The Floribunda Rose is a prolific bloomer with each branch producing a profusion of blooms during its long flowering season. The name, as with many plant names, derives from Latin and translates to many-flowering. This is an appropriate name for this wonderful rewarding rose. It was created by crossing the polyantha rose with the hybrid tea rose giving you the best of both worlds. It has the beauty and range of colors found with hybrid tea roses as well as the abundant blooming of the polyantha rose, a near-perfect combination.
These characteristics make the Floribunda rose a popular choice. Apart from the diverse colors and frequent multiple clusters of blooms, these roses are tough. They are ideal for all gardeners but a favorite among beginners who might be somewhat intimidated by rose care. More on care later but bear in mind that roses are much easier to care for than many people imagine.
In this article, we will cover the following aspects:
2 to 6 feet
2 to 6 feet
White, Red, Yellow, Orange, Pink
Fall, Spring, Summer
Subtle to Bold
Suitable for Containers
Landscaping, Erosion Control, Privacy
The History of the Floribunda Rose
Danish rose breeder, Dines Poulsen, first introduced the hybrid tea/polyantha cross in 1907. It was initially called the 'Poulsen' type rose before taking on the Floribunda epithet. The first such rose hybrid he produced was 'Rødhætte', now known as Red Riding Hood. Poulsen went on to create a few more of these “hybrid polyanthas” and soon other breeders followed. The results were spectacular and there is now a vast range of cultivars. More on that later. The Floribunda name was only coined in 1930 by rose hybridizer and breeder, Dr. J.N. Nicolas. He was working with renowned U.S. company Jackson & Perkins who made many great advancements in the range of Floribunda cultivars available.
Apart from the spectacular and prolific blooms, the rose bush itself has an attractive structure. The foliage is a blue/green color and looks vivid and healthy. The rose shrub is bushy with many leaves. It grows to a height of 2 to 6 feet and has a width span of 2 to 6 feet.
The bush shrubs are stiff and stand proud. They do not spawl as much as the typical Polyantha.
Flowers on the Floribunda roses have the appearance of hybrid tea roses. The blooms are single to fully double. They are relatively small and compact blossoms. What makes them impressive is the massive clusters produced on most branches.
One of the benefits of hybridization is that these roses have a pleasant and relatively powerful fragrance. While the aroma is not as intense as most of the old roses it is still noticeable and appealing.
Given their structure and incredible blooming habits, these popular roses are regularly used for bedding displays and landscaping. They are ideal for gardens, parks, and public areas. Their hardiness makes them even more practical for these applications. They are also helpful on banks to reduce or prevent soil erosion. Another excellent application is to use Floribunda to create privacy given their lush growth.
The ideal U.S. zones for the Floribunda rose are 5 to 8. Given the hardiness of this rose, it would be likely to survive in the colder zone 4, although it might need some winter protection. With a bit of TLC, the hotter zones 9 and 10 might also work but will take some effort.
Note that the zones work differently in the UK, Australia, and other parts of the world. Learn more about Plant Hardiness Zones here.
Planting the Floribunda Rose
The Floribunda does best in full sun. It can tolerate some shade but for optimal blooming, you want at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Full or heavy shade will lead to disappointing results. They look best when planted in groups of at least 3. You also want an area that is not too windy.
They like slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6 to 6.5. The soil should be aerated and rich in organic matter or compost. The soil should be well-draining to avoid root rot.
This versatile plant does very well in pots. The same soil principle as above applies.
This is one aspect many beginners get wrong. They often either water too often or not often enough. You have to give some thought to the weather conditions. If it has not rained for several days, particularly if it is very hot, water the roses every week at least. You want to give them a good soaking of around 2 inches of water. Newly planted roses or those in pots will need to be watered more often in the warmer months.
This is a relatively simple task and is best done from stem cuttings. The details are in our planting section.
