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Various Types Of Roses: An Ultimate Guide (With Pictures)

Various Types Of Roses: An Ultimate Guide (With Pictures)

There are various types of roses, all of which come in different sub-types, colors, and petal shapes. While there are so many types of roses, there are only three main categories that they all fall into.

The three main categories of roses include modern roses, old garden roses, and wild roses. However, there are various rose varieties and types within these categories. When it comes to roses in your garden, it’s best to go with rambling roses, climbing roses, or English roses.

In this article, I’ll explore the different categories of roses and look at the main rose varieties. I’ll also feature tips on how to choose the best roses for your garden. 

What Are the Different Types of Roses? 

There are three main categories of roses. These are: 

  • Old Garden Roses: Also known as antique roses (because they were introduced (before 1867), these roses only flower once a season but are resistant to harsh conditions and disease, which makes them ideal for cold climates and beginner gardeners. 
  • Wild Roses: These roses are almost always pink in color, and they don’t have the hybridization that you see in modern rose varieties. 
  • Modern Roses: These are what you’ll find in most gardens, similar to old garden roses. However, these roses differ because they bloom throughout the year and have larger flowers. 

Types of Old Garden Roses 

Old garden roses are rose bushes that come in wide varieties — all of which have varying flower and bloom characteristics.

Gallica Roses

Gallica Roses

This type of rose has been around since approximately 1800 and boasts hundreds of cultivars. It has an almost-red appearance with variations bringing beautiful pink and purple shades as well as more petals to the flowers. 

These roses have what’s called a suckering tendency, which is when they take over your flower bed if not cared for and kept compact. But what’s wonderful about these roses is that they hardly have any thorns, so they’re much easier to pick and handle than others. 

Alba Roses

Alba Roses

These roses have a heady fragrance, and they’re low-maintenance to look after as they can easily grow in half-shade conditions. Alba roses have an upright growing tendency and display flowers that are white or pale pink in color.  

Damask Roses

Damask Roses

Renowned since ancient times, the damask rose variety is a shrub that has a sprawling habit. Its flowers are usually pink, and they have pointy foliage. Damask roses are loved for the delicate fragrance they produce, so you’ll want to place them close to the windows of the home. 

Centifolia Roses

Centifolia Roses

Also known as the cabbage rose because of its appearance, the centifolia old rose variety has thin petals that overlap. This forms a large flower that’s sometimes difficult for the delicate stems to hold upright. Although usually pink, centifolia blooms can be white. Either way, they have a honey-like fragrance

Moss Roses

Moss Roses

Moss roses get their name because they display growth on their calyx and sepals that resemble moss, and they’re a mutation of the centifolia rose. They bloom once but have a powerful fragrance. These old garden roses can reach a height of about two feet (0.6m). 

Other Types of Old Garden Roses 

  • China. These roses were introduced in 1835 and got their name from being brought to Europe from China, where they were bred with other roses. They’re repeat-blooming plants and bloom in pink, red, and copper colors. You can find them in dwarf or bush varieties. 
  • Bourbons. Bourbon roses typically have clusters made up of three roses, and they have very large blooms with a strong smell.
  • Hybrid Perpetuals. This rose has double, large flowers that you can find in white, purple, red, or pink. They grow upright and arch, so they’re ideal for areas of the garden where you want them to cover structures, such as archways.
  • Noisettes. These old garden roses are tall but bushy. They can be used as climbers, and they release a lovely spicy scent. You can find them in purple, white, or crimson.
  • Portlands. These roses have fragrant pink blooms, although the rose shrub is compact and shorter than 12 inches (30.48 cm). 
  • Teas. These roses get their name because they have a fragrance that resembles Chinese black tea. They come in stunning pastel colors, such as cream, white, pink, yellow, and orange. 

Types of Wild Roses 

Wild Roses are “Species Roses,” and they’re shrubs. The roses are single bloomers that have five petals. While most of these roses are pink, you can find some that are white, yellow, or red in color. 

Additionally, wild roses typically have thorny stems and single flowers.

Lady Banks Roses 

Lady Banks Roses

This type of rose is a climbing variety, so it tends to arch and cascade beautifully in the garden. The flowers on lady banks can be either white or yellow, and they appear in clusters. They either take the form of single or double blooms. However, they’re not fragrant.

