K-State Research and Extension

Winter Care for Hybrid Tea and Shrub Roses

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Roses have long been garden favorites. They are truly a beautiful sight in the garden. Proper care year round is important for best growth, and putting them to rest for the winter in good shape is a must for success.

Hybrid tea roses. Hybrid tea roses, the gem of the garden, are not as durable as shrub roses. They are susceptible to summer diseases that can weaken plants. In order for this enduring plant to survive the winter conditions in good shape, several chores need to be done.

Sanitation is the first step in winter care. Remove all disease infected leaves from the plant and soil. Discard these in the trash. Do not compost.

Like the shrub types, hybrid teas require good soil moisture.

Unlike the shrubs, their roots and canes are not as winter hardy. Mulching of hybrid tea roses for winter protection is a must for good growth next year. Mulching tea roses involves protecting the graft union of the rootstock and named rose variety. This graft is normally just at, or below, the soil level. If the plant is killed at this junction, the desirable rose is lost.

The best and easiest way to protect the graft is with a mound of garden soil. The mound of soil should be 6 to 8 inches and poured in a cone shape right over the center of the plant. Soil for winter mulching should not come from the soil surrounding plant, as removing that soil will damage tender roots, weakening the plant. It is best to bring soil in from another part of the garden or purchase a bag of topsoil.

After a long winter’s rest, remove the soil mulch just before growth begins in the spring. Work the extra soil into low areas around the plant (be careful not to bury the plant too deeply with this additional soil) or place the extra soil in the garden.

Another good winter care practice is to reduce the height of tall rose canes. Hybrid teas should be cut back to about 24 inches. The rest of the pruning should be done in late winter or early spring after the dangers of a hard freeze is past. Shrub roses require little pruning, either in the fall or the spring.

Shrub roses. Shrub roses, which have gained in popularity, include many of the so-called old fashioned roses. The shrub roses are not fussy in terms of both their summer and winter care. These plants, for the most part are very winter hardy. Although little or no mulching for protection is needed, good soil moisture during winter is important for success. Water the plants, remove dead or diseased canes, and the plants are ready for a winter’s rest.

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How to Care for Hybrid Tea Roses

  • Latin name: Rosa x hybrida
  • Hardiness: Fully hardy. Suitable for growing across the UK and Ireland
  • Height: Up to 100cm in summer
  • Spread: Up to 90cm
  • Flowering: Summer until late autumn
  • Planting: Throughout autumn, and late winter to early spring
  • Ideal for: Borders and plant beds
  • Also suitable for: Pot growing
  • Difficulty: Easy

Hybrid tea is the oldest group of roses classified as modern garden roses. They were created in 1867 by a chance crossing of the hybrid perpetuals and tea rose varieties.

Hybrid tea roses are by far the most popular variety of rose in the world, and it’s not difficult to see why. They are admired for their graceful aspect; each long stem bears a single bloom, and each bloom has many velvety petals which arranged in a uniform pattern. The resulting flower is a thing of beauty in isolation, and as the hybrid tea rose bush has an open rather than bushy habit, it can make quite an impact in the garden.

Autumn (October – November) and early spring are the ideal times to plant your roses. If you receive your rose in summer, remove all packaging immediately, and place the potted rose outside in a sunny spot. Keep well watered and plant as soon as you can into the ground or into a large pot. Please note that the height of summer is a key growth time for your plant and there’s more risk of damaging the roots when planting or potting. Please take extra care.

If you receive your rose in winter, remove all packaging and make sure the soil is damp. Store your rose in an unheated shed/greenhouse to protect the plant from frosts until early spring, the perfect time for planting.


An hour before planting your rose, water it thoroughly, however, don’t let the compost be too wet for planting. Create a mix of soil, compost and organic rose food in a separate container. Dig a hole roughly twice the width of the plants contained in the sunniest spot in your garden, somewhere with well-draining soil that will not become waterlogged. If the soil is poor quality or clay-like, it’s advisable to add a layer of compost to the subsoil. Also, if you tend to get a lot of wind, please pick somewhere which will provide your rose with some shelter. Roses will thrive when they get at least 6 – 8 hours of sunlight a day. The minimum recommended is 4 hours.

Remove the entire rose plant from its container and gently tease out the roots. Prune any that are damaged or broken, then plant the rose with the bud union at ground level. Backfill any gaps with the soil mix you made earlier but do not pack the soil too tightly around the new rose.


