Rosa -Roses

There are over 100 species and thousands of varieties, grown as a bush, cut flower, a standard or espalier. They are often used as a feature against a backdrop of larger green shrubs; or behind a hedge of lower shrubs.

A beautiful bed of roses can be a gardener's pride and joy. Roses are generally very healthy plants and they live a long time if their health is maintained. Always buy healthy plants and choose a full sun site with well drained position to plant them in. As they have a shallow fibrous root system, avoid planting near large trees which have shallow spreading roots.


Roses are mainly deciduous, but occasionally evergreen, shrubs and ramblers. In warm zones like tropics and subtropics, roses tend to stay evergreen. The leaves usually odd pinnate & alternate. Stems are often very thorny. Flowers of most cultivars are large, colourful, and may be borne singularly or in clusters.

They are best in temperate climates; excessive heat and humidity will cause fungal problems.

In very cold snow prone areas; plants can be damaged over winter; but they will withstand some frost and even snow. Roses adapt to most soils, if drained, and can do well in clay soils where some other plants are difficult.

Providing good soil conditions will help ensure your roses stay healthy. Most roses will tolerate a wide variety of soil types, but prefer reasonable drainage. Adding gypsum to clay soils will help improve soil structure. Adding well rotted organic matter to the soil will help retain moisture, improve soil structure and nutrition, and help maintain soil temperatures at suitable levels for growth. If your soil has an acid pH adding lime will generally prove beneficial. The lime can be added to the soil prior to planting, or sprinkled onto the soil surface for establishing roses.

Roses respond well to feeding. A slow release complete fertiliser or well rotted manure is best.

Roots can be burnt if they come in contact with strong fertilisers.

Be careful to keep rotting material away from the base of the rose to prevent any possible disease infection.

Watering is essential if a rose is to flower well. Avoid watering the foliage - it's better to make a dish in the soil surface at the base of a plant and fill it with water to allow slow penetration. Don't let plants dry out.

Annual winter pruning is essential to rejuvenate the plant and encourage growth of young wood (flowers form on these young shoots...the more young shoots, the more flowers). In temperate climates

at least half of the top growth is removed each winter. In snow areas cut plants back very hard (ie 95%) and cover with straw over winter. Roses are usually budded (grafted) so when you prune them do not cut below the bud. Plants pruned regularly can last more than 100 years.

Roses are largely sold bare rooted in winter. You will buy the best selection of plants early winter when they are first released onto the market. Roses sold at other times of the year are in pots and can be planted at any time.

Aphis and caterpillars are major problems. They can be controlled with pyrethrum, Malathion ® or Rogor® sprays. Black spot, mildew and rust are common fungal problems and should be controlled with a good fungicidal spray.

To minimise pest and disease problems always remove and burn fallen leaves, prunings and mildew infected shoot tips. Ensure that plants won't be overcrowded. Good ventilation around your roses helps prevent fungal infections occurring.


Deciding which roses to grow can be quite a task. There is an abundance of varieties to choose from with different styles, colours, scents and growth habits. Start by looking at the style of rose that would best suit your garden. Different styles of roses include bush roses, climbers, ramblers, miniatures, standards and weeping roses.


Hybrid Tea roses are the most popular group of roses. The flower stems are long and the blooms are usually on single stems or with a few small side buds. The flowers are very shapely, medium sized or larger and with many petals forming a central cone. They flower from late spring to autumn and make excellent cut flowers.

Floribunda roses are often said to be more colourful then the hybrid tea rose as their flowering is more profuse. They stand up to wet weather better, and are unrivalled for providing a colourful bedding display. The floribunda bears its flowers in clusters or trusses and several blooms open at one time in each cluster. Generally the individual flower is smaller than those of Hybrid Teas flowers. It can be grown as a bush or as a standard rose and flower continuously from late spring to late autumn.


Standard roses are either hybrid tea or floribunda roses grafted on to a tall root stock to give the appearance of a long stem with an abundance of carefully pruned branches. It is a miniature stylised tree with bright blooms. The standard rose is excellent for formal gardens due to its elegant formal appearance.


Miniature roses have increased in popularity in recent times. They can be used as a border plant for such things as a rose garden containing larger roses e.g. bush or standard types, or for a perennial bed. They are great tub plants and can be taken inside while in flower. The miniatures have small leaves and a profusion of small bright flowers. Their full flush of flowers is during summer and autumn but they will flower all through the year in warmer districts. Pruning should be kept to a minimum ,only shaping is required.

