25 Varieties of Roses for Every Gardener to Try

Kasey Spencer
Varieties of Roses for Every Gardener to Try

With over 13 years of hands-on experience in the garden, I’ve had the pleasure of growing, nurturing, and admiring a wide array of rose varieties. From the classic elegance of Hybrid Tea Roses to the intriguing hues of the rarer Black Baccara, each type brings its unique beauty and character to a garden.

Roses, often hailed as the queen of flowers, have captivated hearts and gardens around the world for centuries. Their unmatched diversity in color, form, and fragrance makes them a favorite among gardeners of all skill levels. Whether you have a sprawling backyard or a modest balcony space, there’s a rose variety that can add a touch of beauty to your green space.

In this post, we’ll explore 25 varieties of roses, each with its special appeal. Our goal is to guide you through selecting the perfect roses for your garden, touching on aspects like fragrance, color, and hardiness. We understand that every gardener’s space and preference are unique, and with the right information, you can find roses that not only thrive in your garden but also bring you joy.

The Timeless Classic Roses

Our journey through the world of roses begins with the classics—those timeless varieties that have adorned gardens and captivated gardeners for generations. These are the roses that set the standard for beauty, fragrance, and elegance.

1. Hybrid Tea Rose

Hybrid Tea Roses
Close-up of Nostalgia’s hybrid tea rose in the garden

Hybrid Tea Roses are often considered the gold standard of roses, and for good reason. These are the roses of Victorian bouquets, of first dates, and memorable anniversaries. With their long, sturdy stems and singular, large blooms, they stand out in any garden setting.

Hybrid Teas are available in a wide range of colors, from the softest pastels to the most vibrant hues, making them a versatile choice for gardeners looking to add a touch of sophistication to their outdoor spaces.

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2. Floribunda Rose

Floribunda Roses

Floribunda Roses bring a splash of color and a burst of joy to any garden. As the name suggests, these roses are all about abundance; they produce clusters of flowers that bloom continuously from late spring until the first frost.

Their compact size and impressive resilience make Floribunda roses a popular choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. Whether planted in beds, borders, or containers, they offer a lively display that keeps the garden looking vibrant throughout the growing season.

3. Grandiflora Rose

Grandiflora Roses

Grandiflora Roses are the majestic hybrids of Hybrid Teas and Floribundas, combining the best traits of both. They produce the classic, large flowers of Hybrid Teas along with the generous clusters of Floribundas.

Grandifloras are taller, often reaching up to six feet, making them an excellent choice for creating dramatic backdrops or as stand-alone specimens in the garden. Their elegant form and commanding presence add an element of grandeur to any landscape.

Fragrant Roses to Enrich Your Garden

Each rose variety offers its own unique set of qualities, ensuring that there’s a perfect rose for every gardener’s dream garden.

4. Damask Rose

Damask Roses
Closeup shot of a Damask rose against the green blurry background.

Damask Roses are revered not just for their beauty but also for their intoxicating fragrance. With a history that dates back to ancient times, these roses have a timeless appeal that transcends trends.

Damask roses are particularly valued in perfumery and are a testament to the enduring allure of scented gardens. Planting Damask roses near seating areas or along walkways ensures that their delightful fragrance can be enjoyed up close.

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5. Bourbon Rose

Bourbon Roses

Bourbon Roses exude romance and nostalgia with their rich, heady fragrance and full, voluptuous blooms. Originating from the Île Bourbon (now Réunion), these roses are a testament to the enchanting beauty of heirloom varieties. Their ability to flourish in a wide range of climates, coupled with their repeat flowering nature, makes Bourbon roses a cherished addition to any garden.

6. David Austin Rose (English Roses)

David Austin Roses

David Austin Roses (English Roses) represent the pinnacle of rose breeding, combining the fragrance and form of old garden roses with the repeat flowering of modern varieties. Created by the legendary breeder David Austin, these roses are renowned for their stunning beauty, complex fragrances, and exceptional grace. English Roses come in a variety of shapes and colors, offering something truly special for every gardener.

Hardy Roses for the Low-Maintenance Gardener

For those who love the beauty of roses but crave simplicity in care, several varieties stand out for their resilience and low-maintenance requirements.

