How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Floribunda Roses

Floribunda roses are wonderful shrub roses that make a great addition to the garden. In this article, gardening expert Melissa Strauss will share all you need to know to get started with these pretty plants.

Close-up of blooming floribunda roses in a sunny garden against a blurred background. Floribunda roses present a stunning display of lush green foliage and abundant clusters of vibrant flowers. The leaves are compound and consist of lance-shaped leaflets with serrated edges. The flowers grow in clusters and are peony-shaped with many rows of soft pink petals.


Roses are a classic garden plant with some of the loveliest flowers around. These pretty plants make a wonderful addition to the garden. Nothing compares to their stunning blooms in a floral arrangement. While hybrid tea roses may take the cake in the cutting garden, floribunda roses certainly have a place in the landscape. Let’s take a look at these pretty rose shrubs.


Close-up of climbing Floribunda roses against a blurred background of tall buildings. This plant produces a thick, lush green plant that is dark green in color with a glossy texture. The rose produces clusters of small, cup-shaped flowers made up of several layers of bright pink petals.
Plant Type Perennial
Family Rosaceae
Genus Rosa
Species Hybrid
Native Area None
Exposure Full sun
Height 3’
Watering Requirements Moderate
Pests and Diseases Leaf spot, black spot, nematode, powdery mildew
Maintenance Low to moderate
Soil Type Rich, well-drained
Soil pH Slightly acidic, 6-6.5

What are Floribunda Roses?

Close-up of 'Minerva' roses in bloom in a sunny garden. The blooms, characterized by their large, high-centered form, boast velvety petals in rich shades of deep and light purple. The petals are slightly wavy.
Floribunda roses offer abundant blooms and shrubby, cold-tolerant growth.

Floribundas are hybrid roses created by crossing hybrid tea and polyantha roses. The resulting plants carry on qualities of both plants. They have the larger and more fragrant qualities of the hybrid teas, although the flowers are not quite as large. However, they bloom in clusters like their polyantha parent plants. 

As their name implies, these plants produce an abundance of flowers. The flowers have a wider and more open form than hybrid teas. A hybrid tea rose flower ranges in size from three to six inches across. Three and a half inches will be about the maximum size of a single floribunda bloom. 

These plants have more of a low, shrubby appearance as well. Hybrid teas are usually taller, with long, upright growing stems. This makes the floribunda a nice landscape element, in addition to a great cut flower. They are also more cold-tolerant, in general. 


Close-up of flowering Augusta Luise rose bushes in the garden. The flowers are large, double, with corrugated petals in delicate shades of apricot and pink. The leaves are dark green and glossy.
Floribunda rose breeding flourished, notably with the ‘World’s Fair’ cultivar.

Dines Poulson is responsible for breeding the first floribunda rose in the early 1900s. That rose, ‘Rodhatte,” was first introduced in 1912. It was a cross between a polyantha and a hybrid tea rose. Poulson and his brother Svend would go on to breed several other varieties of this type of rose. 

The brothers resided in Denmark, where the summers are short and cool, and the winters are long and cold. Their cultivation led to roses with better cold tolerance than their hybrid tea parents. 

Floribunda breeding caught on in the United States in the 1920s with the company Jackson and Perkins. They introduced their cultivar, aptly named ‘World’s Fair,” at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. 

The famed floribunda breeder, Eugene Boerner cultivated a great many varieties during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. 11 of his hybrids won the All American Rose Selections award (AARS).

Native Area

Close-up of blooming red floribunda roses in a sunny garden. Red floribunda roses offer a striking visual display with their abundant clusters of vibrant crimson blooms. Each flower, composed of multiple layers of velvety petals, boasts a classic high-centered form that adds to its allure.
These roses lack a native range.

Floribunda roses are all hybrids, so they do not have a native range. Their parentage comes from hybrid tea roses and polyanthas, which are native to Asia


Close-up of blooming roses in a sunny garden near a green wooden fence. Each blossom showcases a peony-shaped form with soft, pastel-colored petals that blush with delicate shades of pink and cream. The plant produces compound dark green leaves with oval, serrated leaflets with a glossy texture.
Abundant blooming and charming aesthetics define these versatile shrubs.

These roses are most famous for being prolific bloomers. The name floribunda means ‘flowering in abundance,’ and they certainly do. In the fashion of their polyantha parents, they form clusters of flowers rather than singles. 

