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Although climbing roses do not actually climb like vines do, they have stiff, upright canes that can be manually trained along a support. Some canes can reach upwards of fifteen feet. Climbing roses produce more flowers when grown horizontally rather than vertically. They are commonly attached to walls, fences, and trestles. They tend to have large flowers and are almost always repeat bloomers.
English / David Austin Roses
Although not officially recognized as a separate class, David Austin—sometimes called English—roses are highly popular among consumers and retailers. David Austin started breeding roses over 50 years ago with the goal of creating a new group of roses that featured the best characteristics of both Old and Modern Roses. The hundreds of varieties of David Austin roses have the rosette form and heady fragrance of Old Roses with the repeat flowering capability and wider color range of Modern Roses. Despite their popularity, they are susceptible to disease and not as hardy as other varieties.
Gardeners who love roses and who live and garden in cold climates are often beside themselves when trying to find roses that will overwinter successfully year after year. Canadian explorer roses are mostly pinks and reds with a few yellows. While they don't bloom continuously, many do have repeat blooming when dead headed. They also show remarkable winter hardiness even in zones 2 and 3.
Floribunda roses are a cross between a Hybrid Tea and Polyantha roses. Each stem produces a cluster of large blossoms in the classic Hybrid Tea shape. Floribunda’s can be found in a variety of colors including orange, yellow, pink, purple, and white. They are generally disease resistant, and tend to be hardy and easy to care for. These roses are known for their stocky, rigid shrubbery, and often used in landscaping in public parks and spaces.
Grandiflora roses are a class that was created in the last century to classify crosses between Hybrid Tea and Floribunda roses that fit neither category. They are a combination of the graceful blooms of the Hybrid Teas and the repetitive growth cycle of Floribundas. Grandiflora roses have large, showy flowers that are produced on long stems, either singly or in clusters of three to five blooms. Their shrubs are generally larger and more upright than Hybrid Teas. Although hardy and vigorous, they tend to be less popular than Hybrid Teas or Floribunda roses.
Hybrid Tea Roses
Hybrid Tea roses have been the favorite of the Modern Roses, and come in a very diverse range of colors. They are known for their long, upright stems, which make them an extremely popular cut flower. Hybrid tea roses have large, well-formed, pointed blooms, which can be up to five inches in diameter. They are the least hardy of modern roses and have a reputation for being high-maintenance.
Shrub roses include a wide variety of roses that do not fit into any other category. Many are a cross between Old Garden Roses and Modern Roses, and combine traits from each. Generally, they are hardy, easy-care plants. Bloom style may be single, cabbage-like or anything in between, and fragrance level varies. Most shrub roses are repeat bloomers, and their growth is generally graceful and spreads easily.