No doubt fertilizing your floribunda will enhance the health and blooming of the rose bush. Much will depend on whether it is a newly planted rose or an established plant. While there are several options, liquid fertilizers, specifically for roses are effective and easy to apply. Organic fertilizers are also a beneficial choice. There are many options and timing tips and tricks we will share with you in the Floribunda Rose Care section.
Pests and Diseases
Floribundas are pretty hardy and tend not to get diseases. The exception is when they are in a damp environment which might lead to fungal disease, powdery mildew, black spot, or other issues.
The main pest to watch out for is aphids.
Pruning is quite simple and mainly involves thinning out, removing dead wood, and shaping the bush.
In our opening article on rose varieties, we touched on a few of the popular Floribundas. These were Burgundy Ice, Mardi Gras, Tuscan Sun, and Betty Boop. Here are a few more favorites.
- Iceberg Rose
Possibly the most popular floribunda is the rewarding Iceberg Rose. It is an award-winning rose and one of the biggest sellers in many regions, both for good reason. The abundant bloom clusters continue for many months from spring to fall. The compact double-white flowers have a pleasant, sweet aroma. They also make ideal standard roses.
- Cinco de Mayo Rose
Another multi-award-winning rose is the classic Cinco de Mayo. It flowers for much of the year with a clustered bloom with amazing colors, a mix of orange and red. It has a delightful apple fragrance.
- French Lace Rose
This attractive rose has apricot to ivory blossoms with a quintessential urn shape.
- Livin' Easy Rose
The flowers a relatively large and start in a rich apricot color that turns to orange. It has a fruity fragrance and is a hardy Floribunda.
- Scentimental Rose
It is all in the name. Apart from the appealing powerful “old rose” scent, the petals with burgundy-red peppermint stripes make a spectacular display.
- Angel Face
Rose names are often historic or sentimental. In this case, as with many others, it is descriptive. The fragrance is both powerful and divine. The is a classic shade of pink rose, hinting at burgundy. It was first introduced in 1968. It is hardy and the blooms are ideal for the vase. While it is robust the aphids love it as much as we do so keep an eye out for them. Also, watch out for rose rust.
- Sexy Rexy Rose
The shape of the crip pink blooms is near perfect and deliver copious clusters. They are one of the early bloomers and delight with their blaze of flowers. Another benefit is that they are highly disease-resistant.
- Cherish Rose
The Cherish was introduced in 1980 by U.S. rose breeder William Warriner. It is orange-pink in color and has an impressive double bloom.
- Amber Queen Rose
This compact rose bush has double blooms in the classic cup shape. The flowers are a medium yellow with a powerful fragrance that is both spicy and sweet.
- Honey Perfume Rose
The delightful apricot-yellow blooms have a honey fragrance, hence the name. It has good disease resistance.
- Pomponella Rose
A low-growing Floribunda, the Pomponella has clusters of dainty rich pink flowers. It has a subtle fragrance and good disease resistance.
- Lady Marmalade Rose
This attractive rose has a distinct shade of orange with a spicy fragrance. It is an appealing compact Floribunda option.
- York Minster Rose
The frequent clusters of blooms are a creamy color with a dash of orange. It has a subtle sweet fragrance.
- Sunsprite Rose
The Sunsprite has won many awards since its 1973 introduction. The blooms are bright yellow giving rise to the name. The fragrance is formidable, and the blooms make an impressive impact. One thing to note is that this Floribunda does not do well as a cut flower. The Sunsprite Rose does, however, do well in pots.
Given the popularity of Floribunda roses, there are many hybrids. We have touched on a few of the leading ones but there are many more to discover. Most share the same growing and care requirements and characteristics.
Here, in no particular order, are just a few others to consider:
All are spectacular bloomers that reward you for the better part of the year. Each specific hybrid has unique benefits so look for those that will suit your style and taste the best.
Floribundas are one of the most rewarding roses to grow. They offer an excellent combination of beauty, fragrance, and blooming. They are also not too fussy so don’t require great effort to maintain. The massive bouquets they present are wonderful and enchanting.
If you'd like to learn about the many other rose types a good starting point is our main article on the many Rose Varieties.