The shrubs are lower growing than their hybrid parent, topping out around three feet tall. They tend to spread out wider than their height, creating an attractive shrub. Their denser, shrubbier form makes them more desirable as landscape plants than taller, leggier hybrid teas. 

Floribundas bloom freely from late spring until fall. Rather than the single, pointed buds and well-ordered blooms of hybrid teas, these flowers grow in multiples. They are smaller overall but bloom in much greater numbers. The blooms also tend to open farther and have a pretty, wild cottage rose aesthetic. 

The plants are more cold-tolerant than most hybrid roses. They are all tolerant to Zone 5, with many hardier varieties able to survive the winters of Zone 4. Their flowers come in a full range of rose colors. These shrubby roses look incredible in mass plantings. 

Not all floribundas are fragrant, but many are. Many of the more fragrant varieties smell of citrus or spice. They are considered lower maintenance and easy to care for compared with hybrid tea roses. 


Close-up of blooming pastel colored roses on a blurred background. The flowers are large, double, and have several layers of delicate pink-apricot petals exposing yellow stamens.
These roses shine in landscaping and offer nutritional benefits.

Their shrubby shape and dense foliage make them a great landscape plant. They work well as a long hedge, border, or focal point. As a mass planting, they are spectacular. 

This rose’s seeds, like most roses, have a high nutrient density. They produce hips that are a rich source of vitamin C. The flowers and hips are excellent for baking and making preserves. Rose flowers are edible and make an attractive garnish.  

Where to Buy Floribunda Roses

Close-up of young blooming roses in small wooden pots on a counter at a garden center. Roses have short, upright stems with compound leaves with finely serrated edges. The plant produces clusters of pink double flowers.
Floribunda roses are widely available at nurseries and online.

These popular roses are available at many nurseries. You will also find them readily available online and in catalogs.  


Close-up of a gardener's hand in orange and black gloves planting a bare-root rose bush into a soil hole in the garden. The rose bush consists of sturdy, thorn-covered stems adorned with lush, dark green leaves. The leaves are lance-shaped, arranged alternately along the stems, and exhibit a matte texture.
Plant roses in spring for optimal growth and care.

The ideal time to plant floribunda roses is in the spring. This is especially important if you are planting bare-root roses. Plant bare-root roses in spring before they come out of dormancy. Potted roses can be planted in the spring or fall (to give them time to establish before hot summers and cold winters, respectively). 

Choose a spot with full sun. Southern exposure is best and will provide your rose bush with the greatest amount of light. Dig a hole that is as deep and at least one and a half times as wide as the root ball. Fill the hole with water before planting. 

For bare-root roses, pour some compost or other nutrient-dense soil into a mound in the hole. Spread the roots over the mound and backfill the hole. Place your potted rose in the hole, and turn it to orient it the way you would prefer. 

Backfill the hole, making sure to cover the grafting juncture at the bottom of the main stem. This will help to prevent the rootstock from forming suckers. After backfilling, water your rose in heavily. Backfill again to fill in any depression left after watering. 

After you have planted and watered in your rose, apply a heavy layer of mulch. Roses like moisture and the mulch will not only help hold in moisture, it will protect the roots as well. 

How to Grow

Floribunda roses are easygoing and low-maintenance plants in the rose world. They tend to be more disease-resistant and cold-tolerant than their hybrid tea parent plants.


Close-up of a blooming Floribunda rose bush in a sunny garden. The Floribunda rose bush is characterized by its dense clusters of small to medium-sized pink flowers. The flowers are cup-shaped, double, with wavy petals exposing yellow stamens in the centers. The leaves are serrated and dark green in color.
Give roses ample sun exposure for abundant, healthy blooms.

Roses are sun-loving plants that will bloom best when given six to eight hours of exposure, daily. The more sun you give these plants, the more flowers they will produce. They may be more susceptible to fungal issues when planted in partial shade. 

As is the case for most plants, the morning sun is ideal, as it is cooler and less harsh. If you are going to give your roses any shade, it should be in the afternoon when the sunlight is hotter and harsher. 


View of a girl watering lush rose bushes from a large blue watering can in a sunny garden. The gardener is wearing tall pink and white rubber boots, a white striped shirt, a beige apron and gray shorts. Rose bushes bloom in abundant clusters of bright pink double flowers.
Water roses deeply once a week for strong root systems.