7. Shrub Rose

Shrub Roses

Shrub Roses are the workhorses of the rose world. Hardy, disease-resistant, and adaptable, they are perfect for gardeners who want the beauty of roses without the fuss. These robust plants can withstand a variety of conditions, from harsh winters to humid summers, making them a great choice for almost any garden setting. With a wide range of colors and forms, shrub roses can serve as splendid ground covers, hedges, or focal points in the landscape.

8. Rugosa Rose

Rugosa Rose

Rugosa Roses, often known as beach roses, are celebrated for their rugged nature and tolerance to poor soil, salt, and wind. Their thick, leathery leaves and robust growth habit make them ideal for creating windbreaks or natural barriers. The simple yet beautiful flowers, often followed by attractive hips in the autumn, offer a bonus to their practicality. Rugosa roses are a testament to the fact that toughness and beauty can go hand in hand.

9. Climbing Rose

Climbing Roses
Image: Envato Elements

Climbing Roses add a vertical dimension to the garden, offering a spectacular display when trained along walls, fences, or arbors. While their climbing habit requires a bit of initial setup in terms of support, once established, they are relatively easy to maintain. These roses can transform an ordinary structure into a living tapestry of blooms, making them an excellent choice for maximizing beauty in limited spaces.

Colorful Varieties to Brighten Up Your Garden

Bringing color to the garden has never been easier with these vibrant and cheerful rose varieties.

10. Knock Out Roses

Knock Out Roses

Knock Out Roses are a modern classic, beloved by gardeners for their continuous bloom cycle and exceptional disease resistance. These roses keep the garden alive with color from spring until frost, requiring minimal care in return. Available in a range of colors from bright pink to sunny yellow, Knock Out roses are a fantastic way to introduce effortless beauty to any garden.

11. Iceberg Rose

Roses (Rosa)
Image: Envato Elements

Iceberg Roses are known for their pure white blooms that offer a cooling effect to the garden palette. These floribunda roses are vigorous growers, producing clusters of flowers that seem to float like icebergs above the foliage. Iceberg roses are incredibly versatile, thriving in borders, hedges, or containers, and their crisp, clean color makes them an excellent companion for other plants.

12. Rainbow Knock Out Roses

Rainbow Knock Out Roses

Rainbow Knock Out Roses bring a palette of colors with their coral, pink, and yellow blooms. Like their Knock Out relatives, they are low-maintenance and disease-resistant, making them an ideal choice for gardeners looking for colorful impact without the hassle. These roses add a dynamic element to the garden, changing hues as they age and creating a delightful display throughout the season.

Miniature and Patio Roses for Small Spaces

Not everyone has the luxury of a large garden, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the joy of growing roses.

13. Little Chief

Little Chief Rose

‘Little Chief’ packs a big punch with its vibrant red flowers that bloom profusely on a compact bush. This variety is a true showstopper, making it an ideal choice for containers where its bright blossoms can be admired up close.

Easy to care for and resilient, ‘Little Chief’ brings a classic rose beauty to spaces where larger varieties might not fit. Whether you’re dressing up your outdoor living area or adding a pop of color to your entryway, ‘Little Chief’ will not disappoint.

14. Sweet Chariot

Sweet Chariot Rose
Image: Envato Elements

If you’re drawn to the allure of roses with a sweet fragrance, ‘Sweet Chariot’ will captivate your senses. This miniature rose variety features deep purple flowers that seem almost too exquisite to be real. The blooms not only add a visually striking element to your garden but also fill the air with their delightful scent.

‘Sweet Chariot’ is perfect for those who appreciate the sensory pleasures of gardening, offering both visual beauty and aromatic delight. Plant it in containers or small garden beds where its charm and fragrance can be fully appreciated.

Rare and Unusual Roses for the Collector

For the rose enthusiast looking for something out of the ordinary, several varieties stand as living treasures in the garden, captivating with their unique colors and forms.

15. Black Roses

Black Roses

Black Roses (e.g., Black Baccara) are the darlings of the rose world for those seeking drama and depth in their garden palette. While no rose is truly black, varieties like Black Baccara come close, with their deep velvety crimson blooms that appear nearly black under certain lighting. These roses are a stunning choice for creating focal points in the garden or for dramatic floral arrangements.

16. Green Roses

Green Roses
Image: @vuon_mam // Instagram

Green Roses (e.g., Green Ice), with their unusual greenish-white petals, offer a refreshing change from the traditional rose colors. These roses can add a unique textural element to the garden and are particularly striking when paired with darker foliage or flowers. Their subtle, often lime-green blooms intrigue visitors and provide a talking point in any garden setting.

