Although you may hear rumors that roses are a problem plant, many varieties of roses are easy growing flowers and thrive with just a minimum of care.
Throughout history, roses have been the preferred gift to express the emotions of love, friendship, and compassion. The rose has also enjoyed favored status in literature, art, and music. Around 600 B.C.E. the Greek poetess Sappho named the rose the "Queen of Flowers". Since then, hundreds of quotes, jingles, lyrics, and verses praise roses and dozens of artists have tried to emulate their beauty in painting and sculpture.
Thirty-five rose species are indigenous to the United States. In 1986, the United State paid tribute to the rose by making it the US's national flower. The rose has been a favorite flowering perennial among gardeners for over 2,000 years and you'll find roses growing in nearly every corner of the world.
Roses (Rosa) contribute tens of thousands cultivars to an already large family, the Rosaceae (rose-AY-see-ee), a family that also includes raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. Three thousand varieties of roses are available commercially and over 100 species of roses are classified as Species Roses or wild roses. So, from this large rose selection, how do you choose the rose plants that you want to grow?
Roses are rapid growing perennial plants that reach maturity in as short a time as three years and return to full height each year despite fall and spring pruning. Roses range in size from 8-inch tall miniatures to rose trees that reach heights of 50 feet. Of popular roses, floribundas grow up to 4 feet tall, hybrid tea roses to 6 feet tall, and most pillar and climbing roses reach 8 to 15 feet in height.
Although many modern hybrids survive for only six to ten years, some species and old garden roses may produce for over 50 years.
Select roses by the type of growth you want to see in your rose garden, but most importantly, select roses that will thrive in the space you have to give them.