Miniatures can also be grafted on to a long stem to produce a standard with a rounded top.


Climber and ramblers are a group of roses that require support and training.

Ramblers have long pliable stems that bear large clusters of small flowers. Their growth is often very vigorous but they provide a mass of colour in summer. Miniature climbers are also available. These will climb to a height of 1‑ 1.5 metres when trained on a trellis or they can be used as ground covers. They are also useful as hanging basket plants.


This is a new group of roses that can be used in cottage gardens as potted plants or as a rose garden edge. They are compact and grow to a height of no more than about 50cm. They differ from miniatures, as the foliage and flowers are larger. Some patio roses that suit cottage garden are 'Cosette', 'Poker Chip', 'Frilly Dilly', 'Marlene', and 'Pinkie'.


A popular new group of roses, Ground Cover roses are mostly miniature climbing roses that are vigorous and will trail. They are low growing and will spread to approximately 2‑3 metres in width. Flowers are small but prolific and produce a very showy display when grown in rockeries, over banks, or at the base of shrub roses. These roses also make very good hanging basket or tub plants.


This group of roses are neither hybrid tea or floribunda but are old fashion or species roses. They are commonly misunderstood roses and are often accused of only flowering once or of being very large growers. This is not always the case as many have repeated flowering and most grow to the same height as floribundas. Many of these shrub roses will thrive in conditions that are unsuitable to hybrid teas or floribundas. The shrub roses are the ideal cottage garden type, typically with pink shades, overblown and full of fragrance.


The old time rose greats still readily find a place in today's cottage garden. One of the most popular is the yellow banksia rose. It is a rose that can ramble over a trellis or an unsightly object, and you can be assured that it will flower profusely. For the white garden enthusiast a white form of this rose is available. Other popular old roses are 'Felicitite et Perpetue', 'Fortunes Yellow', Devoniensis', 'Gloire de Dijon' and the moss, cabbage and China roses.

The Cabbage roses were developed in the 16th century and the beauty of this type of rose was often captured by artists. The cabbage rose has open growth with large and small thorns, the leaves are large and rounded, the flowers are as the name suggests globular or cabbage like in a range of pinks and whites. Examples are Rosa bullata, Rosa centifolia and 'La Noblesse'.

The Moss roses are offspring of Rosa centifolia and have moss like sticky hairs over the buds and stems. Examples of moss roses are 'Henri Martin' and 'Chapeau de Napoleon'.


China roses were the start of the development of modern day roses, as these roses were perpetual flowering and were bright and showy. Through breeding with the old roses the Bourbons rose and hybrid Perpetuals became available which gave gardens brightly coloured roses of yellows, oranges,

flame apricot and cream. 'La France' is said to be the first hybrid Tea rose.


When you first move into a home that was advertised as a renovator's delight, not only does the home confront you but so does the garden. Often there is an old rose bush or bushes that are over grown and are in need of attention. The first thought is normally to pull them out, but you could be losing a potentially beautiful old rose.

Begin to restore your old roses by removing the old dead wood and the crossing branches. Feed the roses with a complete fertiliser and apply a liquid dose of a seaweed solution (similar to Seasol®). Ensure that each rose has adequate air movement around it. Wait a season to see whether the rose is showing signs of improvement and if the blooms are worthwhile.

Once the initial steps have been taken then a normal maintenance program for your roses can be commenced including winter pruning, mulching, regular watering, and pest and disease control.



'Black Beauty' (Hybrid tea) bush or standard rose, fragrant velvet red flower

'Mr Lincoln' (Hybrid tea) bush, sometimes standard; deep red double cut flower rose

'Mme G Deibard' (Hybrid tea) bush or standard rose, bright deep red weather resistant

'Europeana' (Floribunda) bush or standard, deep crimson open rosette flowers, fragrant

