Bush roses are generally upright growing plants that bear flowers mainly on top of the plant. Needing no support, these roses may grow from 5 or 6 inches to 5 or 6 feet tall, depending on the type and climate. The types of bush roses include hybrid teas, polyanthas, floribundas, grandifloras, miniatures, and heritage roses.
* Hybrid teas are the most widely grown of all roses. The long, narrow buds open into large, many-petaled blooms, one each to a long stem. Blooming throughout the growing season, a wide range of colors are available and many are fragrant. The upright, branching plants grow 3 feet or more tall.
* Floribundas, recognized as a group since the mid-1940’s, are derived and refined from the hybrid teas. The hardy, compact, 2- to 3-foot bushes bear great quantities of flower clusters on medium-length stems all summer long. The foliage, flower form, and color range is similar to hybrid teas, with many varieties being fragrant. They among the easiest roses to grow and are excellent for landscaping.
* Grandifloras exhibit the best attributes of hybrid teas and floribundas, although the upright bushes usually grow much larger than either, sometimes reaching 5 or 6 feet tall. This makes them striking accent plants for the back of the flower border, for example. Beautifully formed flowers are borne in clusters on long stems. They are hardy and continually in bloom.
* Miniatures roses are a tiny version of any of the other types, usually growing less than 2 feet tall. Blooms and foliage are proportionately smaller, too, but still quite perfect in form. They are hardy and excellent for edgings and mass plantings, among herbs, and in raised beds and container plants.
* Heritage, or old, roses are those that were developed by plant breeders prior to 1867, the date established by the American Rose Society in commemoration of the first hybrid tea rose, La France. Basically direct descendants of the species roses, there are many different plant and flower forms among the heritage roses. Some of these antique types include the Albas, Bourbons, Centifolias, Damasks, Gallicas, Mosses, Noisettes, and Rugosas.
Climbing Roses have long, arching canes that don’t actually climb but must be attached to supports such as trellises, arbors, posts, or fences. There are many different colors and types of blooms available. The large-flowered climbers have stiff, thick canes 10 feet or so long and bloom either continuously or at least several times during summer and fall. Ramblers have longer, thinner canes with clusters of small flowers borne once in late spring or early summer.
Shrub and Ground Cover Roses grow broadly upright with gracefully arching canes. Most are very hardy and require little maintenance. Depending on the variety, they may be 4 to 12 feet tall with many canes and thick foliage, making them ideal for hedges as well as background and mass plantings. The flowers may be single (five petals), semi-double, or double and are borne at the ends of canes and on branches along the canes. Some types bloom just once in the spring while others flower continuously during the growing season. Shrub roses frequently produce red, orange, or yellow hips (seed pods) after flowering. These are high in Vitamin C and can be used in cooking; plus, the birds like them for winter food, and they can be used in flower arrangements.
Ground cover roses are prostrate or slightly mounding plants with canes trailing along the ground. Flowers may be produced just in the spring or repeatedly throughout the summer at the ends of canes as well as on branches along the canes.
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