A Guide to Different Types of Roses
Information on Caring for Roses

Beautiful, fragrant, and colorful are just a few words we can use to describe a rose. These flowers come in a variety of colors, sizes, and growing habits, below is a short guide to the different rose families and some other helpful information on buying and caring for roses.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

William Shakespeare

Different Types of Roses

Hybrid Tea: These are the King or Queen of Roses of bush form, producing single blooms; usually ever-blooming. They normally grow 4-6 feet tall with fairly strong canes. The blooms generally are the largest of the rose family. Use these in borders, beds, or as a specimen plant.

Hybrid Tea

Floribunda: These roses are bred to produce an abundance of blooms. Usually 2-4’ tall with heavy blooms in clusters. Use these in borders, containers, or as hedges. Most are ever-blooming.


Grandiflora:  A combination of hybrid tea and floribunda roses. Grows between 6-8’ tall. Most have upright plant habits, with large blooms borne either singly or in sprays. They are vigorous and heavy flower producers through the growing season. Use at the back of a flower border or as a hedge.


Shrub: Continuously blooming plants with good disease resistance and hardiness. Usually, a large spreading shrub grows approximately 6-7’ tall. Use in borders, or as shrub hedge. Excellent for landscaping and mass plantings.

Miniature: Small-flowered roses growing in a naturally dwarf compact form. A scaled-down version of larger roses. These have tiny leaves and blooms ranging from 1”-2”. Stems are short but good for cutting. Great for small spaces, containers, and front of borders; since they grow up to 2’ tall. Blooms throughout the season. They do not require special pruning. Cut out dad growth and remove the hips at the end of the blooming season.

English: David Austin roses are by far the most famous English Hybrid roses. All grown and originally tested in England. Plant habits range from climbers to low-growing floribundas. Classic, heavy petaled, English roses with a strong fragrance, unusual colors, and hardy. Shrub type, often cottage, cabbage, or occasionally semi-double blooms. Disease resistant.

English Rose

Tree Roses: These are grown on hardy 2-year-old stock. A specimen plant grafted on a tall rose trunk, usually of hybrid tea quality. Prune as a hybrid tea, cutting branches to within 6-10 inches of the base of the crown to encourage rounded, compact, vigorous new growth. These roses can come in many different heights.

Tree Roses with Lavender

Knock-Out Roses: The Knock-Out rose family is known for two important characteristics- disease resistance and non-stop blooms. Blooms from spring until frost. Grows 4-7’ tall. They do not require trimming but like to be trimmed and are healthier when cut back each year. There are two types of blooms single and doubles. The single bloom is shown here. Double Knock-Outs have twice as many petals and look more like a traditional rose.

Knock-Out bloom – come in a variety of colors, red, pink, yellow, peach

Drift Roses: These roses are a mix between a full-size groundcover and a miniature rose. Tough, disease-resistant, and winter hardy. The low, spreading habit of the drift rose is perfect for a small garden and combination planters. Great for borders, for filling empty spaces, and they spread delicately around established plants. Height 18-21”. They bloom from spring until frost. Pruning is recommended every year in early spring after the last threat of frost.

Rose Bloom Shapes

Single: Defined as a rose with five-petal blooms and up to eight. Bloom has a flat, open effect, and stamens are visible.

Semidouble: The rose has eight to sixteen petals. When the rose is at its peak, the stamens are visible.

Double: Double roses may contain sixteen to sixty petals. When viewed from the top, a classic double resembles a perfect bull’s-eye with a tight pinpoint center around which the petals unfurl.

Very Double: Rose bloom has more than sixty petals.

Caring for Roses


Location: Roses perform best in full sun, although 5-6 hours of direct sun will yield satisfactory results. The less sun, the fewer blooms.

Soil Preparation & Planting: Roses prefer nutrient-rich, moist, well-drained soil. For best results prepare the soil by digging a hole 2 feet wide and 1½ feet deep. Add 25 % compost or organic material (we recommend Bumper Crop ) and fill with remaining existing soil. Add fertilizer (we recommend Dr. Earth Rose) Avoid tamping down the soil around the plant with your foot or shovel which compacts the soil too much.

