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 cool to moderate summers of your coastal 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. Profuse white semi-double flowers bloom in sprays on a vigorous shrub.
White Licorice: Creamy white full formal flowers with yellowish centers turn nearly white in warm weather. Great along walkways or entryway accent. Strong licorice and lemon 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™: Excellent butter yellow floribunda for your zone. The cooking icon and Southern California native has 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. Strong sweet licorice fragrance.
Anthony Meilland: Masses of bright yellow flowers produced on bush that grows close to 4 feet. Flowers are brighter, larger and more formal and plant is taller than Julia Child™.
Livin’ Easy™: Vibrant apricot to orange fully double ruffled blooms. Repeat bloom is significantly lighter than first bloom. Large upright plant 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
Judy Garland: Brillant yellow blossoms have scarlet and orange edges. Rich apple and rose fragrance. Plant grows up to 5 feet.
Betty Boop™: Showy red and yellow blend that is easy to grow. Semi double flowers are light yellow with red edges. Petals fall away cleanly so no deadheading is required.
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 produced in sprays that make stunning bouquets. Great specimen rose or border plant. Moderate fruit fragrance.
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 only 2 feet.
Lava Flow: Dark red near black flowers in lovely sprays. Full globular form. Excellent landscape rose.
Scentimental™: Large double burgundy red blooms with creamy white stripes. Spring and fall have particularly heavy flushes. Fragrance can be inconsistent from plant to plant, but usually has strong old rose spice fragrance. Susceptible to blackspot.
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.
Brilliant Pink Iceberg: Full flowers are cream and white blend. Prolific and vigorous. Bush grows to 5 feet.
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.
Burgundy Iceberg: Deep purple full flowers with creamy reverse produced in copious sprays.
Ebb Tide™: Large full deep smokey-purple old-fashioned flowers. Wonderful in mixed border. Creates a stunning hedge. Excellent in containers. Excellent cut flowers. Intense clove and spice fragrance so plant it where you can enjoy the fragrance. Color is less intense during hottest part of summer. Plant grows to 2.5 feet.
Purple Tiger: Highly sought after for its intense purple and white striping. Full blooms grow in small sprays. Strong ripe currant fragrance. Susceptible to blackspot.
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 is particularly deep 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.