17. Blue Rose

 Blue Rose
Image: @eripi823 // Instagram

Blue Roses (e.g., Blue Moon), though not truly blue but rather a soft lavender or lilac, represent the quest for the impossible in the rose world. Their ethereal color and often accompanying fragrance make them a coveted variety for many gardeners. Blue roses can create a serene and visually cooling effect in the garden, offering a contrast to the more typical warm hues of red, orange, and yellow.

Best Roses for Cutting and Indoor Display

Some roses are especially suited for bringing the beauty of the garden indoors, with long stems and blooms that hold up well in arrangements.

18. Peace Rose

Peace Rose
Image: @nancylovesnature // Instagram

Peace Rose, with its large, creamy yellow petals edged with pink, is an iconic variety known as much for its history as its beauty. The Peace Rose makes a striking cut flower, its blooms symbolizing hope and renewal. Its robust nature and delightful fragrance have made it a favorite for gardeners and florists alike.

19. Mr Lincoln Rose

Mr Lincoln Rose

Mr. Lincoln Rose is a classic choice for those who love red roses. Its tall, strong stems and deep, velvety red blooms are not only visually stunning but also highly fragrant. Mr. Lincoln is often considered one of the best red roses for cutting, capable of creating an elegant statement in any bouquet or vase.

20. Garden Party Rose

Garden Party Rose
Image: Envato Elements

Garden Party Rose, with its creamy white petals and soft pink edges, offers a touch of subtle elegance to any arrangement. Its large flowers and mild, sweet fragrance make it a popular choice for weddings and other special occasions. Garden Party roses are a reminder of the timeless beauty and grace that roses can bring to our lives.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Rose Varieties

In an era where sustainability is increasingly important, some roses fit beautifully into eco-friendly gardening practices.

21. Own Root Rose – Heirloom

 Heirloom Roses

Own-root roses are grown from cuttings rather than being grafted onto a rootstock. This process results in plants that are generally more vigorous and disease-resistant, reducing the need for chemical treatments. Own-root roses are a sustainable choice for gardeners looking to minimize their environmental impact while enjoying the beauty of roses.

22. Disease Resistant Rose – Super Trouper

Disease Resistant Rose - Super Trouper
Image: @dawns_gardening // Instagram

Disease-resistant roses have been bred to resist common rose ailments like black spots and powdery mildew. Rosa ‘KORbin’ varieties require fewer interventions with fungicides and pesticides, making them a healthier choice for both the garden and the gardener. Planting disease-resistant roses is a proactive step towards maintaining a more natural and sustainable garden.

Roses for Every Time of the Year

The rose garden need not be dormant in the off-peak seasons, thanks to varieties that offer beauty throughout the year.

23. Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth Rose
Image: @mariannehanley // Instagram

Characterized by its tall, upright stature, ‘Queen Elizabeth’ can reach heights of up to 5 or 6 feet (about 1.5 to 1.8 meters), making it an excellent choice for a backdrop in a mixed border or as a stately specimen plant. The blooms of ‘Queen Elizabeth’ are large and cupped, with a soft, clear pink color that exudes a classic rose charm.

24. New Dawn Rose

New Dawn Rose
Image: @small_beautiful_moments // Instagram

‘New Dawn’ is a climbing rose that has captivated gardeners since its introduction in 1930. Renowned for its vigorous growth, disease resistance, and ability to cover structures quickly, ‘New Dawn’ can reach lengths of 15 to 20 feet (about 4.5 to 6 meters), ideal for trellises, fences, and arbors. Its glossy, dark green foliage provides a perfect backdrop for the delicate, pale pink blooms that grace the vine.

25. The Fairy Rose

The Fairy Rose
Image: @flowerbygrace // Instagram

‘The Fairy’ is a polyantha rose, a group known for its compact growth, profuse blooms, and excellent disease resistance. Introduced in 1932, ‘The Fairy’ has remained a popular choice for gardeners looking for a low-maintenance, yet visually striking rose. This variety forms a dense, bushy shrub, typically 2 to 3 feet tall (about 0.6 to 0.9 meters), and is covered in clusters of small, double, rosette-shaped, light pink flowers.

Exploring the world of roses reveals the vast diversity and adaptability of this beloved flower. From the rare and unusual to the best for cutting and display, and onto sustainable and eco-friendly options, roses offer something for every gardener’s taste and every garden’s need.

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