Roses have delighted people since time immemorial. Their beauty and fragrance have inspired artists, writers, poets and of course gardeners through the ages. No garden is complete without a rose, so it’s lucky that there is such a huge variety to choose from. Indeed there is a rose to fit any type of garden!
Over the years roses have been cultivated and crossbred to produce hundreds of varieties. Below are some main types that are available for gardeners in India.
This low maintenance rose variety is resistant to diseases and can be grown along hedges or in pots. It is a repeat bloomer and will yield flowers from spring until fall.
Varieties to choose from are: Sneezy, Rashmi, Pink Spray, Fairy Rose, Nartaki and Barani.
The Hybrid Tea rose is a florist’s delight as it produces large flowers on long straight stems, typically producing one flower per stem. Each flower usually has 30-50 petals and has a pleasant scent.
The variety ‘Indian Summer’ is double flowered in a pretty shade of apricot and has a deep fragrance. Other varieties available are: Double Delight, Evening Star, Dil-ki-Rani, Happiness and Nandini.
This type of rose is a cross between Polyantha and Hybrid Tea. Floribunda are not normally as scented as Hybrid Tea roses, but are more hardy and less prone to disease. This low growing shrub produces clusters of flowers on short stems.
Varieties that are available are: Mahak, Kusum, Prema, Summer Snow and Suchitra.
This relative newcomer is a cross between Floribunda and Hybrid Tea. It typically has a cluster of 3-5 flowers on a single stem.
Varieties to choose from are: Earth Song and Pink Parfait.
Miniature Roses are classified according to the size of the flower they produce; the flower is usually less than 5 cm in diameter.
Miniature Floribundas are dome shaped and covered in flowers, whereas mini Hybrid Teas have classic goblet shaped flowers towards the top of the plant.
Hanging baskets of Miniature Roses add a wonderful element to balcony and terrace gardens.
Available varieties are: Baby Love, Dazzler, Lavender Jewel and Beauty Scarlet.
Ground Cover or Landscape Roses
These roses have a low, spreading habit and don’t usually get taller than one foot. They are very easy to grow and are not only pest and disease resistant, but also have the advantage of continuous flowering. They create a carpet of flowers when planted as ground fillers.
Varieties include Flower Carpet Coral and Flower Carpet Scarlet.
Shrub Roses encompass all other types of roses including modern shrub roses and older species of roses too. Their growth habits vary from one variety to another. Flowers are double petalled; the petals being very close together giving the flower a cabbage like appearance.
Varieties include Iceberg and Beach.
Climbing Roses add a vertical aspect to a garden. They are not vines, but their stiff canes can be trained with the use of supports. Horizontal training of canes stimulates dense growth and abundant blooming.
Varieties available include Kanyakumari, Eden, May Queen and Blaze.
These roses have more flexible stems than climbers, and grow more vigorously too. They are easier to train on pergolas and arches than the climbing varieties.
Varieties to choose from are: American Pillar, Snow Goose and Malvern Hills.
Standard Roses are a grafted variation of the normal bush rose. A graft is added to the top of a single, strong stem to produce a tree like plant. Usually Modern or Miniature roses are used as grafting materials.
When a stem is grafted with a Floribunda, the resultant tree top has a round shape.
Grafting with a Hybrid Tea gives the top a goblet shape.
Grafting a Climbing or Rambling Rose creates a cascading tree form known as a Weeping Standard.
Standard Roses add height to a garden and can be grown in containers. Care has to be taken to give support to the stem and protect the plant from winds as it is top heavy. Also all new shoot or sucker growth should be removed from the main stem to maintain the look of the tree.
This is a cross between the old bush China Rose and the Damask Rose. It produces beautiful fragrant flowers of dark pink or white. The flowers are used for the production of rose oil and gulkand.
A good variety is Zephrine Drouhin.
This cross between Rosa moschata and Rosa gallica produces very fragrant flowers in shades of pink. This is a good edible rose and also ideal for making rose oil ( attar).
Varieties include Noorjahan, Jwala and Himroz.
This is one of the oldest varieties of rose and can even grow in shady areas. This type is resistant to disease and has sweet scented flowers in shades of pink to white.
A good variety is Maiden’s Blush.
This rose bush with lightly scented bright red flowers resembles a Hybrid Tea. However the flowers of this plant are soft and velvety to the touch, and bloom from late spring to fall, making it ideal for use as cut flowers.