Most rose gardeners operate under the guideline that the best way to water is deeply, but not as often. In other words, it is better to water once per week, and water more thoroughly. This is as opposed to watering more frequently but giving less water. 

The reason for this is that watering deeply encourages your rose to send their roots deeper into the ground. A deeper root system means a healthier plant with better drought tolerance. Those deep roots will have better access to groundwater during times of less rainfall. 


Close-up of a gardener wearing blue gloves loosening the soil around freshly planted red roses in the garden. The soil is loose and brown. The rose plant is small, consisting of short stems with compound leaves and bright red double flowers.
Ensure well-draining soil with slight acidity for healthy roses.

As much as roses like a nice long drink, they do not tolerate standing water. Wet roots are a recipe for fungal disease, so an important factor in your soil is drainage. Roses utilize a lot of nutrients, so the fertility of the soil is also an important factor.

If you have naturally loose, loamy, rich soil, you may be able to plant your rose without any amending. If your soil is dense or hard and doesn’t drain well, make sure to add some coarse sand or other material to increase drainage. We recommend pouring some organic compost or manure into the hole when planting your rose. This will give the plant a head start. 

In terms of soil pH, roses like slightly acidic soil. A pH of 6-6.5 is ideal. If the soil is not acidic enough, the plant will struggle to gain the right nutrients from the soil. If the soil is much more acidic, the soil won’t release some important nutrients. 

Temperature and Humidity

Close-up of abundantly blooming Floribunda roses bushes in a sunny garden. Floribunda roses boast clusters of delicate, apricot-colored blooms that exude warmth and charm. Their abundant flowers are double-petaled, showcase hues ranging from soft peach to rich apricot.
Count on floribundas for robust growth in various climates.

Floribundas have a reputation for excellent hardiness and temperature tolerance. They are more cold-hardy than hybrid tea roses, and they have great heat tolerance as well. You can rely on your floribunda roses to do just fine in temperatures up to 90°-100°F

Their cold tolerance is better than most roses. Floribundas are hardy to Zone 4 in most cases, which means their roots tolerate temperatures well below freezing. Some preparation for winter will be a benefit to their survival and rebound in the spring. 

These roses are more tolerant of humidity than most roses, as well. They are happiest with normal humidity levels. However, they are known to thrive in high humidity. Just be careful about air circulation and fungus if you live in a more humid climate.  


Close-up of a female gardener wearing black and blue gloves applying granular fertilizer to a rose bush in the garden. These fertilizers are of a delicate pink hue and round in shape. The rose bush consists of compound leaves that consist of oval, glossy green leaves with jagged edges.
Feed roses regularly for vigorous growth and beautiful blooms.

Roses are heavy feeders, and even when planted in fertile soil, they perform best with some fertilizer. Your first application of fertilizer should be higher in nitrogen. This will contribute to a bigger, stronger plant with healthy foliage

As the plant gets closer to flowering, switch to a balanced, slow-release formula such as a 10-10-10 NPK ratio. This will encourage the healthy development of the roots, foliage, and flowers. 

In terms of frequency, fertilize these roses every two to four weeks throughout the growing and blooming season. Begin by digging a channel that has a one-and-a-half-foot radius around the base of the plant. Fill the channel with water, and then add in your water-soluble fertilizer. After the fertilizer and water have been absorbed, fill the channel with water again. 

The growth season spans all the spring and summer. Once the weather begins to cool in the fall, stop fertilizing. Fertilizer encourages tender new growth, which is more vulnerable to freezing weather. 


Close-up of a planter pruning a rose bush using green pruning shears in a spring garden. The rose bush has vertical, short, trimmed stems with young oval-shaped leaves with jagged edges. These leaves are glossy green with a reddish tint.
Prune floribunda roses in spring and fall for optimal growth.

As roses go, floribundas are not especially high maintenance. Roses, in general, though, do require some special care, and these are no exception. Prune your roses twice a year. 

The first pruning of this rose should happen in the spring.  Before the plant begins to put out foliage, cut all the stems back by at least six inches. Cut any damaged or weak stems back more. Pruning in the spring leads to healthier growth and more flowering in the summer. 

