from this variety is the Catherine Mermet rose.

How to Grow Roses from Seed

This is a time-consuming process, but it is well worth the effort. The steps for doing this are:

  1. Purchase seeds from a reputable seller.
  2. Put seed starter soil in a seed starter tray.
  3. Plant the seeds ¼ inch deep in seed starter soil.
  4. Label the seeds to keep the types of roses planted organized.
  5. Water the soil so that it is moist but not soggy.
  6. Set a plastic bag or clear lid over the tray.
  7. Put the tray in the refrigerator for 10 to 12 weeks.
  8. Remove the tray and place it in an area that is at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Sprouts should appear within 3 weeks.
  10. Transplant the sprouts to larger plant containers (do not touch the roots).
  11. Give the transplanted sprouts a half-strength dose of rose fertilizer.
  12. Give the transplanted sprouts a fungicide.
  13. Keep the growing plants in an area that receives plenty of indirect sunlight and air circulation.
  14. Water them carefully so that they are not overwatered (use a plant watering app).

How to Propagate Roses

Not only can roses be grown from seed, but they can also be propagated from cuttings. This process should be done in September when the weather begins to cool. Here’s how this works:

  1. Choose a rose bush that has flowered and can be deadheaded.
  2. Fill a jar with water.
  3. Use a pair of sterile pruners to cut a 6 to 8-inch stem (measuring from the base of the bloom).
  4. Set the cutting in the jar of water.
  5. Prepare a garden bed that has tilled soil, good drainage, and access to full morning sunlight.
  6. Remove the bottom leaves from the cutting.
  7. Use a sterile cutting utensil to cut one or two slits in the lower portion of the cutting.
  8. Dip the bottom of the cutting in a rooting hormone powder.
  9. Use a stick or a pencil to make a hole in the garden bed soil that will cover 50% of the length of the cutting.
  10. Place one cutting in the prepared garden bed.
  11. Pat the soil around the cutting to make sure it is securely planted.
  12. Label the cutting.
  13. Put a glass jar over the cutting to keep in moisture.
  14. Water the soil every other day but make sure there is no standing water around the planting site.

When to Plant Roses

Ideally, roses should be planted in early spring after the threat of frost has passed. At the very least they should be planted six weeks before the threat of frost begins during cooler months.

How to Plant Roses

When planting roses, it is important to make the garden bed plot wide and deep enough for the rose’s roots to fit without being cramped. Also, the soil that the roses are planted in should be well-draining and include ingredients such as compost and peat moss.

The steps for planting a rose bush are:

  1. Prepare the garden bed plot.
  2. Set the plant in the plot so that its crown is at ground level in mild climates, but in cold climates, set the plant in the plot so that its crown is 2 to 3 inches below ground level.
  3. Partially fill the hole with soil.
  4. Add a fertilizer that is slow-releasing.
  5. Water the plant.
  6. Finish filling the hole with soil.
  7. Water the plant a second time.
  8. Set loose soil around its canes.

Note: Roses should not be planted close to other plants. They require at least three feet of space between them and other plants and at least two feet of space between them and other roses. While they do need plenty of space to grow well, they should be protected from strong winds.

Best Rose Fertilizer

Types and Varieties of Roses: fertilizer

Roses should be fertilized at the beginning of spring. They can be fertilized throughout the summer and fall seasons as well but should be allowed to rest during winter. Bioadvaced All-in-One Rose & Flower Care is an excellent choice for feeding roses.

Rose Soil Requirements

Roses require soil that drains well and is loamy. Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for Roses is designed to hold in moisture without letting the soil become soggy.

Rose Light Requirements

Types and Varieties of Roses: red

Roses require at least four hours of direct sunlight a day.

Rose Water Requirements

Roses should be watered once a week with 4 to 5 gallons of water.

Best Rose Companion Plantings

When looking for a companion planting for a rose, look for the following:

A Companion Planting that Helps Roses

Choose a plant that can assist a rose by providing it with shade, mulch, or coverage of unsightly areas. Lavender is an ideal option for this role.

A Companion Planting that Grows in the Same Environment

Choose a plant that thrives in the same type of weather, sunlight, and soil conditions as a rose. Heliotropium is an excellent choice for a companion plant since it lives in the same conditions as roses.

A Companion Planting that Keeps Away Pests

Choose a plant that protects roses from pests that like to munch on them. Garlic, onions, and aromatic herbs are all excellent choices since they repel common pests.

Rose Treatments and Maintenance

Pests and diseases plague every type of plant and roses are no different, however, some roses are more resistant to diseases and pests than others. Each type will face its own unique challenges, but these are the most common problems faced by roses along with the best method for treating the problem.

  • Black Spot
  • Botrytis Blight
  • Crown Gall
  • Powdery Mildew
  • Rose Mosaic
  • Rose Rosette Disease
  • Rose Rust
  • Stem Canker

To grow healthy roses, follow these tips:

  • Avoid watering the leaves of the plant
  • Plant varieties that are resistant to the diseases that are common to roses
  • Remove and destroy any infected leaves or canes
  • Remove and destroy plants that cannot be salvaged to prevent the disease from spreading to other plants
  • Remove old leaves and mulch from the plant each autumn
  • Transplant and Prune the plant properly to avoid injury
  • When necessary, use a fungicide spray

Where to Purchase Roses Online

Roses are available for purchase all over the internet, but these online shops have a wonderful selection:

In Conclusion

Roses are more than just a Valentine’s Day staple, they are a masterpiece in nature. These beautiful plants appear and feel delicate and fragile, and yet, they are some of the toughest and longest-lasting plants around. Maybe the next time you decide to gift someone a rose, you’ll skip a bouquet and go for a whole plant.


Question: Are Roses Toxic?

Answer: No, these are not toxic plants.

Question: Which USDA Hardiness Zones Can Roses be Planted In?

Answer: This will vary depending on the type of rose. Roses should be kept in a climate that gets cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

Question: Are Roses Edible?

Answer: Yes, these flowers and their fruit can actually be put into jams and jellies, teas, and cocktails.  Roses are a favorite ingredient in many popular Indian dishes.

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