If you plan to keep your rose in a pot, please note that hybrid tea roses tend to have very long roots. To grow successfully, they will need to be planted in deep containers with drainage, giving the plant plenty of space for the roots to spread out and establish. We would advise that you choose a container at least 40cm deep.

Some tips for repotting

– The soil of the rose should be slightly moist. Stand the rose in water for an hour beforehand, or water thoroughly to achieve this.

– Loosen the soil around the edge of the pot.

– Pull the rose out by the base of the main stem.

– If you’re moving your rose to a bigger pot, add some extra soil into the bottom of the pot before you insert the plant.

– Add a handful of superphosphate to encourage healthy roots and then fill in with a mix of soil and compost.

– Water the plant thoroughly with a superthrive solution, and keep the plant well watered for several weeks.

Containerised roses will need to be repotted every three to four years. Look out for the following signs that your rose is ready for a new home:

– Does your rose look less healthy than it used to?

– Does it seem to dry out quicker?

– Are there roots growing out of the holes in the bottom of the pots?

– Have the roses been in the same pot for three years or more?


Hybrid tea roses have healthy appetites because they are repeat bloomers, so feed them every spring with a powder or granular rose fertiliser, and again in June or July.


Mulching is the term used for the layer of organic material that’s placed on top of the soil around your plants every year. It has a whole host of benefits, including keeping the soil moist throughout summer and discouraging blackspot and weeds. The best time to do this is in late spring (April-May) or autumn (October).

First, prepare the ground by removing debris and weeds and water the surface of the soil if it’s dry. If mulching in spring, apply the spring feed if this has not been done, then hoe the ground lightly to mix in.

Apply a thin layer of well-rotted manure or good garden compost all around the roses – we suggest using John Innes No. 3.


Roses are deep-rooted plants, which means that in some seasons they may not require watering at all. However, the fact they are deep-rooted means the plants won’t show signs of drought as quickly as other plants in your garden, and under watering can lead to impaired growth, so approach with caution! We recommend that you water the base of the plant only, and try to avoid getting water on the leaves, as this will encourage leaf scorch and disease.

We advise you to water your rose regular watering until the plant is established. Once this point is passed, the plant will only require watering through spring and summer. When the weather is temperate, water deeply once a week, but in the height of summer, floribundas may require water every day.

When roses are grown in containers, they will have more restricted access to water than those growing in the garden, so will need watering with greater regularity. As a rule of thumb stick your finger into the first inch of topsoil and if it feels medium dry, water immediately.


Prune your rose in February or March to encourage better growth in the summer.

When pruning newly planted hybrid tea roses (planted for less than a year), cut back the rose bush to a to around 10 – 15 cm from the ground, leaving short sturdy stems. This method is called hard pruning.

When pruning, we favour the easy care method as it’s virtually foolproof, and results have been proven to be generally as good as traditional pruning methods. Using secateurs, cut your rose bush back to half its height. Cut out any remaining brown dead wood from what is left of your rose.


This is the process of removing flowers from your plant once they are dying or dead. This will help your rose to redirect its energy into making new flowers. Cut the entire stem including the dead rose away, cutting just before the second or third leaf down.

Hybrid Tea Roses in Winter

Hybrid tea roses are generally considered to be less hardy than other varieties of rose, such as floribunda. If weather conditions are expected to be extreme, you should provide your rose bushes with some protection. You can use sacking, horticultural fleece or even some bin liners to make sure your bushes dont get frost damaged. Protect the base of the plant and the bud union by piling extra compost around the stems at the base of the plant. Remove this protection when the worst of the winter frosts have passed.

You can also see our guides for floribunda roses and patio roses.

Grandiflora vs. Floribunda – What’s the Difference?

“A rose is a rose is a rose”. You probably know that plants and flowers have scientific names as well as the names given to them by rose breeders. What image comes to mind when you think of a rose? Is it the classic, velvet-smooth red rose? Or maybe a beautiful bloom of pink or an exotic color? There’s Floribunda, Grandiflora…and so many more! It can be quite a lot of information to take in. It’s very important to choose the right rose for your garden – we’re here to help!

Rose breeders and hybridizers began to classify roses in 1867, and since then new classifications of roses have been added frequently. Floribunda and Grandiflora are two of the most popular modern rose classifications – though they may look alike, there are many differences between the two.

