How to Care for Hybrid Tea Roses
Hybrid Tea Quick Facts:
- Latin name: Rosa x hybrida
- Hardiness: Fully hardy. Suitable for growing across the UK and Ireland
- Height: Up to 100cm in summer
- Spread: Up to 90cm
- Flowering: Summer until late autumn
- Planting: Throughout autumn, and late winter to early spring
- Ideal for: Borders and plant beds
- Also suitable for: Pot growing
- Difficulty: Easy
Hybrid tea is the oldest group of roses classified as ‘modern garden roses’. They were created in 1867 by a chance crossing of the hybrid perpetuals and tea rose varieties.
Hybrid tea roses are by far the most popular variety of rose in the world, and it's not difficult to see why. They are admired for their graceful aspect; each long stem bears a single bloom, and each bloom has many velvety petals which arranged in a uniform pattern. The resulting flower is a thing of beauty in isolation, and as the hybrid tea rose bush has an open rather than bushy habit, it can make quite an impact in the garden.
Autumn (October - November) and early spring are the ideal times to plant your roses. If you receive your rose in summer, remove all packaging immediately, and place the potted rose outside in a sunny spot. Keep well watered and plant as soon as you can into the ground or into a large pot. Please note that the height of summer is a key growth time for your plant and there's more risk of damaging the roots when planting or potting. Please take extra care.
If you receive your rose in winter, remove all packaging and make sure the soil is damp. Store your rose in an unheated shed/greenhouse to protect the plant from frosts until early spring, the perfect time for planting.
An hour before planting your rose, water it thoroughly. Create a mix of soil, compost and organic rose food in a separate container. Dig a hole roughly twice the width of the plants container in the sunniest spot in your garden, somewhere with well draining soil that will not become waterlogged. If the soil is poor quality or clay-like, it's advisable to add a layer of compost to the subsoil. Also, if you tend to get a lot of wind, please pick somewhere which will provide your rose some shelter.
Remove the entire rose plant from its container and gently tease out the roots. Prune any that are damaged or broken, then plant the rose with the bud union at ground level. Back fill any gaps with the soil mix you made earlier but do not pack the soil too tightly around the new rose.
If you plan to keep your rose in a pot, please note that hybrid tea roses tend to have very long roots. To grow successfully, they will need to be planted in deep containers with drainage, giving the plant plenty of space for the roots to spread out and establish. We would advise that you choose a container at least 40cm deep.
Some tips for repotting
- The soil of the rose should be slightly moist. Stand the rose in water for an hour beforehand, or water thoroughly to achieve this.
- Loosen the soil around the edge of the pot.
- Pull the rose out by the base of the main stem.
- If you're moving your rose to a bigger pot, add some extra soil into the bottom of the pot before you insert the plant.
- Add a handful of superphosphate to encourage healthy roots and then fill in with a mix of soil and compost.
- Water the plant thoroughly with a superthrive solution, and keep the plant well watered for several weeks.
Containerised roses will need to be repotted every three to four years. Look out for the following signs that your rose is ready for a new home:
- Does your rose look less healthy than it used to?
- Does it seem to dry out quicker?
- Are there roots growing out of the holes in the bottom of the pots?
- Have the roses been in the same pot for three years or more?
Hybrid tea roses have healthy appetites because they are repeat bloomers, so feed them every spring with a powder or granular rose fertiliser, and again in June or July.
Mulching is the term used for the layer of organic material that's placed on top of the soil around your plants every year. It has a whole host of benefits, including keeping the soil moist throughout summer and discouraging blackspot and weeds. The best time to do this is in late spring (April-May) or autumn (October).
First, prepare the ground by removing debris and weeds and water the surface of the soil if it's dry. If mulching in spring, apply the spring feed if this has not been done, then hoe the ground lightly to mix in.
Apply a thin layer of well rotted manure or good garden compost all around the roses - we suggest using John Innes No. 3.
Roses are deep rooted plants, which means that in some seasons they may not require watering at all. However the fact they are deep rooted means the plants won’t show signs of drought as quickly as other plants in your garden, and under watering can lead to impaired growth, so approach with caution! We recommend that you water the base of the plant only, and try to avoid getting water on the leaves, as this will encourage leaf scorch and disease.
We advise you to water your rose regular watering until the plant is established. Once this point is passed, the plant will only require watering through spring and summer. When the weather is temperate, water deeply once a week, but in the height of summer, floribundas may require water every day.
When roses are grown in containers, they will have more restricted access to water than those growing in the garden, so will need watering with greater regularity. As a rule of thumb stick your finger into the first inch of topsoil and if it feels medium dry, water immediately.
Prune your rose in February or March to encourage better growth in the summer.
When pruning newly planted hybrid tea roses (planted for less than a year), cut back the rose bush to a to around 10 - 15 cm from the ground, leaving short sturdy stems. This method is called hard pruning.
When pruning, we favour the easy care method as it's virtually fool proof, and results have been proven to be generally as good as traditional pruning methods. Using secateurs, cut your rose bush back to half its height. Cut out any remaining brown dead wood from what is left of your rose.
This is the process of removing flowers from your plant once they are dying or dead. This will help your rose to redirect its energy into making new flowers. Cut the entire stem including the dead rose away, cutting just before the second or third leaf down.
Hybrid Tea Roses in Winter
Hybrid tea roses are generally considered to be less hardy than other varieties of rose, such as floribunda. If weather conditions are expected to be extreme, you should provide your rose bushes with some protection. You can use sacking, horticultural fleece or even some bin liners to make sure your bushes don’t get frost damaged. Protect the base of the plant and the bud union by piling extra compost around the stems at the base of the plant. Remove this protection when the worst of the winter frosts have passed.