Classifications of Garden Roses

A longtime favorite of many gardeners, roses flourish in a variety of climates and soil conditions. Although the American Rose Society list includes 48 classifications of roses, most rose plants that grow in average gardens fall into one of several basic categories. Many rose gardeners include a variety of different types of roses to enhance flowerbeds, borders and planters.

Old Garden Roses

Not to be confused with old rose bushes that need pruning, old garden roses include rose varieties in existence before 1867. This year in history marks the introduction of the first hybrid tea rose. This classification includes a variety of roses, including damask, moss, centifola and alba. Old garden roses produce fragrant blossoms in the spring. Some varieties bloom again later in the year.

Shrub Roses

Growing wild in some areas, these shrub roses include musk roses and hybrid rugosa roses. Roses within this classification can grow between 5 and 15 feet tall, producing clusters of blossoms on their sprawling branches. Most varieties display vigorous growth and often withstand poor soils and drought conditions. Some shrub roses blossom numerous times throughout the growing season, adding scent and sight to naturalized landscapes.

Hybrid Tea Roses

This type of garden rose originated by crossing a hybrid perpetual rose with a tea rose. Hybrid tea roses produce large blossoms on the ends of long stems, making them a favorite for bouquets and cut flower arrangements. Each one of these large, full blossoms contains about 40 petals. Some varieties of hybrid tea roses exhibit climbing tendencies. Gardeners can prune and train these varieties to form living screens of colorful blossoms. Hybrid tea roses make suitable container plants, allowing gardeners to enjoy indoor displays.

Floribunda Roses

Floribunda roses produce more blossoms than hybrid tea roses. Like hybrid tea roses, floribunda roses produce new blossoms on branches that produced in previous years. Excessive pruning limits the number of blossoms these plants produce. A cross between polyantha roses and hybrid tea roses, these plants display clusters of colorful blossoms throughout the growing season. The blossoms are slightly smaller and more compact than hybrid tea roses. Unlike hybrid tea roses, floribunda roses tolerate wet weather.

Keywords: rose plant varieties, types of roses, rose classifications

About this Author

Piper Li, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear in Modern Mom, Biz Mojo, Walden University and GardenGuides. She is the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." With a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Mesa State, Li enjoys writing about health, horticulture and business management.