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Floribundas bloom freely in SCV

Versatile and popular floribunda roses come in all sizes, shapes, bloom types and colors

Posted: June 26, 2009 10:07 p.m.
Updated: June 27, 2009 4:30 a.m.

The more I look at rose books and roses in the landscape, the more I see floribundas as the best all-around class of roses in so many styles and disciplines. Floribundas, which means “bloom freely,” come in all sizes, shapes, bloom types and colors.

Floribundas typically grow to  two to three feet high and wide with blooms that measure three to five inches across. Some have one bloom per stem while others bloom in clusters of 20 or more. Some have the classic hybrid tea form, which is the form most people picture when they think of roses, but the majority has the decorative form, which is more open and doesn’t have the high pointed center. Like most rose classes, some are very fragrant while others are not.

When floribundas bloom, the plant is usually covered with blooms. Even when they are not in bloom, the plant is full of attractive green leaves. Also, because the plants are shorter, they do not have the naked bottom section that many other rosebushes have.

This is why they are commonly used in forming hedges and beds of color.

Because of their size, floribundas are very versatile — they fit in all sizes of gardens and can also be grown in pots. Floribundas grown in a pot are great for a focal point of color, but it is in the landscape where they really shine. In Europe, most large rosebeds are floribundas. Popular landscape roses include Iceberg and Simplicity.

Floribunda rose trees are also a sight to behold. They perform very well on tree standards from three to six feet, and because they do not produce long canes, they are reasonably well-behaved.

Floribundas also perform well as climbing roses. One of the best climbing floribundas is Climbing Iceberg, which grows to 12 feet or more.

Floribundas are proving to be a timeless class of roses — some of the most popular floribundas of today have been around for many years, including Iceberg (1958), Angel Face (1968), Margaret Merril (1977), Spartan (1955), Sunsprit (1977), Simplicity (1978), Europeana (1968), Summer Snow (1938), Playboy (1976), Showbiz (1983) and Betty Prior (1935). Others commonly seen in catalogs and nurseries include Marina (1974), Roman Holiday (1966), Evelyn Fusion (1962), Glad Tidings (1988), Redglo (1971), Apricot Nectar (1965), Nicole (1985), Lavaglut (1978), Sexy Rexy (1984), Eyepaint (1975), Dicky (1984), Eutin (1946), Escapade (1967), Sun Flare (1981) and Playgirl (1986).

The best selling floribunda in the world is Iceberg, boasting vigorous growth, winter-hardiness, fair disease-resistance, great repeat bloom and a lovely fragrance. Odds are high that white roses seen planted near roadways or in landscapes are Iceberg.

Personally, I use floribundas for borders, rosebeds and in pots. My favorite floribundas include the orange-red Evelyn Fison, the red Glad Tidings, the deep-pink Playgirl, the candy-pink Chuckles, the coral and cream Tiki, the yellow Julia Child and Katherine Loker and the coppery Singin’ In The Rain.  
Steve Jones of Valencia is a Master Consulting Rosarian, and the president of the American Rose Society.



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