The rose is an icon of romance and arguably the most recognizable flower in the world. There are more than 100 species of roses, many of which are cultivated with care and reverence throughout the world. Roses serve a variety of purposes in the garden, from acting as stand-alone specimen plants to climbing over trellises and archways.
The state flower of Georgia, the Cherokee rose (Rosa laevigata) is a climbing evergreen rose native to China. The plant boasts light green oval leaves and sparsely petaled white flowers. The rose is extremely prickly, and care should be used around the dense, thorn-covered stems and hips. The plant is fast-growing and will quickly climb trellises and other structures. The Cherokee rose is best suited to cultivation in full sunlight in USDA zones 7 to 10. For best results, plant the Cherokee rose in fertile, well-drained soil and water frequently. The sweetly fragrant rose is sure to attract both butterflies and birds to the yard.
The baby rose (Rosa multiflora "Verdun"), also called Japanese rose, gains its common name from delicate, tiny blossoms, which are typically a shade of hot pink. The plant has a shrub-like appearance, with dense dark green leaves. Baby rose is well suited to USDA zones 5A to 8A, and should be grown in full sunlight. The plant isn't terribly picky about soil and will grow in neutral, alkaline or acidic soils. Water baby rose as needed: more in the summer, less in the cooler months. The plant is invasive in some areas, so check an invasive plant list for your state before planting.
Lady Banks (Rosa banksiae) is an extremely vigorous rose species native to western and central China. The trailing plant can spread more than 50 feet, so it's not recommended for small gardens or for those who want to maintain total control over their gardens. The plant boasts heavily fragrant pale yellow or white flowers, and many cultivars are double-bloomed. Lady banks requires very little care, preferring full sunlight and a well-draining soil in USDA zones 7 to 10. Once the plant is established, it can be left alone--no supplemental watering is required, although pruning can help keep the plant looking nice.