In the fall, to prepare for winter, you can cut the flowers off or leave the hips in place to feed birds. You don’t need to cut the plant back entirely. You do want to trim off any very long branches that wind or snow may damage. 

Wait until just before you expect the first frost of the season to prune in the fall. If you prune too early, it will encourage new growth, and that will be more vulnerable to frost. Spread a heavy layer of mulch around the base of the plant to protect the roots. 

Deadheading is a helpful practice, too. During the season, remove spent blooms to encourage more flowering.

Growing in Containers

Close-up of three white pots with blooming roses on a white shelf against a red and white wall. Roses bloom with bright red, yellow and white flowers. The flowers grow in clusters and have the classic rose shape.
Grow floribunda roses in a spacious pot with rich soil.

Floribunda roses can be quite happy in a pot. They tend to be wide plants, so choose a large container that will accommodate the roots and balance out the top of the plant. A ten-gallon pot is one that your plant will grow into, and you won’t have to re-pot often. This will be deep enough to accommodate the mature root system. 

In terms of potting medium, a mixture is best. Use 2/3 standard potting mix and mix in 1/3 compost of manure for added nutrients. You will need to water and fertilize your potted rose more often than those planted in the ground. 

You may need to water your potted rose as often as every two days. Don’t let the soil dry out completely. As long as your pot has proper drainage, watering often will not harm the plant. Fertilize your potted rose every two to three weeks during the growing and blooming season. 


Propagation of roses by cuttings. Close-up of a wooden table in a bright room with the necessary supplies for propagating roses. There is a green watering can, a green spray bottle, three empty flower pots, fresh soil, pruning shears, a vase with water and rose cuttings on the table.
Propagate floribunda roses from stem cuttings in mid-summer.

Most floribunda roses don’t grow on their own roots. They are grafted onto hardier rootstock. Because of this, propagating them from cuttings will not yield as strong a plant as the parent plant. However, it can be done. 

To propagate your rose, take stem cuttings from new growth. The best time to propagate is in mid-summer when there is plenty of tender growth to choose from. Your cutting should be about six to eight inches long.

Remove any foliage that will sit below the soil line and dip the end of your cutting in the rooting hormone. Place the ends of your cuttings into moist soil in small containers or directly in the ground. Keep your cuttings moist constantly until new growth forms. New growth will let you know that your cuttings have rooted. 

Julia Child

Close-up of a 'Julia Child' rose flower against a blurred background of dark green foliage. Rosa 'Julia Child', a charming floribunda rose, delights with its golden yellow bloom and lush green foliage. The flower, reminiscent of buttery yellow roses, is cup-shaped with ruffled petals.
‘Julia Child’ boasts buttery yellow blooms with a spicy scent.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Wekvosstono’ PP 18,473
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Buttery yellow flowers and a spicy licorice scent make this rose aptly named. ‘Julia Child’ is a very popular cultivar, and for good reason. This 2006 winner of the All-America Rose Selections is a wonderfully robust bloomer. The flowers start out a deep yellow with a darker center. They age to a lovely pale yellow. This rose blooms for up to five months in the spring and summer. 


Close-up of a blooming 'Iceberg' rose bush against a blurred blue sky background. Rosa 'Iceberg', a popular floribunda rose, captivates with its elegant and prolific display of pristine white blooms. Each flower features layers of delicate white petals surrounding the golden yellow stamens in the centers. The foliage is lush and glossy, providing a verdant backdrop for the profusion of flowers.
This rose variety is highly popular for its abundant pure white blooms and good heat tolerance.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘KORbin’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-11

‘Iceberg’ and many of its variations are highly popular as well. The original variety produces an abundance of pure white blooms. This rose has excellent heat tolerance but is not quite as cold-hardy as some floribundas. Other related roses come in shades of pink, as well as white with pink speckles. 

Bonica 82

Close-up of blooming Rosa 'Bonica 82' in a sunny garden. This rose offers a charming appearance with its profusion of delicate pink flowers that bloom in clusters. Each blossom features gently ruffled petals surrounding the golden stamens.
This rose blooms profusely with clusters of perfect pink roses.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘Bonica 82’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-11

‘Bonica’ is one of the most popular roses around. Clusters of perfectly pink roses bloom prolifically on this mid-sized shrub rose. This plant covers itself in blooms through the summer months. If not deadheaded, the spent flowers will turn into brilliant red hips that will bring birds to your garden in the fall. This rose is very sturdy, cold hardy, and heat tolerant.