Austrian Copper Roses

Austrian Copper Roses

As its name suggests, Austrian copper roses are reddish-orange in color. They can be semi-evergreen or deciduous in nature, and their flowers can be single or clustered on the plant. The flowers, although red or orange, can also be purple, as there are different varieties.

Pasture Roses

Pasture Roses

This type of wild rose is an interesting one because it doesn’t look like traditional roses, although it smells like them. Its flowers are solitary and have five pink or white petals and bright yellow stamens. Pasture roses bloom on a bush that can be of a sprawling variety. 

Dog Roses 

Dog Rose

This wild rose, also referred to as Rosa canina, is an arching variety that has pale pink or white flowers. These can appear alone on the plant or in groups early in the season of summer. Canina reaches a height of between 8.2-13 feet (2.5-4m) and a spread of between 4.9-8.2 feet (1.5-2.5 meters). 

Types of Modern Roses 

Modern garden roses are a broad category of flowering plants that includes roses that grow in bushes and roses that reach tall heights. They’re roses that were bred after 1867, and around 80% of all the roses that we see today are of the modern variety. 

Rosa Queen Elizabeth 

Rosa Queen Elizabeth

This modern rose is the first hybrid rose of the Grandiflora class of roses. When left to its own devices, it can grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) in height. 

These roses are ever-blooming and have pink-silver double flowers that appear in clusters on the stems. Although they do have some thorns and lack a strong scent, they’re quite tolerant of light conditions as you can grow them in full sun or cool climates alike. 

Hybrid Tea Rose 

Hybrid Tea Rose 

This rose variety is one of the most popular and has been produced in a spectacular range of varieties since 1867. One of the most beautiful varieties is called Peace.

This rose blooms in a bush form, and its double yellow flowers that are tipped with pink make your garden fragrant from mid-autumn to mid-summer. 

Polyantha Rose 

Polyantha Rose

This rose was introduced in the late 19th century and remains low, reaching a height of about three feet (0.9 meters). This rose blooms in small flowers that provide beautiful color. A noteworthy variety of the polyantha rose is Margo Koster. 

This rose has a cupped flower shape and double flowers that are pink-orange in color. The shrub blooms during the fall, spring, and summer, although the flowers don’t contain a scent

Main Types of Roses To Choose for Your Garden 

If you’re looking for a good type of rose to put in your garden, you’re in luck; there are many options. Although I’ve gone over some rose varieties that fall under the three main categories of roses, there are eight main types of roses that you should know about so you can choose the beautiful roses you want to display in your garden. 

Rambling Roses 

Rambling Roses

Although sometimes confused with climbing roses, rambling roses are modern roses that grow quickly — this is what sets them apart from climbing roses —  so they’re useful for covering up walls or fences in the garden. Rambling roses tend to bloom once, late in the spring or early in the summer, and they do so for a few weeks. 

Examples include: 

  • Rosa ‘The Albrighton Rambler’: This rose is noteworthy because it has double flowers and displays repeat flowers. Since it’s less vigorous than some other types of rambling roses, it’s best suited to small gardens.
  • Rosa Filipes ‘Kiftsgate’: This rose boasts creamy white flowers, although they don’t look like traditional roses. They have yellow stamens and petals that open wide. 
  • Rosa ‘Kew Rambler’: This rose looks like a wild rose as its flowers are pink with white centers and yellow stamens, but it can be grown as either a climber or a shrub. It reaches a height and width of about 19.8 feet (6 meters). 

Climbing Roses 

Don Juan (Climbing Rose)

Climbing roses tend to have large canes that grow easily and can be grown to hide fences or walls. 

However, they need a bit of assistance to encourage them to grow along surfaces as they don’t contain tendrils or other features that help plants to climb. 