Mulch: Spread the mulch of your choice 2-3” deep over the top of the planting area. Keep mulch an inch away from the crown of the plant. Mulch helps hold moisture, improves the soil as it breaks down and keeps down weeds, and makes it looks more attractive too.

Watering: Encourage your rose to develop a healthy, deep root system by watering thoroughly and deeply. Check the soil beneath the mulch every 5-7 days and only water if the soil is dry. Slowly saturate the soil with a soaker or garden hose. Do not water the plant’s leaves to avoid problems with disease.

Roses need at least 1 inch of water per week. They do not like wet feet, so avoid planting roses in a low area of your yard or garden.

Fertilizer: Rose food 4-2-4 is a favorite for rose growers. Dr. Earth makes a great Rose Fertilizer, we carry it at Gasper Home & Garden.

Insects and Disease

Clean the beds around your rose bushes thoroughly of dead leaves and debris to reduce insect infestation and fungi. Bag and remove pruned material. Practice good sanitation around the roses to keep the area free of fallen litter. If you see any diseased leaves on the plants get them off and out of the garden. DO NOT compost any of this material since it may contain spores that can spread to other plants. Good housekeeping practices in your garden will be beneficial to all of your plants!

Common Insects:

Aphids- These are common pests, you can use biological control, such as ladybugs or green lacewings; or try spraying insecticidal soaps. Aphids love young new growth on roses.

Japanese Beetles – These have no natural predators in the US, so turning to mother nature for help is not an option. Multi-part attack is best. Handpick them off, morning is best it is cooler and they are not moving quickly. A Pyrethrin-based insecticide is safe and effective, also Neem oil is a good choice. If you use a trap, you must put it far away from your roses, do not place it near them. Milky spore will work on future Japanese Beetles, so this is good for prevention, it is harmless to beneficial insects, birds, bees, pets, and humans.

Rose Slugs – These look like small green slug-like worms usually found on the underside of the leaf. Feed off leaf tissue and chew holes that eventually leave only the skeleton of the veins showing.

Scales – Insects that feed off plant tissue and form a crusty shell over their bodies for protection on the stems. They suck the sap from the plant.

Spider Mites – Minuscule pests that appear during hot, dry weather. They come up from the soil and appear on the underside of lower leaves. They suck juices out of the leaves, causing discoloration and leaf drop.

Thrips – Small insects whose presence is hard to detect until damage appears. Symptoms appear as brown streaks or spots on the rose petals.

Black Spot – This is a fungus. It appears as rings or circles ofo dark spots on foliage, followed by leaf yellowing and defoliation. Avoid getting foliage wet when watering and water early in the morning. This will allow for the leaves to dry during the day and help prevent Black Spot.

Powdery Mildew – This is a fungus. Looks like white, fuzzy stuff on the leaf surface. The first sign is the curling of the leaves. Avoid getting foliage when watering.

Downy Mildew – This is a fungus. Dark purple to brown lesions on the leaves. Avoid getting foliage wet when watering.


Relax – don’t worry about making mistakes while pruning. Roses easily adapt to the kinds of pruning cuts you make.

Cutting the canes and leaves off roses is a necessary activity. In late winter or early spring do the first pruning to cut out the winter damage on last year’s growth. Later in the spring, it’s time to improve upon the original pruning by cutting out blind shoots and canes that show late dieback.

In fall, roses can be pruned again, but do not cut back too hard. Make all your cuts as shallow as possible using less that a 45-degree angle on the cane. Cut out diseased, very thin canes, canes that are crossing or canes touching each other. Roses need air circulation and removing these canes it will promote air circulation. When done with your fall prune your roses should be about 12-15”.

In spring you will repeat. Make sure you sterilize your pruning shear and saws frequently with a weak bleach solution, this practice is important to reduce the spread of disease from on plant to another.

During the growing and blooming season, you should prune your roses, especially Hybrid Teas. This will help keep the plant’s shape and produce more blooms throughout the season. Just cut below the spent bloom but just about the OUTWARD growing leaves. This will encourage new growth to grow up and out. If you cut toward the inward leaves this will encourage inward growth which will create additional moisture and less air circulation.