One of the most popular and well-known flowers in the world, roses are part of the Rosaceae family and there are varieties that are hardy in all USDA Plant Growing Zones. These vibrant plants have been hybridized for centuries and there are now thousands of rose options. Most roses thrive in full sun with regular watering, but check specific growing information for your climate. Available as standard-sized plants, miniatures or vines, the single most popular hybrid is the hybrid tea rose.
Hybrid Tea Rose
Hybrid tea roses are the most popular class of rose and they outsell all other kinds of roses combined, according to the 1997 "Sunset National Garden Book." These plants have large, usually single-stem blooms in colors ranging from yellow to red to lavender. There are thousands of varieties, including Mr. Lincoln, Miss All-American Beauty and Graceland. Plants are usually between 2 and 6 feet tall, enjoy full sun (except in warmest climates, then plant in partial shade) and regular watering. Hybrid tea roses are good cut flowers.
The Grandiflora predated hybrid tea roses and is still a popular plant, available in many varieties, including Arizona, Lucky Lady and Queen Elizabeth, which was introduced in the mid-1950s. These plants are larger than hybrid teas, but typically have smaller blooms that are clustered on a stem. Grandifloras are available in a range of colors, and some varieties have bi-color blooms featuring two colors on each petal. Plants can grow to 7 feet and are generally disease-resistant.
One of the newer hybrids, the knockout rose is resistant to black spot, mildew and mold on the foliage. This rose, which produces multiple blooms on a stem, may be planted as a shrub or trained as a topiary. Introduced in 1999, blooms are vibrant and long-lasting. Knockout roses were developed by Wisconsin rose breeder William Radler. The plant blooms repeatedly in warmer climates, nearly year-round, and is hardy to Zone 4. Knockout roses are one of the more drought-tolerant varieties.