How to Grow and Care for Hybrid Tea Roses

closeup of a hybrid tea rose

The Spruce / Autumn Wood

Hybrid tea roses (Rosa x hybrida) are the product of a cross between hybrid perpetual roses and old-fashioned tea roses. They are set apart by their large, high buds and tall, straight stems. The hybrid tea rose's long, pointed buds open by slowly unfurling. Hybrid tea roses generally produce only one blossom at the end of each stem, rather than clusters of flowers, and they have an open habit. Virtually all hybrid tea roses are repeat bloomers throughout the growing season and offer some degree of fragrance. Hybrid tea roses grow quickly and reach their mature size of 3 to 8 feet tall within only three to four years, depending on the variety and the growing conditions. You can plant them year-round, ideally in fall or in early spring when they are still dormant.

Common Name Hybrid tea roses
Botanical Name Rosa x hybrida
Family Rosaceae
Plant Type Shrub
Mature Size 3-8 ft. tall, 2-3 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full
Soil Type Loamy, well-drained
Soil pH Acidic
Bloom Time Spring, summer, fall
Flower Color Pink, yellow, white, orange, red, green, purple
Hardiness Zones 5-9 (USDA)
Native Area Cultivar, no native range
hybrid tea roses
The Spruce / Autumn Wood
Orange hybrid tea roses
Mark Turner / Getty Images
hybrid tea roses nearing the end of their blooming cycle
The Spruce / Autumn Wood

Hybrid Tea Rose Care

As with many cultivated flowers, hybrid teas are bud grafted onto hardy, disease-resistant rootstock. Their care regimens are similar to standard roses, with a few more specific guidelines. They grow best in ample sunlight with acidic soil, and, typically, hybrid tea roses benefit from fertilization. Be sure to frequently water hybrid tea roses and provide a humid growing environment

Dig a hole for your hybrid tea rose and spread the roots over a mound created inside the hole. Fill the hole with amended soil, packing down the soil as you go to remove any air pockets. In northern climates the graft union (the slight bulge at the bottom of the stem) should be planted 1-2 inches deep in the soil. In southern parts of the plant's range, the graft union should remain just above the soil level. Space plants about 24-36 inches apart to allow air circulation.

You can propagate hybrid tea roses using cuttings or planting seeds. Prune and deadhead the flowers as they grow to promote full, bright bloom. Take care to properly overwinter your hybrid tea roses by ensuring adequate moisture and protection from frost. Hybrid tea roses can be affected by various pests and diseases but are overall an easygoing plant.


Hybrid tea roses bloom best in full sun but will tolerate light shade. Full sun exposure improves the hybrid tea rose's bloom and general disease resistance.


Hybrid tea roses prefer acidic soil (6.0 to 6.5 pH) rich in organic matter. You should mulch the hybrid tea rose to cool its roots and conserve water. Add a three- to four-inch layer of mulch in the spring and when removing winter protection. In warmer climates, mulch the hybrid tea rose when its leaf buds begin to swell.


1-2 inches of water per week is usually sufficient for a hybrid tea rose, but this varies by climate and growing conditions. Hot climates and sandy soil will need more frequent watering than cool coastal regions. It's best to water your hybrid tea rose when the top three inches of soil are dry. Water the soil, not the leaves, to prevent disease, and water deeply to encourage root growth. Strong, deep roots will help your hybrid tea roses survive periods of drought.

Temperature and Humidity

Like all roses, hybrid tea roses bloom best in humidity. The ideal temperature for a rose is 80.6° F. If your summers are particularly humid, look for a mildew-resistant variety. Where summers are dry, look for hybrid tea roses with heat tolerance and vigorous root systems.


Hybrid tea roses are heavy feeders and benefit from regular applications of fertilizer. Start early spring, a month before new growth or when you remove winter protection. Continue feeding your hybrid tea rose weekly or every other week, depending on the fertilizer used. Stop fertilizing about six weeks before your first expected frost date to prevent damage to tender new growth during weather changes.

Choose a balanced fertilizer or one labeled for roses. Iron is essential if the soil's pH is too high. Use an iron supplement in your fertilizer if the leaves turn yellow with green veins. An ideal fertilizer range for roses is 1: 0.8: 1.8, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) is thought to intensify flower color and encourage flowering canes. Adding more won't be effective if your soil is already high in magnesium. If the magnesium is ineffective, scratch in a quarter to a half cup per plant once or twice a year and water well.

