We often think of roses as finicky flowers grown only for floristry—and this picture couldn't be further from the truth. The best roses for cutting come from beautiful plants that often serve as versatile workhorses in the garden. The Rosa genus includes a diverse set of ornamentals. So, what's the best rose for your gardening needs?
Shakespeare may have waxed poetic about the beauty of a rose, but the Bard missed out on the beautiful, easy-to-grow roses of today. Most ornamental roses grown in the United States are the result of a centuries-long marriage of science and art, led by botanists and breeders to create exceptional hybrids. Hybrid tea roses, Floribundas, and Grandifloras are among our favorite roses for arranging.
Hybrid Tea Roses, the originals of the modern garden, are predecessors to Floribundas, Grandifloras, and many other beloved varieties. Hybrid teas revolutionized the rose world in the 20th century with hardy, fast-growing traits and incredible vigor. Today, hybrid teas are popular with a second, and even third or fourth generation of gardeners, thanks to their timeless silhouettes and stunning colors. With tightly-wrapped petals, long bloom times, and exceptional colorfastness, these flowers are the classic long stems.
Floribunda Roses are rounded and full, great for providing season-long color on an attractive landscape plant. These roses were created out of a cross of polyantha roses, a heavily-blooming subset of flowers first bred in the 19th century, and classic hybrid teas. You won't find many polylanthas these days, as Floribundas have quickly become the more popular, more beautiful variety. Floribundas combine amazing color and delightful fragrance with a huge floral yield. Great for cutting and great for beginners.
Grandiflora Roses were hybridized from a cross of hybrid teas and floribundas, making them the newest of the big rose groups. These queenly roses are generally larger-blooming and taller than Floribundas, and take on full forms with layers of fragrant petals. Grandifloras make excellent hedges, too. Grandiflora roses add a splash of color (in a wide variety of hues) to the garden along with their lovely scent. Because of their tall and fairly sparse growth habit, grandiflora roses fit in well among other perennials and shrubs.
Roses aren't just beautiful—they're also versatile. From climbing to rambling roses, as well as shrub and landscape roses, this group offers much more than classic bushes. Go low with groundcover roses, or reach higher with climbing varieties and grafted tree roses.
Roses are among the most rewarding garden plants to grow—most have, at minimum, beautiful and vigorous blooms, but many feature excellent reblooming properties, colorfast petals, and easy growth. To grow great roses, start with excellent planting. Let's go through a few general tips for planting roses—and keep in mind that planting needs vary by variety and climate.
You can begin feeding your roses when new growth is about six inches in length. For best results, spread the fertilizer around the plant in a circle, about six inches away from the base of the plant. In addition to chemical fertilizer, roses often benefit from plant food, such as alfalfa meal or a specifically-formulated nutrition blend for roses.
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