Rose Classification Basics with Mike Darcy

March 16, 2024

Every Spring, Wilco brings in a great variety of potted roses. Many of these plants will be in bud or bloom and can provide instant color in the garden. Roses thrive in the Northwest climate and it is even well known that Portland is often referred to as the City of Roses for a good reason.

Rose Classification Blog

Before planting your roses, give some thought to the site location where they will be planted and the type of rose you will be planting. Roses like sunlight and their location should be such that it receives at least six hours of sunlight a day. Check the site to be sure that it will not be shaded by overhanging trees or buildings. Roses also like good air circulation and providing this can also offer some resistance to diseases. Remember that your roses are going to grow and they will need adequate space both for height and width.

Roses are classified into different groups depending on their type of bloom, size of bush and blooming period. Wilco is offering classifications that include hybrid tea, grandiflora, floribunda and climber. These all have some unique characteristics and the following is some basic information.

Hybrid Tea Rose Classification

Hybrid Tea is the traditional long stem cutting rose that often has one bloom on a single stem. In a typical garden, stems will often have more than one flower bud and if a single stem flower is desired, the other flower buds can be removed, Most gardeners will leave the side buds with the end result of having more flowers. Many hybrid tea roses have well known names that would be familiar to many gardeners. These include names like Peace (yellow petals, edged with pink), Oregold (deep yellow), Barbra Streisand (shades of lavender), Chrysler Imperial (dark red), Memorial Day (orchid-pink), Full Sail (white), and Gemini (coral pink).

Grandiflora Rose Classification

Grandiflora is a rose that is similar to a hybrid tea but usually is more likely to have sprays of flowers on a stem instead of a single one. Grandifloras usually grow taller than a hybrid tea, often reaching 6 feet or more. Some examples of a grandiflora are About Face (bi-color petals that are golden orange on the inside and darker bronze on outside), Coretta Scott King (creamy white blushing coral-orange), and Anna’s Promise (bi-color golden tan and pink blush).

Floribunda Rose Classification

Floribunda refers to a class of roses that generally have flowers in clusters and the flowers tend to be smaller than a hybrid tea or floribunda. The word itself, floribunda, comes from the Latin meaning “many-flowering”. Floribundas generally are smaller growing plants, usually 3-4 feet in height. These are often planted in a mass planting for a spectacular showing of bloom. Some examples are Betty Boop (yellow ivory edged red), Easy Does It (mango, peach and apricot blend), Easy to Please (fuchsia pink with lighter reverse), Julia Child (butter gold, awarded Portland’s Best Rose in 2008), and Ketchup & Mustard (ketchup red/mustard yellow bicolor).

Climbing Rose Classification

Climbing roses are not actually vines that will cling but are roses with very long canes, often up to 15 feet. These roses need some support such as a wall or trellis for their long canes. Since the canes do not actually cling or twine around a structure, they need some physical support for them to adhere to the wall or trellis. When in bloom, they can create a spectacular display but be aware that they also require maintenance to keep them within bounds. Golden Showers (bright yellow) and Joseph’s Coat (multi color of red, pink, orange & yellow) are two examples of climbers.

Wilco will have over 75 named rose varieties for this event. All of the roses that I have mentioned are included in their selection but not all varieties will be in all stores. If you are looking for a particular rose, check with your individual store.

Photos courtesy Rich Baer

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