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Hybrid Tea Roses

June 10, 2022


From Spring into Fall!

Hybrid tea roses and their relatives, old-fashioned tea roses, are beloved for their beauty and fragrance. Many hybrid teas bloom repeatedly from spring into fall, with pointed buds that open into flowers held on long, straight stems. They’re available in almost every color, and they’re ideal for beds, containers, and cutting gardens.

Black Baccara Tea Rose

Tea Roses

Hybrid teas are a cross between classic teas and hybrid perpetual roses. Old-fashioned tea roses are still around, but their popularity has faded since hybrids — featuring brighter colors and stronger, grafted rootstocks — arrived on the scene. Still, they’re a pleasure to grow. They need little spraying or pruning and often have strong perfumes. The stems that hold their blooms in shades of pale orange, yellow, pink and other colors may be weak — but that gives them a charming, nodding habit.


Hybrid teas generally produce only one blossom at the end of each stem, rather than clusters of flowers, and they have an open rather than bushy habit. Virtually all hybrid tea roses are repeat bloomers throughout the growing season and offer some degree of fragrance.

Barbara Streisand Tea Rose
John F. Kennedy Tea Rose


The flowers on hybrid tea roses may have over 60 petals and can be as large as five inches across. A signature of hybrid teas is the long, pointed buds that open by slowly unfurling. Plants will grow quickly and reach their mature size of 3 to 8 feet tall within only three to four years, depending on the variety and the growing conditions. Hybrid teas have been cultivated in almost every color except blue, with many extraordinary bi-colors to chose from.


If your rose plants come bare-root, remove the packing around the roots and soak them in a bucket of water for at least two hours and up to 24 hours. Dig a planting hole large enough to spread out the roots, usually 12 to 18 inches in diameter.

As with many cultivated flowers, hybrid teas are bud grafted onto hardy, disease-resistant rootstock. The bud union is the visible knob at the base of the plant. In warm climates, the bud union should be one to two inches above the soil level. In colder climates, bury the bud union one to two inches below ground level. This union should always be protected in cold winters.1

Make a cone-shaped mound with soil in the center of the hole and spread the roots out over the mound. Fill the hole halfway with soil and water well to remove any air pockets. Finish filling with soil and water again.

Lasting Love Hybrid Tea Rose
Dolly Parton Hybrid Tea Rose

Light, Soil,& Water

Hybrid teas do best in full sun but will tolerate light shade. However, full sun improves their blooms and general resistance to disease.2

Hybrid tea roses like slightly acid soil (6.0 to 6.5 pH) that is rich in organic matterMulch the plants to cool the roots and conserve water. Add a three- to four-inch layer of mulch in the spring, when removing winter protection. In warmer climates, mulch when the leaf buds begin to swell.

As with most garden plants, one to two inches of water per week is usually sufficient, but this varies by climate and growing conditions. Hot locations and sandy soil will need more frequent watering than cool, coastal regions. A simple rule is to water when the top three inches of soil are dry.

Water the soil, not the leaves, to prevent disease.2 Also, water deeply to encourage root growth. Strong, deep roots will help your roses survive periods of drought.


Hybrid tea roses being repeat bloomers, are heavy feeders and benefit from regular applications of fertilizer. Start in early spring, either a month before new growth or when you remove winter protection and continue feeding weekly depending on the fertilizer being used.

Stop fertilizing about six weeks before your first expected frost date to prevent tender new growth of the plants from being damaged by a change in weather. Choose a balanced fertilizer or the one labeled for roses. Iron is especially important if the soil’s pH is high.

If the leaves turn yellow with green veins, use an iron supplement. Magnesium sulfate can also intensify flower color and also encourage flowering canes. If your soil is already high in magnesium, adding more won’t help. If not, scratch in a quarter to a half cup per plant once or twice a year and water well.

Painted Porcelain Tea Rose
Marilyn Monroe Hybrid Tea Rose


Correctly pruning your hybrid tea will ensure the health and produce the most blooms. Roses need to be pruned early spring through winter before new growth starts in springtime. Pruning hybrid teas is very similar to how to prune roses of other types, but there are some key differences that set them apart from standard roses.

First, cut dead, diseased, or damaged canes and scrawny, spindly canes less than 1/2 in diameter. Prune the remaining longer canes by about a third of their length, down to 12 to 24 inches. This will encourage strong stems and large flowers. It also opens and shapes the plant so it can put more energy into fewer flowers.

 When cutting roses, make sure you leave a few leaves on the stem, making cuts about 1/4 inch about an outward-facing bud. Make the cut at a 45-degree angle so that water runs off of the cut ends.

Pests & Diseases

It’s quite true that hybrid tea roses have an acceptable level of disease resistance. However, that doesn’t mean that hybrid roses are completely immune.

Blindness or Lack of Flowers
As the name suggests, this problem is characterized by a lack of flowers. It can be rooted by harsh weather conditions or too much shade. Also, it could be due to improper pruning or a late cold snap that harms the buds.

The solution would be to provide some protection or shelter and ensure you grow your roses on a sunny site. Also, ensure you remove all the older wood during annual pruning to encourage vigorous new shoots and cut any blind shoots back by half to a strong bud.

Rose Aphids
This pest is usually small, green in color, and has long cornicles almost flush with its abdomen. Blackish deposits can identify their presence on the petioles and leaf undersides.

The plant will show signs of weak growth if this pest is not taken care of immediately. To treat aphids, check your roses regularly for any signs of infestation on or under the leaves and on the buds. If the infestation is minor, squashing the insect may solve the problem, but an aphid bug killer is required.

Black Spot 
A fungus that attacks the plant’s leaves, this disease will cause circular spots to appear on the leaves with yellow halos. The entire leaf can turn brownish-black and curl up. If left untreated, all leaves of the plant would be destroyed, rendering it defoliated. To treat black spots, collect and destroy any affected fallen leaves. After that, use a fungus killer spray as soon as possible. 

This is a plant disease that causes the leaves to die or wilt. At first, dry spots will appear on the leaf tips, then become brown and limp. This problem usually occurs during winter and may be caused by too much moisture in the soil combined with cold weather.

Barbara Streisand Tea Rose