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How to choose your rose bushes?

Guide written by:
Crystal, Owner of a small gardening business, Oxford

Crystal, Owner of a small gardening business, Oxford

26 guides
There are thousands of varieties of rose, and among them you'll find everything from climbers to classic bushes, creepers to long-stem roses. Depending on exposure to sunlight, flowering, pruning and growing method (open soil or pots), our guide will help you choose the right roses for you.

Important features

  • Variety of rose
  • Growing method
  • Pruning and maintenance
  • Size and planting
  • Flowering

How to choose beautiful roses for your garden?

The sheer variety among roses means there's almost nowhere they can't go in your garden, whether it's in an edged bed, decorating a hedgerow or climbing up a wall. Some are particularly well adpated to growing in pots and can be used to beautify a balcony or patio.
Apart from the colour of the flowers themselves, here are a few key criteria for choosing your rose plants:
  • sunlight needs, e.g. direct light or partial shade
  • location - bushes, beds or path borders
  • size at maturity
  • flowering
  • pruning requirements
  • growing method - trays, pots or open soil
  • form - freestanding shrubs or climbing, for instance
  • disease resistance

To help the gardener lost at sea among the 40,000 available varieties, the following guide explores the various families of roses to help you choose the best variety for you and your garden.

Climbing roses

Climbing roses are easily recognized by their large size. They can actually reach heights of 3 to 6m, and sometimes even larger. They're typically used to cover and decorate walls.
There are countless varieties of climbing roses, but they all share one common characteristic: their long, flexible stems require some kind of support, such as the structure of a pergolatrellis etc. They also require a considerable amount of light. Climbing roses only need to be pruned once a year to promote flowering.

Rose bushes

Classic rose bushes are typically used to create attractive ornamental beds and borders. Once planted, they produce a bush growing to about 1.2m in height. Bush roses offer the greatest variety in terms of flower characteristics: large-flower varieties; grouped flower varieties with the roses forming ready-made bouquets at the base of each branch.
These roses need to be pruned regularly, at least twice a year - for instance, once in March and again after they flower. It's also worth noting that bush rose varieties are quite resistant to disease.

Stem roses

These can be planted in the centre of a lawn, alongside a path or in pots. They resemble a little tree with a very slim trunk. They need constant exposure to direct sunlight.

In terms of maintenance, it's important to prune this type at the end of spring. Tree guides or supports may also be necessary.

Ground-cover roses

Ground-cover roses are typically used to add character to open spaces such as borders and embankments. Once planted, they expand rapidly and cover a wide area with their foliage and brightly coloured flowers.

These plants are generally fairly small in size, rarely exceeding 80cm in height. Another advantage is their impressive disease resistance and limited maintenance requirements - due to their small size, one pruning every 2 to 3 years is sufficient.

Shrub roses

Shrub roses are the ideal variety for creating decorative hedgerows, although they can also be planted independently or used in beds. Shrub roses don't need any kind of supporting structure. They're quite large, often reaching 2m in height.

They're easy to grow and require little maintenance, as well as having strong resistance to cold and disease.

Miniature roses

Miniature roses are perfect for decorating balconies and patios. They can be planted in pots to create little decorative bunches.

Mini roses flower in springtime. These varieties do require regular watering and pruning at the end of the flowering period.

Creeping roses

Creeping roses require little maintenance and don't need to be pruned. Their stems behave like vines and will wrap themselves around the branches of trees.

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Guide written by:

Crystal, Owner of a small gardening business, Oxford 26 guides écrits

Crystal, Owner of a small gardening business, Oxford
From a background in waste transportation, I became a farmer specializing in organic market gardening. A graduate of a professional baccalaureate in Agronomy and Horticultural Production, I tried for several years as a young farmer to settle in the beautiful region of Oxford.
After many disappointments, I finally started a small-business in home services, specifically in gardening, assisted by my loving, dear husband. Passionate about nature and wild edible plants, I am very attentive to ecological solutions and respectful of our environment in all aspects of my daily life.
From the vegetable garden to the flower beds, from seed to harvest, I have all kinds of advice up my sleeve. Do not hesitate to ask me your questions.

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