Close-up of blooming Disneyland floribunda roses in a sunny garden. The Disneyland floribunda roses boast a captivating appearance with clusters of vibrant blooms adorning each stem. These roses showcase large, double flowers in shades of vibrant pink, coral, and apricot. The foliage is lush and glossy, providing a verdant backdrop for the colorful blossoms.
This long-blooming rose enchants with its vibrant, indefinable hues.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘JACmouse’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

This extravagantly long-blooming rose gets its name from the most magical place on earth. ‘Disneyland’ is one of the most stunning cultivars I’ve ever seen. The flowers are a difficult color to put a name to. The outer petals are coppery orange with a hint of pink. They open to reveal bright orange centers. This compact rose is great for containers or any space you want to brighten up.

Common Problems

Floribunda roses, like other roses, come with their fair share of issues. When it comes to disease resistance, these roses fall in the middle of the road. They are hardier than hybrid tea roses but not quite as resistant as old garden roses. 


Close-up of rose leaves affected by black spot disease. The leaves display a distressing sight, marred by dark, irregularly shaped lesions that spread across their surface, contrasting starkly with their natural green hue. These lesions feature a characteristic dark brown and black coloration.
Prevent fungal diseases in floribunda roses with good care.

Fungal diseases are the most common to face floribunda roses. Powdery mildew, black spot, and downy mildew can all be issues for these plants. Some other diseases that you may run into with your roses include botrytis blight, canker, rust, and crown gall. 

Keeping your roses healthy and well-nourished is a step in the right direction. A healthy plant will be able to rebound better from diseases. Keeping the soil draining and air circulation through your rose’s foliage are good ways to prevent fungus. 


Close-up of clusters of blooming roses affected by aphids. The thin green stems are completely covered with tiny, soft-bodied green insects. The flowers are medium-sized, cup-shaped, with soft pink double petals surrounding central golden stamens.
Combat aphids on floribundas with neem oil application.

When it comes to common rose pests, the aphids are the number one enemy of floribundas. These sap-sucking insects like to feed on the buds of this plant. This can cause significant damage and reduction of blooms. 

To rid your roses of aphids and other pests, try spraying them off with a direct spray from the hose. As a last resort, try neem oil. Always apply neem oil in the late afternoon to avoid harming pollinators. It needs to dry overnight before they come out to pollinate your roses. 

Lack of Flowers

Close-up of blooming Floribunda roses in a sunny garden. Floribunda roses present an enchanting display with their lush, glossy foliage and sturdy, thorn-lined stems, providing a robust foundation for the abundance of blooms they bear. The leaves are a deep green. The plant produces clusters of medium, double, cup-shaped blooms in bright gradient shades from soft pink to orange to hot pink on the outer petals.
Boost sunlight or fertilize to encourage rose blooming.

A lack of flowers typically means one of two things. The most likely reason your rose isn’t blooming is a lack of sunlight. Roses need at least 6 hours of direct sun per day to do their best blooming. 

The other culprit behind a lack of blooms is a lack of nutrients. If your rose isn’t getting enough of the nutrients it needs to bloom, it probably won’t. Try feeding with a high phosphorus fertilizer to help your rose along.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Roses Edible?

Yes. Roses and the seeds they leave behind, or ‘hips’ are all edible. Their petals are often used for making tea. The hips are a rich source of vitamin C, as well.

Are Floribunda Roses Good For Cutting?

The flowers are beautiful, but floribunda stems tend to be on the shorter side. This can make it tricky to work with them in floral arranging, but not impossible.

Do Floribunda Roses Need Support?

Typically, no. Floribundas are low-growing shrubs with sturdy stems. They don’t usually require any form of support.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a great landscape rose that has a long blooming season, floribundas are a great choice. While they may not have the stems of their hybrid tea relatives, these shrubs are compact and have dense, attractive foliage. You can’t go wrong adding one (or more) of these beautiful rose bushes to your garden. 

A close-up reveals a cluster of vibrant yellow Banksia roses, their delicate petals unfurling gracefully. Surrounding them, lush green leaves provide a verdant backdrop, enhancing the brilliance of the blossoms in this natural arrangement.


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