Choosing and Caring for Grandiflora Roses
As a class, grandiflora roses bear large, long-stemmed, hybrid tea-like flowers, either in clusters or one to a stem. Generally, grandiflora plants are tall, hardy, and vigorous, but plant habits can vary a bit. Some of the newer varieties are smaller, more compact plants.
Care for grandifloras as you would hybrid teas — watering, fertilizing, winter protection, pruning practices, and so on are pretty much the same. Gardeners often use grandifloras like hybrid teas, planting them in rows for cut flowers. However, they tend to put on a better show of color than many hybrid teas do, so don’t hesitate to use them in the landscape. Tall varieties make useful hedges or background plants. You can mix lower-growing types, such as ‘Crimson Bouquet’, with other flowers in perennial borders.
Here is a list of some of all-time favorite grandifloras.
Red and pink grandifloras: Here are some beautiful red and pink grandifloras to consider for your garden:
‘Candy Apple’: Lustrous apple-red blossoms with a slight fragrance and lots of petals bloom in a cupped form.
‘Fame!’: Large, beautifully formed, deep pink, lightly scented double blossoms (30 to 35 petals).
‘Love’: Bright red flowers with a silvery reverse and 35 petals. Slight, spicy fragrance.
‘Prima Donna’: Deep, fuschia-pink flowers have 27 petals. Light fragrance.
‘Queen Elizabeth’: The first grandiflora, and still the finest. Clear pink, ruffled blooms adorn the stately, tall bush in long-stemmed clusters. The abundant blooms are high-centered or cup-shaped, moderately fragrant, and vigorous.
Orange grandifloras: Choosing a favorite orange grandiflora is tough, but any of these are contenders:
‘Candelabra’: Glowing coral orange, double flowers (about 25 petals) have exceptional form and a slight fragrance.
‘Montezuma’: Produces loads of long-stemmed, reddened coral-orange flowers with 30 to 35 petals and a light scent.
‘Ol’: Long-lived, ruffled flowers with brilliant orange-red tones that don’t fade. The blooms have 40 to 45 petals and a slight fragrance.
‘Reba McEntire’: Bright orange-red, double blooms with about 30 petals are borne in clusters and have a slight fragrance.
‘Solitude’: Brilliant bright orange blooms with hints of yellow and gold and 30 to 35 petals show their best color with heat. Mild, spicy fragrance.
Yellow and white grandifloras: Of these two white grandifloras, only ‘White Lightnin’ has stood the test of time:
‘Gold Medal’: Nearly constant supply of dark gold buds and richly fragrant, golden-yellow flowers have a flirtation of red at the tips and 30 to 35 petals. (This rose is featured in the color insert.)
‘Mt. Hood’: Masses of full and fleshy ivory-white flowers with 40 to 45petals on a bushy plant. Light fragrance.
‘Shining Hour’: Deep yellow, cup-shaped flowers grow singly and in clusters or sprays with 33 petals and have a moderate fragrance.
‘White Lightnin’: Small, white clusters of cupped, very fragrant flowers with 26 to 32 petals burst forth all season on the low growing, robust bush.
Lavender grandifloras: The rose world contains several great lavender (or mauve) grandifloras:
‘Cologne’: Light lavender, intensely fragrant double flowers with 17 to 25 petals.
‘Fragrant Plum’: The buds are long and pointed; elegant, deep plum flowers have good form and a strong, fruity fragrance. Color brightens inheat.
‘Lagerfeld’: Light silvery lavender, double flowers (30 to 35 petals) have a strong fragrance.
‘Melody Parfume’: Deep purple buds open into lavender double blooms (about 30 petals) gradually fading with a silvery sheen. Sweet, spicy fragrance.
‘Spellcaster’: Deep mauve and lavender blooms with 26 to 40 petals and intense fragrance.
Multicolored grandifloras: All these are good, but ‘Octoberfest’ really shines:
‘Arizona’: High-centered blooms with 35 to 40 petals are blended tones of bronzy orange and mellow pink that don’t fade. Powerful fragrance.
‘Heart O’ Gold’: Deep golden-yellow blooms edged with soft pink. Flowers have 30 to 35 petals and a strong, fruity fragrance.
‘Octoberfest’: Autumn shades of red, orange, and yellow bloom in large clusters of double blooms with about 17 to 25 petals. Pleasing, fruity fragrance.
‘Quaker Star’: The double flowers with 35 to 40 petals are dark pink with orange tips and orange reverse. Free-blooming but has no fragrance.