June Means Roses
June is the month for roses. Many people shy away from growing
this aristocrat of flowers because of their reputation as a high
maintenance plant. With the introduction of hardy disease resistant
roses and the availability of "old-fashioned" roses, there
is a rose suitable for most gardens and gardeners. This plethora
of roses may confuse even the veteran gardener.
Generally roses are grouped according to class but many crosses
do occur. Familiarity with the characteristics of each class will
help the gardener chose the right rose for their garden.
Hybrid teas (also called ever-blooming roses) repeat bloom throughout
the summer. They have been the most popular garden roses for the
last 30 to 40 years. Depending on the cultivar, hybrid teas will
grow 2 to 6 feet tall. Flowers may be singles with one row of petals
or doubles with multiple rows of petals. Flower buds tend to be
long and pointed with one to five flowers per stem. Hybrid teas
have varying degrees of fragrance. Cold hardiness depends on the
cultivar, growing location, and soil conditions. The desirable cultivar
is often grafted onto the roots of a different rose. Severe winter
dieback often results in the loss of the grafted top and a different
rose will appear the following year from the root system that survived.
Floribunda roses bear their flowers in clusters with individual
blooms similar to hybrid teas. Floribundas are gaining popularity
as "landscape roses." They are generally smaller in size
than hybrid teas. Like the tea roses, floribundas are often grafted
and rebloom throughout the growing season.
Grandiflora roses have characteristics of floribundas and hybrid
teas. They are similar to hybrid teas in hardiness, flower type,
and stature but individual flowers are slightly smaller and borne
in groups like floribundas. Grandifloras are usually grafted and
are reliable rebloomers.
Miniature roses are small in stature, flower, and leaf. Plant heights
range from 6 to 24 inches. The clusters of 1 to 2 inch diameter
flowers repeat bloom all summer. Miniatures are wonderful for small
landscapes or as an edging plant. They incorporate easily into perennial
beds or the front of a shrub border. Miniatures are grown on their
own roots and are very winter hardy. They reliably come back year
Polyantha rose flowers are smaller than grandifloras and borne
in very large clusters. They are hardier than hybrid teas. Repeat
bloom depends on the cultivar, but many cultivars blossom sporadically
during the summer after their peak bloom in June. Polyanthas work
well in shrub borders. Their informal habit combines well with perennials.
Hybrid perpetual roses have large flowers but are not as tidy and
refined as hybrid teas. Many of these roses do not rebloom. The
large vigorous bushes are generally very cold hardy.
Old fashioned, heritage, and antique roses are grouped together.
They were grown in gardens sometime in the past and do not really
fit in one of the other rose classes. The blossoms of these roses
tend to be full, but flat in appearance. They are often very fragrant.
Because they have been cultivated for years, they are often more
cold hardy and resistant to diseases and insects. Sadly, most bloom
only once in early summer.
Tree or standard roses are distinctive in form rather than flower.
Horticulturists create them by grafting a hybrid tea, grandiflora,
floribunda, or miniature onto an upright rose cane. Many popular
cultivars of roses are available in tree form. Tree roses are used
in formal gardens or as accent plants. They require special winter
protection to survive.
Shrub roses are another "catch all" grouping that includes
wild species, hybrids, cultivars, and other large densely growing
roses. Most are very hardy. The flowers are usually smaller and
may be singles or doubles. Many shrub roses have large attractive
fruits or hips in fall. The foliage and overall aspect of the plants
are pleasing. They are used in shrub borders or as informal hedges.
Climbing roses include all cultivars that produce long canes requiring
support. Climbing varieties are developed from hybrid teas, grandifloras,
floribundas, or others that produce extra long canes. The new cultivar
is often given the same name as the parent but the term climbing
is added. Climbers are trained on fences, arbors, or trellises.
Some varieties are useful as ground covers.
Rambler roses are fast growers, developing canes up to 20 feet
long. Clusters of small flowers develop on canes produced the preceding
year. Most cultivars bloom once in June. Ramblers are very hardy
but prone to powdery mildew disease. Newer cultivars are mildew
resistant and repeat bloomers.
In addition to class or type of rose, gardeners should keep in
mind disease resistance and cold hardiness. With the exception of
heavy shade, there is a rose for almost any garden. Gardeners who
have never grown roses or have been frustrated with finicky hybrid
teas, should give roses a chance.
June - July 2002:
from Setting Seeds
Plant a Buddleia for a Great Display | June Means Roses
The Other 'Bulbs'