A Guide to the Common Types of Roses in Australia

There are so many different types of roses that you can grow in Australia that it can be helpful to understand the varieties available before you start planting them in your garden.

Personally, I choose roses to grow in my garden by how beautiful their blooms are and don’t have a preference for any particular type.

This is probably because I’ve been a huge fan of growing roses for most of my life and just love all the different varieties that are available. Plus, most rose varieties do prefer similar growing conditions and care.

However, many people do prefer to understand the different rose varieties that are available before making their selection. This can help with garden design, proper care and maintenance, colour coordination, and even fragrance preferences.

Here’s a rundown of the different types of roses that are available for home gardeners in Australia.

Hybrid tea roses 

Hybrid tea rose | Plant varieties

This is probably the most commonly grown type of rose in Australian gardens. Each plant produces large flowers either singly or with several on the same stem. These roses will generally grow to a height of up to 2 metres.

Some outstanding varieties include:

  • Pink Illusion – speckled pink and white blooms
  • Oklahoma – deep red blooms
  • Mary Mackillop – delicate white and light pink blooms

Floribunda roses

Floribunda roses | Plant varieties

Equally popular are the floribunda roses. These have medium-sized blooms that are often born in large clusters on the end of long stems. Most varieties will reach a height of up to 2 metres. 

I have a floribunda variety growing in my current garden called ‘Adorable’. It produces masses of deep pink to purple blooms in large clusters. These are great for cutting and putting in a vase. The flowers also have a lovely scent and I get two flushes of blooms, one in spring and one in autumn.

Some other really pretty varieties include:

  • Brass Band – orange and yellow blooms
  • Gold Bunny – golden yellow blooms
  • Pink Parfait – beautiful pink blooms

Standard roses

Standard roses | Plant varieties

Standard roses are grafted roses using a straight, rooted stem with the top being either a hybrid tea, floribunda, shrub or miniature rose variety. While the single stem is bare, the top grows similar to a bush rose. These usually grow to a height of around 90 cm.

Standard roses are useful for creating height in the garden and can be underplanted with low-growing plants. They’re also perfect for growing in pots.

Some outstanding varieties include:

  • Bordeaux – luscious red blooms
  • Heritage – pretty pink ruffled blooms
  • Peach Profusion – delicate peach-coloured blooms

Climbing roses

Climbing roses | Plant varieties

Also commonly referred to as rambling or pillar roses, these produce long canes that have to be supported by a trellis or another type of climbing frame. They make excellent screening plants and look fantastic when trained over an arch or arbour. 

Popular varieties include:

  • Iceberg – snowy white blooms with yellow centres
  • Pierre de Ronsand – white to pale pink blooms with a fruity fragrance
  • Golden Showers – yellow open blooms with a sweet fragrance

Weeping standards

These are similar to normal standards except they have a climbing rose variety that has been grafted on top of the stem. This allows the canes to cascade down and results in a weeping effect. These will usually reach a height of around 2 metres.

Look out for these varieties if you want to add one to your garden:

  • Purple Rain – stunning bright pink blooms
  • Seafoam – icy white blooms
  • Crepuscule – delicate apricot blooms

Miniature roses

Miniature roses | Plant varieties

Miniature roses are low-growers and useful for landscape plantings. They don’t require as much pruning as regular roses and usually have an abundance of blooms. 

I had two of these growing in my last garden and they always brightened up my day with their gorgeous small flowers that appeared in profusion over a long period of time. They can get a little overgrown if left to their own devices but handle a hard prune really well.

Some outstanding varieties include:

  • Figurine – pretty pink flowers with white outer petals
  • Mandarine – dark orange blooms
  • My Little Angel – pale purple or mauve blooms

Modern or English shrub roses

English shrub roses | Plant varieties

This type of rose grows into a large shrub with tall and spreading branches or canes. They’re usually heavily thorned and have scented flowers. They are great for mass planting or creating a good screening hedge.

Popular varieties include:

  • Black Caviar – deep red blooms
  • Caramelia – yellowy-apricot blooms
  • Lion’s Rose – creamy-white blooms

Ground cover or carpet roses

Ground cover rose | Plant varieties

These low-growing roses only reach a height of 50 cm and spread profusely. They produce masses of small flowers and require very little if any, pruning. These are ideal if you love roses but don’t have the time or desire to give them the care that they need.

Pretty varieties include:

  • Gardener’s Pleasure – red blooms
  • Little Wonder – white open blooms with yellow centres
  • Little Chap – deep pink blooms


What are old fashioned roses called?

Old-fashioned roses are often referred to as heritage roses. Sometimes, they are also called antique roses.

What is the easiest rose to grow?

Floribunda roses are one of the easiest to grow. They are quite hardy and flower freely. There’s also a huge variety that you can choose from with more being bred continually.

Photo of author

Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.


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