Types of Hybrid Tea Roses

There is a wide variety of hybrid tea roses for the home gardener. The many cultivars vary in color, fragrance, and number of petals. Popular types of hybrid tea roses include:

  • Chrysler Imperial
  • Duet
  • Elina
  • Voodoo
  • Honor


Pruning hybrid tea roses is not unlike pruning other rose types. First, cut out dead, diseased, or damaged canes and scrawny, spindly canes of less than 1/2 inch diameter. If you regularly cut the blossoms, you will have less pruning. It's best to prune in early spring, before new growth.

You should prune remaining stronger canes by about a third of their length, down to 12 to 24 inches. Hard pruning encourages strong stems and large flowers and opens and shapes the plant so it can direct more energy into fewer flowers.

When cutting roses, leave a few leaves on the stem, making cuts about 1/4 inch above an outward-facing bud. Make the cuts at a 45-degree angle so that water runs off the cut ends.

Propagating Hybrid Tea Roses

Budding is the best way to propagate hybrid tea roses. Budding is done by grafting the buds of a parent plant onto the plant's rootstocks. You can propagate a hybrid tea rose by doing the following:

  1. Fill a peat pot with vermiculite and water
  2. Snip a cutting below the fourth set of leaves from a strong rose cane at a 45-degree angle
  3. Make a 2 inch deep hole in which to place the cutting
  4. Push the cutting deep into the vermiculite
  5. Place 8-inch-long twigs around the perimeter of the pot to hold plastic bag
  6. Insert the peat pot with the rose cutting into a plastic cup with holes poked at the bottom
  7. Cover with a plastic bag without making contact with the leaves
  8. Put the covered cutting into a shady spot and check daily
  9. Check for growth in four to six weeks

How to Grow Hybrid Tea Roses From Seeds

You can grow hybrid tea roses from seeds like any rose. This process begins with stratification, in which seeds are pre-treated to simulate conditions the seeds would experience throughout winter. After this is complete and the roses are placed in a warm, humid environment, the seeds will likely sprout in two to three weeks. Remember, not all of your seeds will take. Once the roses bloom, transfer them to a pot and feed them with fertilizer.


While hybrid tea roses do well over the winter, ample soil moisture and pruning are essential. You may spray the canes with sulfur for extra protection. Be especially aware of hardiness zone ratings if you live where winters are harsh and provide additional winter protection. Roses with thick petals are hardier in variable weather and last longer as cut flowers.


Click Play to Learn How to Handle Common Rose Problems

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Hybrid tea roses are very disease resistant. Still, like all roses, they are susceptible to some conditions, like botrytis blight, black spot disease, and crown gall. Hybrid tea roses can attract pests like spider mites and Japanese beetles.

How to Get Hybrid Tea Roses to Bloom

Hybrid tea roses can bloom as often as monthly, but remember, various environmental factors can affect the frequency of blooming. The best way to ensure blooming in hybrid tea roses is exposure to five hours of sunlight daily. Consistent fertilization is also essential to a successful bloom. You should remove faded flowers and deadhead throughout the season to promote growth. Remember, the root bulb is very sensitive to cold weather, so pay extra attention to the rose's rootstock.

Common Problems With Hybrid Tea Roses

The most common problems with hybrid tea roses are related to fungus. Various forms of fungus, such as powdery mildew, can cause discoloration and holes in the leaves of your roses. While hybrid tea roses are generally disease resistant, problems may arise while caring for your plant.

Curling Leaves

Curling leaves on hybrid tea roses are caused by a viral infection, leading to a downward leaf curl. The only way to treat the leaf-curling virus spread is to destroy the affected roses.

Leaves Turning Yellow

Generally, hybrid tea roses are most susceptible to problems related to black spot disease, which can turn leaves yellow.

Plant Leaves Falling Off

In addition to causing yellowing, black spot disease can cause hybrid tea rose leaves to fall off. This can also be caused by fungus and mildew.

  • How long do hybrid tea roses live?

    Hybrid tea roses belong to the early modern class of roses, meaning they typically live six to 10 years. If you take excellent care of your rose, it can likely live longer.

  • What plants are similar to hybrid tea roses?

    Grandiflora roses (a cross between hybrid tea and floribunda roses) are similar to hybrid tea roses but grow more upright and may have clustered blooms. Floribunda roses also share similarities to the hybrid tea rose but possess more disease resistance and are slightly easier to grow.

  • Can hybrid tea roses grow indoors?

    All rose varieties can grow indoors as long as you simulate outdoor conditions closely.

Article Sources
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  1. Summer Care of Hybrid Tea Roses. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach