What type of rose is good for your garden? How do you care for roses?

‘Cherry Parfait’ Grandiflora Rose. Photo courtesy Sandra Burton

by Bonnie Vitale, president of the Western New York Rose Society

There so many different types of roses. Which one is right for you?

Here are a few examples of different types of rose bushes that grow well in our area.

You can also find out more about roses at the 70th annual Rose Show to be held by the Western New York Rose Society from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 22 at the Galleria Mall, One Walden Galleria, Cheektowaga.

You’ll be able to see roses and ask the society members questions about caring for roses.

See tips on caring for roses below.

Modern Roses

The first Modern Roses were developed in 1867. Before that, roses (now referred to as Old World Roses), usually bloomed only once during the season and had large, many petaled blooms. Modern roses were bred to create roses with repeat blooming and high-pointed center blooms.

Hybrid Teas

'Harry Wheatcroft' Hybrid Tea Rose
Hybrid Tea Rose ‘Harry Wheatcroft’. Photo courtesy James Styn

Hybrid tea roses are, by far, the most popular rose these days and are available in a wide variety of bloom shape, size and color.

These are mostly upright bushes that can grow tall — up to six feet tall. They have single blooms on individual long stems, with a bloom cycle every five to seven weeks.

They are prone to black spot, powdery mildew and rust, but some are disease resistant.

Fragrances vary. Many have light to heavy fragrances, but disease-resistant varieties have little to no scent.


Singin' in the Rain Floribunda Rose
Floribunda Rose ‘Singin’ in the Rain’. Photo courtesy James Styn

Floribundas are a cross between a Polyantha (a type of Old World Rose) and a Hybrid Tea.

The name Floribunda reflects their abundance of flowers, which bloom in clusters on individual short stems. They get this trait from the Polyantha. Floribundas get their variety of colors and bloom shapes and sizes from Hybrid Teas.

Floribundas are short, compact bushes with a spread of about three feet by three feet. They bloom in continuous waves all season. Disease resistance and fragrance varies.


A cross between Floribundas and Hybrid Teas, Grandiflora roses also have the variety of color and shape of Hybrid Teas with clusters of blooms on individual long stems like the Floribundas.

They can grow to four or five feet high with a spread of three to four feet. They also bloom in continuous waves throughout the season. Disease resistance and fragrance vary.

Pink Knock Out Rose
Pink Knock Out Rose. Photo courtesy Bonnie Vitale

Knock Out Roses

These roses are becoming very popular. They are easy to grow, requiring watering and little else. They even deadhead themselves!

Knock Outs are very disease resistant but have very little fragrance.

They have a profusion of blooms on short stems and look great lining a driveway or as a low hedge. They have a spread of about three feet by three feet.

They are available in limited colors at this time.

Old World Roses

Old Rose 'Tuscany Superb'
Old World Rose ‘Tuscany Superb’. Photo courtesy David Austin Roses

Old World Roses are from a class that was in existence before 1867. They are also known as Old Garden Roses, English Roses or Heirloom Roses. They usually bloom only once per season and are resistant to common diseases. They have large blooms with heavy fragrance.

David Austin Roses

Here you have a rose with profuse, large blooms and the heavy fragrance of Old Garden Roses, but with disease resistance and the color selection and repeat bloom cycle of Modern Roses.

These bushy upright roses grow to about four feet by four feet and have large double blooms, some with 120 petals.

David Austin Rose 'Heritage'
David Austin Rose ‘Heritage’. Photo courtesy James Styn

Basics for growing roses

Here is some basic information you need to grow roses here in Western New York.

  • Roses need six hours of full sun, so pick a location in your yard that will provide enough direct sunlight.
  • Roses love water, but they don’t like their feet wet — choose a location with rich, well drained soil.
  • Your soil pH should be 6.5 to 7, which is neutral or just a little acidic.
  • You will need to feed and water your roses. Water deeply twice a week (about an inch of water). Water more in hot, dry weather.
  • Feed or fertilize when the roses start to leaf out and repeat every 7-10 days. Always read and follow directions on the food and fertilizer containers.
  • If you want to avoid insect damage and control disease, you will have to spray every 7-10 days. There are organic as well as chemical sprays available. A three-in-one spray with a miticide, insecticide and fungicide is best. Always read and follow directions on the product you use and wear recommended protective equipment.

4 Comments on “What type of rose is good for your garden? How do you care for roses?

  1. Cheryl, Whenever you want to know what garden centers have a particular plant in stock, it’s best to contact them directly. Every garden center carries different items, and what it has in stock changes throughout the year. For stores and garden centers, check out our Gardening Directory. And when you talk to them, please let them know that you found them through Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com!

  2. Do you know if there are any local nurseries where we can buy a variety of heirloom or climbing roses at this time? Thanks

  3. Beverly, by “real” solutions do you mean solutions that work every time and continue to work? Alas, the answer is no. No one has a way to protect plants from deer all the time. But there a variety of solutions that you can try. See past articles here. This article lists plants that deer don’t like as much as other plants, but when they get hungry enough, especially in winter, they will eat anything. I wish I had a real solution, but I hope that helps!

  4. Do you have any “real” solutions for protecting plants from deer? During their over night stroll through my property, they have discovered a taste for my hosta, lilies and roses. It’s discouraging! (Plants, buds and flowers are on their menu!) Coyote granules (Deer B Gon) which is not long-lasting and mist netting have been tried. Do you have any ideas or solutions for this problem?

    Daffodils are not on their edible list. So far, they’ve also ignored Rose of Sharon and Prime Rose. Are there any other known shrubs and flowers they dislike?

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