The Q&A Archives: Smooth Touch Roses, hybrid teas

Question: I few days ago I bought 4 varieties (2 of each, so total of 8 plants) of Smooth Touch thornless roses from Monrovia. I have been waiting for them so I was really pleased to get them. But I noticed that each of the 4 types, although the tags all say hybrid tea, have multiple blooms on clusters of very short stems, usually at least 3, unlike any other hybrid teas I have had. I expected (and wanted) longer single stems for cutting and these are mostly not going to serve that purpose. They remind me of my former non-hybrid tea roses actually. Are they really multi-flora? The 4 I have are labelled Smooth : Prince, Lady, Angel and Satin. Each tag under that name says hybrid tea. I have not yet planted them. They are from Green Arrow Nurseries.

Answer: The Smooth Touch Thornless Rose Series is a collection of hybrid tea and floribunda roses which are bred specifically to have no (or very few) thorns. It should be expected that the plants resemble their heritage (either floribunda or hybrid tea). All of the varieties you list are hybrid tea roses. Prince has well-formed, large, cerise red flowers with a light fragrance. It's a vigorous grower to 4 to 5 feet tall. This plant should provide the cutting roses you desire. Smooth Lady is also a hybrid tea with medium-sized lovely pink blooms, wonderful fragrance. Repeat bloomer. Grows to 5 to 6 feet tall. Smooth Angel, another hybrid tea has large cream petals with warm apricot-yellow centers, very strong sweet fragrance. Bushy form to 4 feet tall. Smooth Satin Beautiful, high-centered, peach-pink flowers, pleasing fragrance. Repeat bloomer. Upright bushy grower to 4 feet.

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

What you are seeing on the plants are individual stems not clusters on a single stem, which classifies them as tea roses. Floribundas have multiple blooms in a cluster on very short stems, or trusses. Technically, your roses are hybrid teas. I can only suggest that if the plants are not as expected that you contact the nursery where you purchased them - they may make adjustments.

Best wishes with your garden!

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