Caring for a rose needn't be difficult. But it's a lot easier if you set yourself up for success! A rose that is planted in the right spot and is well cared for is far less likely to have problems than a rose in the wrong spot or that hasn't been cared for correctly. And ultimately, getting things right at the start means less work and will make everything much easier.
Floribunda - Each stem will develop multiple flowers. They tend to produce masses of smaller blooms.
Hybrid Tea - Each stem develops a single larger flower. They produce fewer but larger flowers than Floribunda roses.
David Austin - Bred in England by David Austin, he concentrates on growing varieties that have the characteristics and fragrances of old roses but with the range of colours and extended flowering times of modern roses.
Bush Roses - Grow into a bush shape, though some training is generally necessary.
Climbers - Can be trained to climb up walls, archways or other structures.
Standard Roses - Generally these consist of a trailing bush rose grafted onto an upright rose stem.
Carpet Roses - Roses that sprawl out and act as a stunning groundcover. Most tend to be disease resistant and relatively easy to grow.
Left - Iceberg (a floribunda) Right - Ali Mau (A David Austin Hybrid Tea)
'What is the best variety to grow' is essentially unanswerable. It really comes down to taste. However, some varieties do require less care, which makes them perfect for beginners. If you are just getting started Iceberg and Carpet roses are a great place to start. They are both disease resistant and can handle a bit of neglect.
Many of David Austin's roses are also great as they have been bred to be disease resistant, tend to flower multiple times a year, and many have stunning scents.
Most roses require full sun (or at least 6 hours a day) and like free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. In Auckland, choosing a spot that has a good amount of airflow will also help reduce the risk of fungal diseases (as the humidity and warmth can make things more difficult than in drier parts of New Zealand).
The old adage, Prune in June is only appropriate in cooler parts of the country. In Auckland and Northland it is generally best to leave pruning till late June or July (this reduces the risk that new tender growth will develop, which may then be damaged if it gets cooler suddenly).
Before pruning, spray your roses with Lime Sulphur. This will help induce dormancy in your roses (be careful when spraying near other plants as this spray causes plants to defoliate) and leave for at least one week.
Prune on a dry sunny day. For more advice on pruning click here