Climbing roses bloom once in the spring and then flower less frequently during the rest of 

the growing season. Additionally, if you want your climbing roses to bloom heavily, you can encourage their canes to grow horizontally

Examples of climbing roses include: 

  • ‘Don Juan’: This climbing rose blooms in red, and it’s a hybrid tea-style flower with a citrusy scent. Additionally, its blooms are cupped. 
  • ‘Golden Showers’: This yellow rose is constantly in bloom. It has semi-double flowers and ruffled edges, as well as a subtle fragrance. 
  • ‘Fourth of July’: This was introduced in 1999. It has showy candy-cane colors and a spicy scent. It reaches a height of about 10 to 14 feet (3-4.3 meters).

English Roses 

English Rose

If you love modern and old roses, English roses are an excellent best-of-both choice. They have the scent of old roses and the repeat-flowering habit of modern garden roses. English roses come in beautiful colors, and they boast some of the largest petal counts out of all types of roses.

Some popular English rose varieties include: 

  • ‘Mary Rose’: This rose has ruffled double flowers that smell of honey and almonds. It blooms in soft pink and grows in shrub form. It can grow to a height and width of four feet (1.2m), so it’s ideal for areas in the garden that you want to fill.
  • ‘Othello’: This English rose has double flowers that repeat throughout the summer season. Their crimson flowers are beautiful when combined with their dark-green leaves. They possess a strong scent and are hardy. 
  • ‘Wild Edric’: This rose has deep pink flowers with a spicy fragrance that smells a bit like cucumber. It grows into a bushy shrub. 

Floribunda 

Floribunda

Floribunda roses are a blend between hybrid tea and polyantha roses, so they have fragrant statement blooms. They’re hardy and free flowering. However, they’re compact and remain low to the ground, which makes them ideal if you want to use them as hedges or borders in the garden. Some examples include:

  • ‘Impatient’: Rosa ‘Impatient’ was introduced in 1984, and it flowers from spring until the first frost appears. It has gorgeous orange-red flowers and can reach a height of approximately three feet (0.9 meters). 
  • ‘Iceberg’: This rose variety has striking white flowers that don’t contain any other colors, which makes them rare because they’re pure white. It can grow as a climber or a shrub and reaches a height of between three and 12 feet (0.9-3.7 meters). 
  • ‘Ketchup and Mustard’: With its mustard and crimson petals, this show-stopping rose that was named in 2012 looks beautiful from spring to fall. It reaches a height of five feet (1.5m) and a spread of four feet (1.2m). 

Grandiflora

Grandiflora

Grandiflora roses are a blend of floribunda and hybrid tea varieties. They display showy flowers and grow quite tall, but they also have more than one bloom on every stem. Although the pioneer of this rose type is Queen Elizabeth, there are many other stunning varieties. Some examples are: 

  • ‘Dick Clark’: This is a unique type of rose because none of its roses are the same. They tend to grow in pink and magenta colors, with different roses displaying different color saturation.  
  • ‘Honey Dijon’: This rose has peach, brown, and pink colors. If you live in a cooler climate, this rose variety will thrive. It also emits a fruity scent. 
  • ‘Fragrant Plum’: This type of rose looks like candy, with its pink-violet blossoms. It stays small, as it can grow to a height of between 36 and 48 inches (91.4-121.9 cm).

Shrub Roses 

Shrub Roses

Shrub roses are low-maintenance as they don’t require a lot of care. They’re hardy while versatile: depending on the shrub rose variety, they can be grown as hedges or groundcovers. English roses are part of the shrub rose category. 

Here are some examples of the best shrub roses: 

  • ‘Ballerina’: This variety blooms in white and rosy-pink petals that appear in the garden during late spring all the way to fall. During the winter, rose hips appear, and these brighten up your garden in the winter. 
  • ‘Bucbi Carefree Beauty’: This rose is a shrub with pink flowers that repeat from summer all the way to fall. It reaches a width of three feet (0.9 meters) and a height of five feet (1.5 meters). Its pink flowers are unique because they look slightly violet in color. 
  • ‘Bairift’: This rose has white flowers with subtle apricot-colored buds. The flowers grow in bunches and the plant grows to a height of between three and four feet (0.9-1.2 meters).

Groundcover Roses 

Groundcover Roses

These roses are sprawling rose shrubs that stay low. Although they’re a type of rose, they’re not a category by themselves. Since they’re low-maintenance and quite resistant to disease, they’re ideal for beginner gardeners. They also come in a variety of colors. 

