Hybrid tea roses appear in the florist’s window for Valentine’s Day. These roses have large blooms (typically 6 inches in diameter), and usually only produce one bloom on each stem. The bloom unfolds with large velvet petals that spiral out from the center in layers. Because these roses flower continuously, they are often referred to as ever blooming or monthly roses.
The La France is generally considered the first official hybrid tea rose, produced by crossing the Hybrid Perpetual (a European rose) with a tea rose from China. Jean-Baptiste Giullot bred this rose in 1867, apparently by accident. He was attempting to produce a large bright yellow rose, but instead produced a rose with silvery-pink blooms that turned bright pink at the tip of the petals. The flower was fragrant and large (nearly 5 inches in diameter) for its time.
These new roses continued to grow in popularity. Their long stems allowed for clear visibility of the bloom and easy cutting. With their vivid color designs and the elegance of their unfurling buds, they were perceived as more dramatic than previous roses. These roses also produced larger and more frequent blooms.
Today, hybrid teas are commonly grown for cut flowers and are no longer as prominent in landscape settings as they were during the Victorian era. However, if you’d like to add this classic rose beauty to your garden, here are some points to consider:
- Do you want big blooms on long stems that you can arrange and put on display? Hybrid tea roses are probably for you. If you’re looking for roses to landscape your home, consider Grandifloras or climbing roses.
- Do you want a rose that emits a strong fragrance? Hybrid teas usually only have a faint scent.
- Do you want relatively low-maintenance roses or are you willing to water every day during the hot summer months? In general, hybrid teas require a lot of water, especially during hot weather. If you’re not prepared to do a lot of watering, these roses may not be your best choice. Also, these roses do not enjoy the company of weeds, so be prepared to provide proper maintenance.
- Can you deal with thorns? Hybrid teas are notorious for their thorns. Breeders have been able to produce several thornless varieties, although they might be a little more expensive and difficult to find.