'Fiona' (Shrub rose) ground cover, double blood red slightly fragrant

'Grande Duchesse' (Shrub rose) shrub, tomato red flower

'Charlotte' (Old fashion) slightly fragrant

'William Lobb' (Species rose/moss rose) semi‑double purple, magenta, fragrant

'Altissimo' (climber) single blood red, slightly fragrant

'Crimson Glory' (Hybrid tea) climber, double deep crimson, very fragrant

'Little Flirt' (miniature) red‑orange reverse, yellow small flowers

'Scarlet Gem' (miniature) bright red, popular pot plant


'John F Kennedy' (Hybrid tea) bush or standard, white large double, blooms fragrant

'Pascali' (Hybrid tea) bush or standard, white with cream, centre resistant to black spot and mildew

'Virgo' (Hybrid tea) bush or standard, pure white semi‑double, fragrant

'Champagne' (Floribunda) bush or standard, lovely cream tones, with reflexed petals

'Iceberg' (Floribunda) bush or climber, abundant pure white double, very fragrant

'Seafoam' (Shrub rose) ground cover, small white star, weeping standard blooms

'Pour Toi' (miniature) white with creamy, yellow tinge at the base

'Madame Alfred' (Old fashion) climber, double white flushed

'Boule de Neige' (Old fashion) shrub rose, ivory white double, very fragrant


'Diamond Jubilee' (Hybrid tea) bush or standard, deep buff yellow very fragrant

'Helmut Schmidt' (Hybrid tea) bush or standard, pure clear yellow free flowering

'Northern Lights' (Hybrid tea) bush or standard, primrose yellow sometimes flushed pink, very fragrant

Friesia' (Floribunda) bush, bright deep yellow, very fragrant

'Gold Bunny' (Floribunda) bush, soft gold blooms

'Canary Bird' (Old fashion) species rose, bush, single canary yellow, fragrant

'Mermaid' (Old fashion) climber, single primrose, yellow, fragrant

'Royal Gold' (Climber) double deep yellow, slightly fragrant

Rise 'N'Shine ( miniature) deep yellow large blooms

'Yellow Doll' (miniature) creamy yellow, good pot plant


'First Love' (Hybrid tea) shrub or standard, lovely soft pink, semi double

'Olde Fragrance' (Hybrid tea) shrub or standard, highly scented cerise, produces an abundance of blooms

'Prima Ballerina' (Hybrid tea) shrub or standard, rich rose pink, double

'Bella Rosa' (Floribunda) shrub or standard, salmon pink flowers

'Dearest' (Floribunda) shrub or standard, soft rosy salmon, very fragrant

'Frilly Dilly' (Patio rose) small shrub, shell pink flowers

'Cornelia' (Old fashion) shrub rose, double apricot pink, very fragrant

Rosa cenifolia 'Chapeau de Napoleon" (Old fashion) shrub rose, double rose pink, fragrant

'Cecile Brunner' (Old fashion) shrub or climber, double shell pink, slightly fragrant

'Candy Rose' (Old Fashion) shrub rose, semi double pink, no fragrance

'Dorothy Perkins' (rambler) double rose pink, no fragrance

'Rosy Mantle' (climber) double deep rose, pink fragrant

'New Penny' (miniature) semi double blooms, deep pink that fade with age

'Angela Rippon' (miniature) double blooms are pale carmine pink


'Blue Moon' (Hybrid tea) bush, climber or standard, deep mauve blue, very fragrant

'Lady X' (Hybrid tea) bush or standard, soft mauve double, fragrant

'Shocking Blue' (Floribunda) bush or standard, magenta -crimson, very fragrant

'Lavender Jewell' (miniature) deep lavender, double fragrant, flowers

'Veilchenblau' (Old fashion) climber, semi double violet fading to light grey, fragrant


'Apricot Nectar' (Hybrid tea) bush or standard, rich deep apricot

'Copper Gem' (Hybrid tea) bush or standard, coppery apricot, fragrant

'Ginger Meggs' (Floribunda) bush, carrot red blooms, fragrant

'Lovely Louise' (Floribunda) bush, coppery salmon buds, salmon blooms

'Orange Honey' (miniature) soft honey orange, yellow base, fragrant

'Holy Toledo' (miniature) bright pinkish‑apricot

'Orange Cascade' (miniature) climbing, orange yellow buds, fragrant

'Woburn Abbey' (Climbing) copper orange yellow, very fragrant

'Felicia' (Old fashion) shrub rose, double apricot pink, very fragrant

'Buff Beauty' (Old fashion) shrub rose, double flowers, apricot, fragrant


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