Here are three examples of groundcover roses:

  • Flower Carpet ‘Amber’: These roses are light orange in color with glossy green leaves. They can reach a height of about two feet (0.6 meters) and a width of approximately four feet (1.2 meters). 
  • Flower Carpet ‘Scarlet’: This type of rose displays beautiful red, semi-double flowers. Their dark-green leaves are resistant to disease. Flower carpet scarlet roses can reach a height of three feet (0.9 meters) and a width of four feet (1.2 meters). 
  • Flower Carpet ‘Pink Supreme’: This rose grows to a width and height of three feet (0.9 meters) and has stunning bright pink flowers. 

Patio Roses 

Red Patio Roses

Although any type of rose can be planted in a pot and kept on the patio, the term patio rose is used for a rose that’s a miniature floribunda rose. These roses were bred specifically so that they can be grown in containers

Since they’re smaller and more compact than many roses, they’re easy to look after and work well in small spaces. Generally, patio roses will reach a height of between 18 and 24 inches (45.72-60.96 cm). 

Examples of patio roses include: 

  • ‘Nice Day’: This is a climbing rose with dark leaves and salmon-colored flowers. It reaches a height of about 4.92-8.2 feet (1.5-2.5 m). It blooms in the fall and summer. 
  • ‘Laura Ford’: This miniature climbing rose variety has small yellow flowers that repeat flower. It releases a subtle fragrance and reaches a height of 9.8 feet (2.98 m) while displaying a spread of about 6.6 feet (2 m). 
  • ‘Sweet Dream’: This dwarf rose has glossy green leaves and double flowers that grow in clusters. They bloom in pink-peach colors during the fall and summer. Sweet Dream reaches a height and spread of between 0.3-1.64 feet (0.1-0.5 m). 

Your Guide to the Best Roses for Your Garden

Whether you’re growing roses for the first time ever or you’re a seasoned gardener, it helps to know what types of roses are best chosen depending on what you want to do with them. 

Roses To Grow for Beginners 

Knockout Roses
Knockout Roses

There are many low-maintenance roses to choose from, which is ideal for beginner gardeners. Here are some examples:

  • Knockout roses: These modern roses don’t need to be deadheaded, and they’re highly tolerant of heat. They bloom for a long time while coming in various colors, such as white, pink, and red. They can also tolerate some shade. 
  • Flower carpet roses: These roses flower in partial-sun and full-sun conditions. You can grow them in containers, borders, and flower beds. 

Roses To Grow To Cover Fences 

Golden Showers Roses
Golden Showers Roses

If you want to hide some fences in your garden, you can use climbing roses to make them look better:

  • ‘Golden Showers’ climbing rose: This climbing rose can grow to between 8.2-13.1 feet (2.5-4 m). It also has a spread of between 4.9-8.2 feet (1.5-2.5 m). It requires full-sun conditions and moist, well-draining soil.
  • Rosa ‘Quadra’: This cherry red climbing rose can reach up to five and six feet (1.524-1.8 m), so it’s ideal for growing against a wall or for concealing a fence in your garden. 

Roses To Grow in Pots

Rosa 'Ingrid Bergman'
Rosa ‘Ingrid Bergman’

You can grow roses in pots, but some are more suitable to be planted in containers than others. Some of the best roses that can be grown in pots include:  

  • Frycassia ‘Flower Power’: This type of patio rose grows well in pots. It reaches a height of about 15.7 inches (40 cm). Be sure to feed it liquid fertilizer so that its stem and flower-bud growth is encouraged. 
  • Rosa ‘Ingrid Bergman’: This hybrid tea rose is bushy and compact, reaching a height of approximately four feet (1.2 m). It has dark red flowers but requires full-sun conditions to look its best. 

Final Thoughts 

There are many types of roses to choose from, all of which will bring more beauty and splendor to your garden. While there are countless types and varieties, there are generally eight main types of roses, which include: 

  • Hybrid tea roses
  • English roses
  • Floribunda roses
  • Rambling roses
  • Climbing roses
  • Patio roses
  • Shrub roses
  • Groundcover roses

However, the best type of rose for you will depend on your skill level, where you want to plant the rose, and the style you prefer.