Floribundas characteristically bear flowers in large clusters with multiple blooms in full flower at any given time, and often provide massive, colorful, long-lasting displays. They typically grow from about 2.5 to 4 feet, with an average height of about 3 feet, and tend to bloom constantly with informally grouped flowers, whereas hybrid teas tend to bloom in flushes every four to six weeks. Some floribunda varieties produce clusters of blooms that resemble miniature hybrid-tea flowers. Floribundas are desirable as landscape plants because they generally lack the unattractive awkward lower stems typical of hybrid teas and grandifloras.
Floribundas are relatively easy to maintain, typically less demanding with nutrient amendments and deadheading than hybrid teas and grandifloras, and are reliable bloomers in a variety of climates, which make them excellent garden roses both generally and for enthusiasts. As a class, floribundas are generally more disease-resistant than hybrid teas and grandifloras.
Polyanthas are bushy plants, generally smaller than floribundas, that produce clusters of small blooms. They are often used in group or mass plantings and hedges. The best polyanthas produce extravagant clusters of luxuriously dainty blooms.
GardenZeus has consulted with local professional rosarians to compile the list below of floribundas and polyanthas that are known to perform well in the warm summers of your inland zone. Key characteristics are described for each variety. Size is indicated only when a variety grows outside of the typical range described above.
Floribundas and polyanthas are typically not grown for fragrance; however, many of our recommended varieties do have significant fragrance, as noted. Finally, floribundas in particular are generally disease resistant, but some varieties are susceptible to disease, as noted.
Iceberg: One of the top ten roses worldwide and considered by many to be the single best landscape rose. In your zone, it can flower every month of the year. Profuse white semi-double flowers bloom in sprays on a vigorous shrub.
Bolero™: Very full white blossoms with an old-fashioned shape. Strong rose fragrance.
French Lace™: Highly recommended cream landscape rose. Widely considered one of the most beautiful roses, and distinguished by being one of the main roses at the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. Soft creamy buds open to impeccably formed creamy blooms tinged with creamy pink or peachy coco. Prefers light pruning. Very prolific.
Julia Child™: The best yellow floribunda for your zone. The cooking icon and Southern California native provided the namesake for a lovely rose with mid-yellow blooms. Full old-fashioned blooms make a stunning cut flower. Self-cleaning: spent petals drop to the ground. Perpetually in bloom. Great border or low hedge. Very heat tolerant. Strong sweet licorice fragrance.
Eyeconic Lemonade: Offers anunusual yellow and red combination. This 2011 hybrid introduction bears a delightful and continuous display of bright-yellow blooms with colorful red centers. Large semi-double cupped to flat blooms.
Livin’ Easy™: Vibrant apricot to orange fully double ruffled blooms. Repeat bloom is significantly lighter than first bloom. Large upright plants to 5 feet by 6 feet.
Vavoom™: Significantly shorter and more yellow than Livin Easy™, Vavoom™ has yellow to orange full flowers. Spicy fragrance. Somewhat susceptible to disease. Grows to only 2.5 feet
Playboy: Orange and yellow blend. Offers breathtaking displays of nearly single blossoms with scarlet-to-orange ruffled edges and gold centers. Sprays make wonderful cut flowers. Bloom colors are at their most vivid in your hot inland region. Spent flower petals drop cleanly to the ground. Apple-like fragrance.
Cinco de Mayo™: Fiery orange-red blossoms with smoky overtones grow in small clusters. Ideal for cutting: the more you cut the more they bloom! Fresh apple-like fragrance.
Day Breaker™: Soft yellow, pink and apricot blend. Large quantities of nearly continuous blooms. Long lasting as cut flower. Excellent landscape rose. Moderate tea fragrance. Can grow to 5 feet.
Easy Does It®: Appropriately named for being easy to grow. A delectable blend of mango, peach and apricot ruffled flowers in sprays that make stunning bouquets. Great specimen rose or border plant. Moderate fruit fragrance.
Europeana®: This true red floribunda is one of the most popular floribunda roses worldwide and an excellent choice for your zone. Enchanting sprays of rich red semi-double blossoms make a spectacular splash in the landscape. Use in borders or as a hedge. Dense clusters appear throughout the season. Excellent for cut flowers. Somewhat susceptible to mildew but otherwise normally disease-resistant.
Showbiz: Fire engine red double flowers in lovely sprays that make great cut flowers. This compact plant is excellent as a low hedge or border plant. Grows to just 2 feet; a great choice for a red-bloomer that is smaller than Europeana®.
Lava Flow: Dark red near black flowers in lovely sprays. Full globular form. Excellent landscape rose.
Playgirl™: Dark pink flat to cupped ruffled flowers that bloom in clusters. Grows to only 2.5 feet.
Sexy Rexy®: Mid-pink profuse and continual bloomer with elegant very full ruffled blooms in sprays. Suitable for cut flowers.
Passionate Kisses: Bright salmon-pink sprays of very full flowers.
Our Lady of Guadalupe™: Light-pink interior and dark- pink centers in ruffled hybrid-tea like blooms. Continuous bloomer. Good as cut flowers. A portion of proceeds from this rose are donated to the Hispanic College Fund.
Gruss an Aachen: Pale pastel pink very full rosette flowers. Sweet fragrance.
Angel Face: Vivid lavender mauve full ruffled blooms with deep purple edges and silvery sheen. Continuous bloomer and vigorous grower once well-established. Needs regular feeding for best performance. Excellent shrub for hedges and borders, but also does well in large containers. Excellent cut flower. One of the most fragrant floribundas with very strong lemony fragrance. Susceptible to black spot.
Violet’s Pride: Medium-sized old-fashioned flowers with magenta centers and mauve reverses. It is somewhat similar to Angel Face, but with a more old-fashioned look, more petals, and slightly different coloring. Rose growers who live in Southern California’s inland valleys and love the look of Angel Face but who have had limited success may be especially interested in Violet’s Pride. Strong, spicy fragrance.
Burgundy Iceberg: Deep purple full flowers with creamy reverse produced in copious sprays. Creamy reverse.
Intrigue: Large rich- plum ruffled flowers produced in mass. Strong citrus-like fragrance. Can grow to 5 feet.
Koko Loco: Recommended by GardenZeus for its unusual or exotic color. Koko Loco buds begin as milk chocolate and evolve to a unique smoky lavender in hybrid tea-like shape. Try pairing Koko Loco blooms with berries and dark foliage for a rustic bouquet.
Hot Cocoa™: Rusty orange overlaid with smoky chocolate ruffled flowers in tea rose shape. Color may be somewhat paler in your zone. Lovely sprays of full flowers. Reverse of flowers generally darker orange. Moderate old rose fragrance.
Distant Drums: Unique color! Tan washing to orchid pink. Rich myrrh fragrance. Can grow to 5 feet.