Crush on You

Jackson & Perkins was the first company to use the term Floribunda in the early part of the 20th century. A Floribunda is just that – an abundance of flowers. They may have single or semi-double flowers that can be either cup shaped or flat. A few examples of Floribunda roses are Belinda’s Dream and Crush on You. Most Floribunda flowers are single with 5-12 petals, but the semi-double or double can be up to 45 petals. Floribundas prefer to grow in full sun and have a high tolerance for cold weather. Plant it in a slightly acidic soil and give it plenty of love and you will enjoy beautiful blooms for years to come.

The Grandiflora is a result of crossing a Floribunda with a hybrid tea rose. A grandiflora rose bush can easily reach heights of 4-5 feet tall. It is often considered to be the most popular variety of rose. One of the first roses to be classified as a Grandiflora was the ‘Queen Elizabeth‘ in 1954. It is a beautiful pink rose – the perfect example of a Grandiflora. It has a high centered bloom that is slightly larger than a floribunda.

Queen Elizabeth Rose

So, now that you know the basics of these rose classifications you may be wondering – which one is right for me and my garden? There are a few things you will need to consider before you can decide definitively.

Consider size – the size of rose you can grow depends on the amount of space that you can devote to growing it. Floribunda roses are more often used for borders while the Grandiflora is often used in larger spaces.

Consider climate – if you live in an area with hot summers or cold winters, then you will need to research the roses that can survive in the climate. Floribundas are often more cold-hearty.

Consider color – while this is more of a personal preference and for aesthetic purposes, selecting a color of a rose is also important. The color of the rose gives a personal touch to the garden. Both Floribundas and Grandifloras come in a range of different colors – red, pink, white, yellow, purple, and even some blooms with 2 colors.

So, a rose is a rose is a rose. No matter what rose you choose, we hope that you choose J&P roses. We’re here to help you have the best garden yet – whether you choose that Floribunda, Grandiflora…Climber, Tree Rose, or Miniature Rose (more on those later!).

Difference Between Floribunda & Grandiflora Roses

floribunda masquerade – single image by Trevor Allen from Fotolia.com

Modern classification of roses began in 1867, and since this time hybridizers have created many new classes and varieties of modern roses. Floribunda and grandiflora are two of the modern rose classes. The other modern rose classes include the hybrid tea, climber, miniature, polyantha, rambler and shrub rose. Though the floribunda and grandiflora were both crossed with a hybrid tea, there are many differences between these two classes.


To create floribundas, hybridizers crossed a hybrid tea and a polyantha, so it often has hybrid tea-type flowers, but not always. The grandiflora class began in 1954 with the rose Queen Elizabeth. This grand rose was named in honor of the queen’s accession to the throne in 1952. And so the grandiflora was crossed with a hybrid tea and a floribunda.


Like the name implies, the floribunda has an abundance of flowers. According to “Ortho’s Complete Guide to Roses” some floribundas have single or semidouble flowers that are cup-shaped or flat. Floribunda flowers come in various colors and sizes and will produce sprays of flowers all summer. Grandifloras have high centered flowers that are slightly larger than floribunda blossoms and long, strong cutting stems inherited from the hybrid teas. They are also hardy and have clustered blooms.

Garden Uses

Floribundas and grandifloras are of much different use when designing a garden, whether it is a rose garden or a garden that incorporates roses. Floribundas are great plants for landscaping, and because of their low bushy form they are very suitable for hedges, edgings or mass plantings. They are hardy and low growing. Grandifloras, on the other hand, do not grow low, but quite high. They are the tallest of modern roses except for climbers. They are useful for screens or the back of a border.

Types of Floribundas

Varieties of floribundas that are good for gardening include Anabell, Angel Face, Apricot Nectar, Betty Prior, Brown Velvet, Cathedral, Escapade, Fire King, French Lace, Iceberg, Marina, Orangeade, Playboy, Playgirl, Saratoga, Sea Pearl and Vogue. Most of these flowers are single with five to 12 petals, but a few are semi-double or double with 13 to 45 petals.

Types of Grandifloras

Popular grandifloras are Aquarius, Arizona, Camelot, Gold Medal, Love, Montezuma, New Year, Pink Parfait, Prima Donna, Shining Hour, Shreveport, Sonia, Tournament of Roses, White Lightnin’, and of course Queen Elizabeth. Many of these roses are double or very double flowers and have 25 to 30 petals per bloom, but some, such as Camelot, can have 40 to 55.

