Types of Roses You Can Grow in the UK

Last week, we posted about how to grow roses in the UK. Here, we talk about the type of roses you can grow in the UK. Actually, picking the right type of rose will often be the one decision that will dictate how successful you will be in your quest to grow a patch of beautiful roses. To begin with, you will be surprised to know that there are over three hundred types of roses! Which one of these will then be a best match for your garden? By the end of this guide, you will have a pretty good idea of the broad rose type or category you must pick.

Picking a Rose by Style or Aesthetic Type

There are so many roses out there that they are often first categorized into a specific style. Specifically, there are 3 main styles; Old Garden Roses (Classic), Wild Roses and Modern Garden Roses.

Old garden roses are often also referred to as antique or historic roses. They might not be the prettiest roses to look at. But, to the right person, they are the absolute epitome when it comes to how a rose should look. Traditionalists will often prefer this rose type. Old garden roses are also the most fragrant of rose types. They are also quite hardy and naturally resistant to common diseases and problems that affect roses. The downside however is that old garden roses bloom just once a year. That of course means that you have nothing but bare rose bushes to look at for the remainder of the year.

Wild roses, despite the name, are quite pretty and delicate to look at. They are called wild not because of their appearance but rather because of the nature of their evolution. Unlike old garden roses or modern roses that have been carefully bred, wild roses are often a result of natural propagation. Wild roses almost always feature a distinct five-petal shape. Like old garden roses, they too bloom only once a year. Another small downside is that wild roses are almost always pink. But if pink roses are what you want, wild roses are an easy choice for you!

Lastly, we have the modern garden roses. If you are less than about forty or thirty years of age, a modern garden rose is probably what you are thinking of when you think of a rose. They are distinct because of an exaggerated bloom size. They provide the most visual impact and are very picturesque to look at. Modern garden roses bloom all year round. They also last longer in a vase, making them a very popular choice at florists in the UK. The downside however is that they don’t have a strong fragrance. They are also not very hardy and can be easily affected by disease.

Types of Roses

Climbing or Rambling Roses

Climbing roses is actually a misnomer. These rose plants don’t really climb like vines. But, they grow on tall and upright canes which make them look like they climb. They can sometimes reach heights of over 12 feet. They are therefore a popular choice if someone wants roses for a trellis wall or for some vertical landscape beautification.

Tea Roses

These are perhaps the prettiest of roses out there. They feature upwards of 30 petals and grow on long stems, accentuating their beauty even more. There’s hundreds of choices with tea roses as well, because they are a hybrid variety. You can go for a very specific look if you decide to grow tea roses in your garden. Several types of roses mentioned below are actually a sub-type of tea roses.

Grandiflora Roses

These roses offer a continuous bloom, blooming as many as 5 times in a year. They are not the prettiest of tea roses. But, they are the most disease friendly. The downside is that the shrubs are often large and take up a lot of space. They are great for large gardens or for a lot of open landscape space.

Floribunda Roses

This is another variety or tea roses that is fairly easy to grow, requiring very little care and maintenance. The bloom also lasts a long while.

Polyantha Roses

These are a very popular choice for small gardens. Why? Because they grow prolifically in clusters, giving you maximum value for your gardening space. They also come in vivid colours like reds, whites and pinks, beautifying any garden, easily. Another tea rose sub-type, they are quite hardy and easy to grow. Please however do remember that this rose variety features small bloom sizes. Because of their small size, they are a popular choice of rose to adorn hedges. They are however not a great choice for large spaces as the small bloom size will mean they go unnoticed.

Shrub Roses

These rose bushes tend to grow in every direction possible, spreading out over 10 feet. They are a particularly good choice if you live in an area with long or very cold winters in the UK.

Groundcover Roses

This is a great all-rounder rose. It offers a continuous bloom. It’s pretty to look at. They are disease resistant and quite maintenance-free. It’s no surprise that they are a very popular choice for large landscapes that need a lot of roses. They by nature don’t grow above three feet, making them a very practical choice as a space filler that requires little maintenance.

Alba Roses

This is another rose variety that is very conducive to growing in very cold conditions. They have been around for hundreds of years. Besides producing a beautiful bloom, the rose bushes themselves look aesthetically appealing, not something you can say of all rose plants. If your garden doesn’t have a lot of sunlight, these roses can be a particularly practical choice as they do well in the shade.

Cabbage Roses

The technical term for cabbage roses is Centifolia roses. As the name suggests, they feature petals that take on the shape of a cabbage head, featuring several overlapping petals. They are brilliantly fragrant. They however bloom only once every summer. Another potential drawback with cabbage roses is that the flowers are often heavy, causing the stem they grow upon to droop or bend. If that’s not a look you are going after, cabbage roses definitely won’t suit your needs.

David Austin Roses

These roses are visually stunning to look at. They feature the signature or iconic rosette shaped petals that are unique only to David Austin roses. They are also quite fragrant. But, they are often only a good choice for very experienced gardeners because they aren’t very hardy. They are quite delicate and easily succumb to diseases. But, if you can pull it off, you will have a patch that will be the envy of your entire neighborhood.

Damask Roses

You might have heard of Damask Roses from the bible. That’s how long they have been around. Damask roses come in several varieties. Some bloom once a year while some bloom twice a year. They also give you a number of colour choices. This is a rose type that is exceptionally fragrant. In fact, they are commercially bred so their fragrance can be extracted and used in products such as essential oils.

Gallica Roses

Another rose that has been around for thousands of years. Like many roses on this list, they bloom only once a year, during summer. But, it is a glorious bloom that comes in many colours such as pinks, purples, reds and even some two-tone white combinations. These roses don’t feature a pretty formation like you can enjoy from a David Austin rose. But, they can give you a lot of surface area of openly shaped flowers, therefor offering a burst of colour in your garden.

So, there you have it. The different types of roses that you can grow in the UK. You can use this information to pick a rose to grow in your garden. But, it would be very important for you to understand the type of care and conditions every one of these rose types will need, if you do want a gorgeous bloom a few months down the road.