15 Varieties of Roses to Consider for Your Garden

Rose bush

 

Imagesbybarbara / Getty Images

In the world of gardening, roses are by far the most popular of flowering shrubs. The Rosa genus includes more than 300 species of woody flowering perennials, encompassing several thousand varieties cultivated over centuries. While there are native roses found in nearly every continent, most varieties grown in landscapes are multi-generational hybrid cultivars for which the original species ancestors have long since been forgotten. When you buy a modern rose variety, it is almost always sold by a unique cultivar name rather than by a species name.

The characteristics of a particular rose variety can only be fully understood by considering the rose class in which it falls. There are many ways to classify roses, but the most common is the system now used by the American Rose Society, which uses the following categories:

  • Hybrid tea roses: This is the most popular class of roses, which feature large ornate blooms with 30 to 50 petals, budding off of long stems. There are many thousands of hybrid tea roses that have been bred, with new introductions constantly replacing outdated varieties.
  • Grandiflora roses: This class can be regarded as a subgroup of hybrid tea roses. This type of rose is often very tall, with blooms that appear in clusters rather than individually on the stems.
  • Floribunda roses: Next to hybrid teas and grandifloras, this is the next most popular class. Like grandifloras, a floribunda rose bears its flowers in large clusters; but this type blooms continuously, whereas hybrid teas and grandifloras tend to bloom in six- to seven-week cycles. Foribundas tend to be much easier to care for than hybrid tea and grandiflora roses.
  • Polyantha roses: This category is similar to floribunda, but the plants are shorter and the blooms smaller. Polyanthas are often used for edgings and hedges.
  • Miniature rose and miniflora roses: A "miniature" rose is essentially a shorter, more compact form of hybrid tea or grandiflora rose with flowers that are equally compact, usually growing to no more than 15 to 30 inches. A "miniflora" rose has flowers of intermediate size, smaller than a floribunda but larger than a miniature.
  • Shrub roses: Roses in the category are easily recognized by their sprawling growth habit. They can grow from 5 to 15 feet in all directions. They are notable for their cold hardiness and vigorous production of flower clusters. There are several subcategories within this group; an important one is the David Austin English Rose category, which includes varieties that resemble old garden roses, with recurrent blooming and pleasant fragrance.
  • Climber/ rambler roses: This last category includes roses from any class that are characterized by long, arching canes that can be trained onto fences, trellises, arbors an and pergolas. They are not really a class unto themselves. Thus, you may see a grandiflora rose described as a climber. Climber or ramblers are not clinging, twining plants; they must be tied to their vertical supports in order to grow upward. Many climbers and ramblers are quite cold hardy when compared to hybrid roses.

When considering a rose, always make sure you understand what classification it falls in, as this will provide important information on its growth habit and characteristics. There are many characteristics to consider when choosing the perfect rose for your landscape or garden. There is color, of course, but also fragrance, plant form, hardiness zone, and various growing characteristics, such as disease-resistance.

Hardiness Zones for Roses

It's understood that most roses grow quite well in warm climates, zones 7 to 10 or 11, and when you shop for roses, you may find that a rose lists only a single hardiness zone. A rose rated for zone 5, for example, is understood to be suitable from zone 5 all the way down to zones 10 or 11. Where a rose has heat limitations, however, it will usually carry a full zone range, such as "zones 5 to 8." If you don't see a range of zones, you can assume that the rose is suitable all the way to the southern end of the U.S.D.A. zone map.

  • 01 of 15

    'About Face' (Rosa Grandiflora 'About Face')

    Orange roses

    Nina Karaush / Getty Images

    This orange grandiflora rose has bicolored petals with long stems and rich green leaves. This rose's lighter color of deep golden yellow is carried on the inside of the petals, with a darker bronzy orange-red backside. This is a good disease-resistant rose with a fragrance that is said to smell like fresh apples. Blooms can be as much as 5 inches across; the plant has a good rebloom pattern.