Floribunda & Grandiflora Roses at Romence

Floribunda roses present medium sized clusters of flowers on medium length stems; usually 3’ to 4’ tall varying by variety. Nicely fragrant, excellent disease resistance, vigorous growers and compact habit.

Grandiflora roses are known for their large clusters of flowers on long stems; usually taller bushes, 4’ to 6’ varying by variety. Nicely fragrant, excellent disease resistance and vigorous growers.

Variety Fragrance Color Awards
Angel Face Strong old-rose Deep mauve-lavender AARS Winner -“The highest honor for garden roses”
Brass Band ™ Moderately fruity Melon orange & yellow bicolor AARS Winner -“The highest honor for garden roses”
Burgundy Iceberg ™ Mild honey Purple-red burgundy w/cream reverse
Cinco de Mayo ™ Moderate fresh-cut apple Blend rust-red & lavender-smoke 2009 Floribunda of the Year
Ebb Tide ™ Strong spicy clove Smoky deep plum purple
Enchanted Evening Strong Citrus Lavender
Frankly Scarlet Spicy Red
Heaven on Earth Spicy Apricot to light pink
Iceberg Light honey White
Julia Child Strong, sweet licorice & spice Golden yellow 2006 Floribunda of the Year
Kimberlina Light Spicy Light Pink, dark reverse 2009 Floribunda of the Year
Lovestruck Light Spicy Dark Pink handpainted, white reverse 2008 Floribunda of the Year
Pretty Lady ™ Slight Creamy white
Sexy Rexy Light fruity Pink
Vavoom ™ Moderate spicy Orange juice Orange
Variety Fragrance Color
Cherry Parfait ™ Light sweet White edged w/ red AARS Winner -“The highest honor for garden roses”
Dream Come True ™ Mild tea Golden yellow edge/blushed w/ruby 2008 Grandiflora of the Year
Gold Medal Light, spicy tea rose Deep yellow
Rock & Roll ™ Strong rose & fruit Burgundy, red & ivory

Grandiflora Rose

Grandiflora Rose

A result of a cross between a hybrid tea rose and a floribunda rose, grandiflora-type roses were born of necessity, as the new cross didn’t fit in either of the parent categories. Featuring habits of both parents, grandifloras are known for their showy, high-centered blooms similar to their hybrid tea parentage, as well as their taller plant height. From their floribunda parent, grandiflora roses sport multiple blooms per stem, unlike gthe hybrid tea rose. The pioneer of this group of roses was the beautiful ‘Queen Elizabeth’ in 1955.

genus name
  • Rosa
  • Sun
plant type
  • Rose
  • 1 to 3 feet,
  • 3 to 8 feet
  • To 3 feet wide
flower color
  • Purple,
  • Red,
  • Orange,
  • White,
  • Pink,
  • Yellow
foliage color
  • Blue/Green
season features
  • Summer Bloom
special features
  • Fragrance,
  • Cut Flowers
  • 4,
  • 5,
  • 6,
  • 7,
  • 8,
  • 9
  • Stem Cuttings

Colorful Combinations

Grandiflora roses add a pop of color (in almost any color possible!) to the garden along with their lovely scented blooms. Because of their tall and fairly sparse plant habit, grandiflora roses fit in well among other perennials and shrubs. Position them so you can enjoy their fragrance throughout the day and into the evening.

See our favorite rose garden plans.

Grandiflora Rose Care Must-Knows

Like all other rose types, grandiflora roses need full sun. With anything less, you increase the probability of numerous problems, such as poor-quality blooms, greater likelihood of plants flopping, and overall weak, sparse plants. Foliar diseases are the biggest problem of many roses, and grandifloras are very susceptible. One of the biggest concerns is black spot, a fungal disease that causes black spots on the foliage. In many climates black spot is almost inevitable for rosebushes. The best thing to do is to be proactive and plant in full sun, prune properly for good airflow, and avoid wetting the foliage when possible. Mildews are also troublesome, including powdery and downy varieties. Control these as you would black spot.

