The names have been changed but the flowers are still the same.. hybrid tea roses are now called large-flowered bush roses instead and the former floribunda roses are now called cluster-flowered bush roses in most catalogues.

Large flowered (hybrid tea) roses are best for cutting and exhibition purposes but are often more difficult to grow than the cluster flowered (floribunda) ones, which give a bigger splash of colour for longer, but seldom have any fragrance.

Climbing roses are for training over pergolas, up walls and fences. Each variety has its maximum height which can be anything from 7ft (2m) or so over 20ft (7m).

Rambling roses are not grown much nowadays because they are prone to disease and only have one flush of blooms each year. They are also difficult to prune.


Miniature roses are very fashionable now. They grow about 1ft (30cm) high, and can be used as pot plants. There are even climbing versions.

Roses bought from nurseries are often dug up in winter and sent off with bare roots wrapped in damp peat or other packing material. If they are delayed in the post they may dry out. Plunge the entire plant in a bucket of water for several hours in the hope that you can revive it.

Pre-packed roses sold in supermarkets and garden centres should be inspected carefully before buying. The warmth inside the store may make them start to sprout prematurely, giving lank unhealthy growth.


Do not buy roses where the buds have opened up into white shoots. They have started growing too soon, and the root growth will never catch up with the buds.

Container-grown roses can be planted any time but they must be put in a large whole with a mix of half peat and half soil.

Miniature roses should always be bought in containers, they do not like having their roots disturbed.

A climbing rose must be planted at least 1ft (30cm) away from the wall, with the roots pointed away from it.

After planting, prune bush roses to within 6" (15cm) of the ground. Leave climbing and miniature roses unpruned.

Roses need plenty of feeding. Dig in a good quantity of compost into the soil before you plant, and feed them 2 or 3 times in the flowering season with special rose fertilizer.

Remember roses prefer an open sunny site and moisture-retaining soil. They hate draughts.

Prune established bush roses in the winter, cutting back to a bud about 1ft (30cm) above the soil.

Climbers do not need regular yearly pruning but should be cut back if the bottom of the plant gets ‘leggy’ to encourage shoots from the base.