    • Native Area: NA; this is hybrid plant
    • USDA Growing Zones: 6 to 11
    • Height: 5 to 6 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 02 of 15

    'Bonica' (Rosa 'Bonica)

    Light pink roses
    Hans / Pixabay / CC By 0

    'Bonica' is a shrub rose that bears light-pink flowers on a plant with the typical bushy growth habit. It flowers repeatedly from spring to fall, with fragrant blooms that are 2 to 3 inches across. This is very dependable plant in cooler climates.

    • Native Area: NA; this is hybrid plant
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 11
    • Height: 3 to 5 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 03 of 15

    'Cherry Parfait' (Rosa floribunda 'Cherry Parfait')

    Cherry parfait rose

    Isthmene Yoshizawa / Flickr / CC By 2.0

    'Cherry Parfait' is a floribunda rose that has a two-tone petal color scheme with white petals edged with red (red is the dominant color from a distance). It has dark green leaves. This rose has a relatively bushy habit. The looms are 2 to 3 inches across.

    • Native Area: NA; this is a hybrid plant
    • USDA Growing Zones: 6 to 11
    • Height: 3 to 4 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 04 of 15

    'Teasing Georgia' (Rosa 'Teasing Georgia')

    Teasing Georgia rose

    T.Kiya / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 

    'Teasing Georgia' is a David Austin shrub rose, advertised as yellow but which may end up looking more apricot in color. It is a repeat bloomer with small clusters of large, cupped flowers, 4 to 5 inches across. It has good resistance to disease and a strong fragrance.

    • Native Area: NA; this is a hybrid plant
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 11
    • Height: 4 to 5 feet; may grow taller in warm climates
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
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  • 05 of 15

    'Easy Does It' (Rosa floribunda 'Easy Does It')

    Easy does it rose

     

    Maria Mosolova / Getty Images

    This medium-sized floribunda rose has large 4- to 5-inch blooms that blend orange, pink, and apricot hues. The flowers are double, ruffled petals, and they have a mildly fruity aroma. This plant has a bushy growth habit and is fairly disease-resistant.

    • Native Area: NA; this is a hybrid plant
    • USDA Growing Zones: 6 to 11
    • Height: 3 to 5 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 06 of 15

    'Falstaff' (Rosa 'Falstaff')

    Falstaff rose


    Helmut Meyer zur Capellen / Getty Images

    'Falstaff' is a David Austin English shrub rose featuring large 4- to 5-inch dark crimson-red flowers that bloom continually. It is regarded as one of David Austin's best offerings. It has the typical strong fragrance of an English shrub rose, and a good rebloom cycle.

    • Native Area: NA; this is a hybrid plant
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 11
    • Height:
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 07 of 15

    'Tahitian Sunset' (Rosa Hybrid Tea 'Tahitian Sunset')

    Tahitian Sunset rose


    Maria Mosolova / Getty Images

     

    'Tahitian Sunset' is a hybrid tea rose with magnificent apricot-pink bi-colored flowers that are up to 6 inches across and bear a faint anise smell. It is a good disease-resistant hybrid, with semi-glossy, dark-green leaves. It blooms repeatedly from spring to fall.

    • Native Area: NA; this is a hybrid plant
    • USDA Growing Zones: 6 to 11
    • Height: 5 to 6 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 08 of 15

    'Rainbow Knockout' (Rosa 'Rainbow Knockout')

    Rainbow Knockout rose


    Swisty242 / Getty Images

     

    'Rainbow Knock Out' is a shrub rose with the classic single flowers that are common to species shrub roses. Unlike many shrub roses, it has an excellent rebloom cycle. The flowers, which appear in clusters, are coral in color, with yellow centers; the foliage is dark green and semi-glossy. 'Rainbow Knock Out' has the typical hardiness of species shrub roses—it is fully resistant to black spot, powdery mildew, and rust.

