A (2) | B (8) | C (4) | D (3) | F (6) | G (1) | H (5) | L (2) | M (4) | O (3) | P (6) | Q (1) | R (7) | S (8) | T (2) | W (1) | Z (1) | ALL (64)

Old Roses

(abbrev. OR, OGR, see also English Roses, Modern Roses) Sometimes called Old Roses, Old-fashioned Roses or Antique Roses, these are the varieties of roses that existed before 1867 when the first Hybrid Tea was introduced.

Some of the classes of Old Roses are the Albas, Bourbons, Boursaults, Centifolias, Chinas, Damasks, Gallicas, Hybrid Perpetuals, Mosses, Noisettes, Portlands, and Tea roses. Some of the Ramblers and Rugosas are considered Old Roses. As a group, Old Roses tend to be once blooming, though some are repeat bloomers. They tend to be more disease-resistant and require less maintenance than the Hybrid Teas which accounts for some of their popularity. There are exceptions to this, especially the China and Tea roses. The China and Tea roses are tender and disease prone, but are very important because they provide the repeat blooming genes to many classes of roses (notably Hybrid Teas).

This FAQ contains a document with more information about Old Roses.

Once Blooming

(see also repeat blooming:)

Roses that bloom once a year, usually in the spring. Since, they bloom only once a year, when they do bloom they usually put on an excellent show. They flower on old wood, so most pruning is done just after they have finished blooming, not in the winter.
This applies to most species roses, most Ramblers and to Old European roses (Gallicas, Damasks, Albas, Centifolias and many Moss roses).
Organic Fertilizer|Fertilizer made from natural substances rather than chemicals. Examples of organic materials include compost (excellent!), alfalfa, blood meal, fish emulsion, manure, bone meal, and kelp.

Own-Root Roses

An own-root rose is a plant whose rootstock (the roots) is the same variety as the top of the plant.

Grafted roses, commonly referred to as budded plants, are plants where the desired rose is grafted or budded onto a rootstock of a different type. The point where the desired variety and the rootstock meet is called the bud union.
We prefer to grow non-suckering roses on their own roots, as although they are slower to establish than budded ones, they are more resilient to drought, mowers, whippersnippers and bushfires. This applies to Teas, Chinas, Polyanthas, most Ramblers. Some Hybrid Teas and Floribundas will do well on their own roots, but less robust ones need the support of an understock.

Own-root roses are usually recommended for those in very cold climates. This is because an own-root rose that dies back to the ground during the winter can grow back the next year from the roots. If a grafted rose dies back to the ground, what will come up next Spring is the rootstock variety, usually an undesirable variety of rose.

Even if a rose doesn't die back to the ground. Sometimes a shoot will emerge from the rootstock. If the rose is grafted, this shoot is called a sucker, and will be the same variety of the rootstock, not the desired plant. When this happens with own-root roses, the shoot will be of the desired variety.

New canes can emerge each year from the bud union of grafted roses. After many years, the bud union of grafted roses can become large and knobby and eventually run out of places for new canes to emerge from. This is not a problem for own-root roses, since they lack the knobby bud union of grafted roses. Therefore, grafted roses may not last as long as own-root roses.

Most roses are sold as grafted plants, since it is more economical than selling own-root plants. A common rootstock is "Dr. Huey", used by J&P and Roses of Yesterday and Today and other nurseries in the western US. It does well in alkaline soils. "Dr. Huey" has a dark red bloom about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. R. multiflora is commonly is in the eastern US. It prefers acid soil. Wayside uses "Manetti" rootstock.

There has recently been some discussion about R. fortuniana rootstock. It is primarily used in Florida where its root knot nematode resistance is important. Its fine, spreading root network is good for sandy soils. It is not considered to be freeze hardy, so it is only recommended for mild climates.

Don't confuse own-root roses with bare-root roses, the terms refer to different things. Roses are usually sold either bare-root (no soil around the roots) or potted in containers. Bare-root roses can be either own-root or grafted. Bare-root roses tend to be less expensive than potted roses. Since they are lighter (no soil) than potted roses, most mail-order roses are bare-root.


Stay informed with the latest News, Book reviews and more.


Keep up with all events, workshops and conferences.



Not yet a Heritage Rose Member? Click here to find out about members' benefits.



Info about the comprehensive Quarterly Journal for our members.