Grandiflora roses generally will survive in full sun and in well-drained soils. If you have poor soil, amend it by adding a good amount of general purpose potting mix and peat moss to help lighten it up. Once you have dug the hole for your rose plant, gently spread the roots over a mound of soil and fill in with the amended soil, filling any gaps and packing down lightly to remove any air pockets around the roots. Many grandifloras are grafted plants, meaning the top growth is actually a separate plant from the roots. When planting grafted roses, make sure the graft union (the bulging knob-like spot near the base of the plant) is buried 1 to 2 inches below the soil level in northern climates, and just above the soil in warmer climates. Prune back any stalks emerging from below this union; otherwise you risk the more vigorous rootstock taking over your beautiful top variety.

Learn how to prune your roses right.

Once planted, make sure to water well at the base of the plant. As the plant grows, make sure to continue watering regularly until established. Roses are heavy feeders, so plan accordingly; repeat blooming varieties will be happy with regular doses of fertilizer.

See our organic fertilizing tips.

Pruning Grandiflora Roses

Pruning grandiflora roses is the same deal as hybrid teas. If you’re not familiar, it is best to prune in late winter, before the plants have put on their new spring growth. At this point, remove any old, dead growth and diseased wood. Long, vigorous shoots can then be cut back to 4 to 6 buds from the base, which is generally 10 to 15 inches above the graft union. After a harsh winter, you may have substantial dieback on these long canes; simply cut back to the first signs of live wood. As plants get older and canes get thick, you may need to cut some of these older canes almost back to the ground. This will help to encourage new growth from the base of the plant, and can also help to increase airflow.

More Varieties of Grandiflora Rose

‘Dick Clark’ Rose

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Rosa ‘Dick Clark’ is lauded as a chameleon rose; no two flowers are the same. Black-red buds spiral open to show off creamy pink and magenta flowers. Zones 6-9

‘Earth Song’ Rose

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Rosa ‘Earth Song’ is an extra-tough grandiflora bred at Iowa State University. Large, clear-pink, urn-shape blooms begin opening in early summer and continue until frost. The vigorous plant has an upright growth habit with glossy dark green foliage. It grows 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Zones 4-9

‘Honey Dijon’ Rose

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Rosa ‘Honey Dijon’ bears pink, peach, and brown tones that mingle in the porcelain-like blooms. It displays its colors most dramatically in cooler temperatures and has a sweet, fruity fragrance. The tall, vigorous plant grows 4 to 5 feet tall. Zones 5-9

‘Maria Shriver’ Rose

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Rosa ‘Maria Shriver’ offers large, perfectly formed, cloud-white flowers that open in clusters on long stems and release a citrus-zest fragrance. The plant grows 4 to 5 feet tall. Zones 6-9

‘Octoberfest’ Rose

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Rosa ‘Octoberfest’ shows a mellow blend of yellow, orange, and red that gives the petals a luminous glow. The semidouble blooms have a moderate fruity fragrance. Plants reach 6 feet tall with an upright growth habit. Zones 5-9

‘Radiant Perfume’ Rose

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Rosa ‘Radiant Perfume’ is an amazing display of color and fragrance. The big golden-yellow blooms have a citrus scent. Plants reach 5 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9

‘Queen Elizabeth’ Rose

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Rosa ‘Queen Elizabeth’ is an award-winning variety that bears elegantly formed, lightly scented, clear-pink blooms. Plants show high disease resistance and hardiness, growing 6 feet tall and 2-1/2 to 3 feet wide with dark green leaves. Zones 5-9

‘Tournament of Roses’ Rose

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Rosa ‘Tournament of Roses’ boasts beige-pink petals with a satiny texture. The flowers have a light, spicy fragrance. Foliage is disease-resistant on plants that grow 4 to 5 feet tall. Zones 5-9

‘Scarlet Knight’ Rose

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Rosa ‘Scarlet Knight’ is an award-winning variety with deeply colored and dramatic blooms that start from nearly black buds and unfurl to double crimson flowers with a light old-rose fragrance. Appearing one per stem or in clusters, the blooms hold up well in cut bouquets. Foliage is dark green on tall, upright plants that reach 5 feet tall and 2-1/2 feet wide. Zones 5-9

‘Wild Blue Yonder’ Rose

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Rosa ‘Wild Blue Yonder’ offers clustered, camellia-like blooms in lavender pink, with a heady fragrance of citrus and tea rose. It’s an award-winning variety that grows 4 feet tall. Zones 6-9

How to Grow Roses

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Garden Plans For Grandiflora Rose

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