There are two main classes of roses: Bush roses and climbing roses. These two classifications are based entirely on tendencies of growth. Bush roses grow from 1 foot to 6 feet in height and require no support. Climbing roses produce long canes each year and must be provided with some type of support. Bush Roses Bush roses include many types grouped according to flowering habit, winter hardiness, and other traits. These types are hybrid teas, floribundas. polyanthas, hybrid perpetuals, shrubs, old-fashioned, tree or standard, and miniature.
Hybrid Teas: Hybrid teas are more widely grown and more popular than all other types of roses combined. They are the so-called monthly or everblooming roses, and are the ones grown in beds in rose gardens and by florists under glass. In fact, when the word “rose” is used, it generally suggests a hybrid tea variety. Most hybrid teas are winterhardy in the milder sections of the country, but varieties differ in cold resistance. In sections where winters are severe, practically all varieties need some protection.
Floribundas: Floribunda roses bear their flowers in clusters, and the individual blooms of many closely resemble hybrid teas. They are increasing in popularity, especially for bed plantings where large numbers of flowers are wanted. As a rule floribunda varieties are hardy: they will tolerate more neglect than any other type of rose with the possible exception of some of the shrub species. While some are fine for cutting, they will not replace hybrid teas for this purpose.
Polyanthas: Polyantha roses are distinguished from the floribundas by their smaller flowers, which are borne in large clusters. They are closely related to many of the climbing roses, having flower clusters very similar to them in form and size of individual florets. The polyanthas are hardy and may be grown in many sections where hybrid teas are difficult to grow. Their chief use is in bed plantings or in borders with other perennials. They are excellent for mass plantings.
Hybrid Perpetuals: Hybrid perpetuals are the June roses of grandmother’s garden. Their flowers are large. Generally they lack the refinement of hybrid teas. As their name indicates, they are considered as ever-blooming types, although most of them do not bear continuously through the growing season as do hybrid teas. They usually develop large, vigorous bushes if given good cultural care and proper pruning. They are very hardy and stand low winter temperatures without protection.
Shrub Roses: Shrub roses are actually a miscellaneous group of wild species, hybrids, and varieties that develop an open bush type of growth that is useful in general landscape work. They are hardy in all sections of the country. While their flowers do not equal in size or form those of other types of roses, many bear very attractive seed pods in the fall. They have very fine foliage and some are quite useful for hedges or screen plantings.
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