Grandiflora roses are the perfect addition to brighten up any garden or bouquet. Their variations include nearly every color of the rainbow, and their fragrant scents can bring a smile to your face. As you’ll discover, grandiflora roses were bred to be big and beautiful. Shrinking violets, they are not. Keep scrolling to learn about their history, their different variations, and how to care for them, either in your garden or as cut flowers.
The History of Grandiflora Roses
The grandiflora rose was first cultivated in 1954 as a mix of the hybrid tea and floribunda roses. With their full blossom and tall height, they’ve had a regal aura surrounding them since their creation, which is appropriate since the first variation, a pink rose, was named after Queen Elizabeth. The yellow and white Queen Elizabeth variations came soon after in the mid-1960s. The Queen Elizabeth went on to be crowned the World’s Favorite Rose in 1979.
Characteristics of Grandiflora Roses
The grandiflora is one of the most popular types of rose because of their lively color palette and the heights they can reach. Grandifloras are one of the taller breeds of roses and are able to grow as tall as 8 feet thanks to their thick, sturdy stems.
Rich colors and big blooms make them favorites for pre-cut bouquets. They’re more colorful than hybrid teas, and they add volume to the most basic of arrangements. Hardy stems allow these roses to thrive outdoors and withstand disease. Their height gives them a natural advantage for capturing sunlight.
What Is Significant About These Flowers?
The grandiflora takes after its parent flowers in two main ways:
- Like the floribunda, it has the unique ability to produce blooms in multiple clusters.
- Like the hybrid tea, it produces extra large, attention-grabbing flowers.
That gives us a flower that is big, abundant, fragrant, and colorful.
No matter the color, all grandifloras have fresh, fragrant scents, providing lovely smells throughout the day. Some variations have stronger scents than others. Whatever theme you’re going for in your garden or bouquet, there’s a variation that can match.
Their flowers run the gamut in color: soft pastels can brighten up an arrangement, while deep purple flowers can add a lush contrast to your garden.
Can You Grow Grandiflora Roses At Home?
Grandiflora roses are commercially available to home growers and with such a wide variety and colors to choose from, there’s a grandiflora out there that you’ll fall in love with!
Why Would You Want To Grow It At Home?
Because of their height, grandiflora roses work well in the back row of gardens. They won’t be overshadowed, nor will they block out shorter perennials. They can also make a fantastic screen if you’re looking for Mother Nature to provide some privacy.
Grandifloras make great additions to cutting gardens, fragrance gardens, or butterfly gardens.
Growing Grandiflora Roses yourself
The most important thing to remember about growing grandiflora roses is that they’re full sun plants. They need direct, unfiltered sunlight for 6 hours per day minimum. Make sure to plant them in a location where sunlight won’t be blocked for too long by trees or buildings.
Plant seeds 2-3 inches apart, and add peat moss to the soil to maximize the growing environment. Try to maintain a pH near 7.0; you can leverage different fertilizers, or try home remedies like baking soda and water, to get the right balance. Fertilize the soil three times a year: start in the spring, then twice more at 6-8 week intervals to ensure the earth stays nutrient rich.
Mulch the base 4-6 inches in late November to protect the graft union, the bulging scar on the stem just above the surface. Spreading a 1-inch deep layer of mulch around your granidflora rose plant will act against weed growth and protect roots as they continue to develop.
Care For Grandiflora Roses
Most grandifloras require average rose care — they’re not fussy, in other words.
For healthy roses putting forth their best blooms, feed regularly and keep the soil moist (never soggy) throughout the growing and blooming season.
Prune in late winter or very early spring, before new growth starts. Remove dead or diseased canes and any canes that cross. Cut long canes back to 10-15″ above the graft union.
Most Popular Grandiflora Rose Varieties
Here are some of the noteworthy varieties of grandiflora roses you might want to consider for your garden.
The ‘Queen Elizabeth’ is the OG grandiflora with immaculately structured pink blooms. They can grow up to 6 feet tall.
The ‘Radiant Perfume’ grandiflora rose brings vibrant yellows to your garden. They can help bring out the colors of darker-hued flowers. The Radiant Perfume gives off a clean, lemon scent that’d make Lysol jealous.
If you’re ready to get into the fall spirit, then raise a pint to ‘Oktoberfest’ roses. Their high-centered blooms are a warm mix of reds, oranges, and yellow with a fragrant scent. Their large clusters can bring flashes of autumn to any arrangement.
You can ring in the new year, or any day of the year, with the ‘Dick Clark’ grandiflora rose. Dark red and watermelon pink blooms give way to creamy yellow at the center of the spiral. They have ideal stems for cutting and really pop against greenery.
Wild Blue Yonder
The ‘Wild Blue Yonder’ grandiflora rose delivers eye-popping shades of purple and magenta in their blooms, bringing richness to any bouquet. It has one of the stronger fragrances amid the grandiflora family with a dewy citrus blossom scent that can captivate any room. In 2006, it won the top prize from the All America Rose Selection, the only grandiflora rose to achieve this honor.
The ‘Maria Shriver’ grandiflora rose, named after the award-winning broadcast journalist and author, can add a touch of class. Its ivory white blooms and dark green leaves, along with citrusy scent, create a stately feel. The flowers have double blooms in neat clusters at the top of slender, graceful stems.
Where To Buy Grandiflora Roses
While they might not be as widely available as shrub or hybrid tea roses, you’ll still have no problems finding grandiflora roses to buy for your garden. A Google search will produce a list of online garden retailers you can order from. Locally, you’ll find them in most nurseries and garden centers. Large improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s should also have bare root plants you can buy.
If you want to grow grandifloras from seed (rose hips) you can pick up seeds from your local nursery or via online from Amazon or other e-retailers. Employees at a local nursery will likely have good tips and tricks to share to help you succeed. You can also do some research into horticulture groups locally or online; members may be able to help you track down certain variations. Additionally, your local library may have a seed library where you can pick up free packets.
Where To Buy Cut Flower Grandiflora Roses
To purchase pre-cut flowers, reach out to local nurseries or search online for other nurseries who have them in stock. Many places are able to ship fresh flowers nationwide, so don’t let distance scare you off. Gotta love modern technology!
Final Words On Grandiflora Roses
Grandiflora roses are a sight to behold, whether in the ground or in a floral bouquet. Their large clusters of brilliantly colored blooms can brighten up any day. Long stems enable them to stand out in your garden and provide a little privacy. The wide swath of variants give you the flexibility to go from dark, citrusy purple to lemony yellow and virtually any color in between.
In short, if you’re looking to make a grand statement, you can’t go wrong with grandiflora roses.
Do you grow grandiflora roses in your garden? If so, we’d love to hear all about your experiences with these “grand dames” of the rose world in the comments section below! To read about other roses, click here for our other rose blog posts.