Understanding Rose Classifications

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated February 27, 2019)

Understanding rose classifications can often seem to be a bit of a pipe dream. The reason for this is that there are literally over 100 distinct species of roses, and countless hybrids are already in circulation with more being introduced all the time. That being said, there are some classifications that seem to have been agreed upon. Understanding those rose classifications can be a great help in getting started.

  • Miniatures. The roses that fall into this particular classification are, as you can probably guess, fairly small. On average, the blossoms of these particular types of roses will be as small as a child's fingernail or as large as a quarter. On average the whole plant itself will range in height from as small as one foot, to no more than four feet tall. The sub-classification of mini-flora roses will have the second smallest of buds which, while larger than the miniatures, are still smaller than anything else.
  • Polyanthas. Roses in the polyanthas (and floribundas) classification are particularly prolific plants which usually grow on bushes that will usually grow to be no more than four feet tall. When the roses bloom they will appear as clusters of flowers.
  • Hybrid teas. The hybrid tea roses will have the appearance of the "classic" rose, with high centered blossoms on a long stem. In addition hybrid tea roses usually have a fragrance that range from the really strong to no scent at all. Grandiflora roses look an awful lot like the hybrid teas, however the blossoms are often clustered when they begin to bloom. Typically, these particular classification of roses are the most popular types to have in the cutting garden.
  • Climbers and shrubs. Roses in this particular classification are particularly hardy and resistant to disease and cold weather. When they begin to bloom they do it all over the place rather than in clusters like their cousins. Additionally, these types of roses can easily grow to six feet tall, and if they have been trained to climb, they can grow to 12 feet or more.
  • Old garden. Old garden roses have been around the longest of all the classifications. In fact, these types of roses (which include the gallica, damask, alba, bourbon, moss, and more) have been around since the times of the Romans, and even longer. In fact, this particular classification are the very definition of "classic" roses.

Keep in mind that these are only some of the more commonly used classification names for roses. Other than scientific names and classifications, there really is no universally agreed upon groupings of roses that can be called definitive. That being said, the classifications listed above will allow you to have a reasonably intelligent discussion with any nursery owner.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


Saving Money while Traveling for the Holidays

Traveling during the holidays is probably the single largest expense many of us are faced with during this festive ...

Discover More

Dust Prevention

No one really likes dust, and since it seems to get everywhere, it only stands to reason that a few preventative measures ...

Discover More

Organic Eggs

In today's rush to become as healthy as possible, many people are beginning to turn to organic foods. One of the most ...

Discover More
More Gardening Tips

Planting Roses

Without a doubt, roses are one of the all time favorite plants of gardeners everywhere. This is due to how beautiful the ...

Discover More

Choosing the Right Rose Bushes

Most people agree that the rose is the most beautiful flower in the garden. They certainly look beautiful in catalogs, ...

Discover More

Landscaping with Roses

There are many people who will say that landscaping with roses is a vital necessity in order to create the ultimate look. ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six more than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)