Standard Roses

Standard roses are a gardening term for a specific type of grafted plant. Find out more about how to create them.

Standard Roses

You may have seen these labeled as tree roses. Basically these are a grafted combination of two plants. Usually it will be a large flowering breed (hybrid tea or English) combined with a long stemmed multiflora as the base. People in milder climates may get a Dr. Huey on the bottom.

The term is believed to have come from 1800s England, when Victorian gardeners were first making these creations in the royal gardens. Back then they were called rose standards. This term was later reversed to be the term often heard today. They were first used before that period though, probably in the late 1700s. Besides British growers, German grows in the mid to late 1800s also grew them extensively. Today you'll find the English and David Austin breeds remain very popular for these.

Standard Roses

You'll use these rose to give your garden a variety of height. They can look very impressive when mixed in with some tightly manicured small shrubs or groundcovers. You can plant them in rows along a walkway, or are great for a lawn where a typical tree would be too big or unwieldy.

Most trees go from about four to six feet high. Recently, there has been an influx of dwarf varieties, which only get about 12 inches high or so. I'm not quite sure what the point of those are, some evidently some gardeners like them!

The big issue with these roses is that the grafting makes them weak. Specifically, winterizing is the main problem. Any climates where the temperature will drop below 0 F or so will be a big issue for these. Unless you have indoor storage or can fully cover them, they will be tough to cultivate. In most cases, they are best left for a mild or warm-weather clime.


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