    • Native Area: NA; this is a hybrid plant
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
    • Height: 3 to 4 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
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  • 09 of 15

    'Julia Child' (Rosa Floribunda 'Julia Child')

    Julia Child rose

     

    HedgerowRose / Getty Images 

    This floribunda rose was personally chosen by the award-winning chef with coloration she described as "butter gold." It has very shiny leaves, with full flowers up to 3 1/2 inches across, smelling of sweet licorice. It is disease-resistant shrub with full, bushy growth habit. The flowers appear in small clusters; the plant has a good rebloom pattern.

    • Native Area: NA; this is a hybrid plant
    • USDA Growing Zones: 6 to 11
    • Height: 2 to 3 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 10 of 15

    'Mardi Gras' (Rosa floribunda 'Mardi Gras')

    Mardi gras rose

    Ryan Somma / Flickr / CC By 2.0 

    The 'Mardi Gras' multicolor floribunda rose has a festive coloring that is a ​mix of orange and pink with a bit of yellow. The bloom begins as an apricot-orange bud that slowly spirals open to reveal a 2- to 3-inch bright pink and orange bloom with a yellow base. This disease-resistant rose has dark green leaves and a peppery fragrance. It has a bushy growth habit that can work well for hedges.

    • Native Area: NA; this is a hybrid plant
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
    • Height: 3 to 4 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 11 of 15

    'Morden Fireglow' (Rosa floribunda 'Morden Fireglow')

    Morden Fireglow rose
    David Beaulieu

    This floribunda rose has blooms falling somewhere orange and reddish in color. It has double, cupped flowers and matte (non-glossy leaves). This rose has good cold hardiness and a mild fragrance. The deep green, glossy foliage makes for good cut flowers.

    • Native Area: NA; this is a hybrid plant
    • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 9
    • Height: 2 to 4 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 12 of 15

    'Pat Austin' (Rosa 'Pat Austin')

    Pat austin rose

     

    Josie Elias / Getty Images

    The copper-colored 'Pat Austin' rose is one of the David Austin recommended varieties. It is named after David Austin's wife. The double, cupped flowers, 4- to 5-inches across, have a tea-like scent

    • Native Area: NA; this is a hybrid plant
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 11
    • Height: 4 to 5 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    'Wild Blue Yonder' (Rosa Grandiflora 'Wild Blue Yonder')

    Wild Blue Yonder

     

    purplegirlalyssa / Flickr / CC By 2.0

    'Wild Blue Yonder' is a grandiflora rose that starts out a mauve or reddish-purple (it is advertised as lavender) and ends up with a deeper color. It never morphs into a true blue rose. It is a repeat bloomer with medium-sized (2 to 3 inches across) flowers that appear in large clusters. The fragrance is quite strong, with a hint of citrus.

    • Native Area: NA; this is a hybrid plant
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
    • Height: 3 to 5 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 14 of 15

    'Elle' (Rosa Hybrid Tea 'Elle')

    Elle rose

     

    GagasGarden / Getty Images

    'Elle; is a good choice for those seeking a happy medium between a shocking-pink rose and a pink rose with washed-out color. It is relatively compact for its class. This hybrid tea rose is ever-blooming with very large (4- to 5-inch) flowers with a strong fragrance. It has above-average tolerance to mildew and black spot.

    • Native Area: NA; this is a hybrid plant
    • USDA Growing Zones: 7 to 9
    • Height: 3 to 5 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 15 of 15

    'Frankly Scarlet' (Rosa floribunda 'Frankly Scarlet')

    Frankly Scarlet

     

    MasterChefNobu / Getty Images 

    'Frankly Scarlet' belongs to the JP Ultimate Collection. It is a repeat bloomer with dark-green leaves. This is a fairly short floribunda rose bush with 2- to 3-inch flowers that have a pleasant, spicy fragrance.

    • Native Area: NA; this is a hybrid plant
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
    • Height: 2 to 3 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun

Same Plant, Different Name

Rose cultivar names are often trademarked labels that are proprietary to the company selling the rose. You may be able to find the same roses sold by different names from other suppliers. On-line resources, such as the National Garden Association's Plant Database, may be able to provide you with other names by which the plant is sold.