Grades of Rosebushes or the Rose Grading System
Per: The American Association of Nurserymen
Grade 1 (The Best Grade of Rose that you can buy.)
Hybrid Teas and Grandifloras must have three or more “strong canes”, two of which are at least 18 in. long. The canes should be well-spaced around the graft.
Floribundas meet the same standards, but the canes need only be 15 in. long.
Polyanthas must have four or more canes at least 12 in. long.
Climbers and ramblers must have three or more canes 24 in. long.
Note: “Strong canes” is not defined, but is generally accepted to mean canes which have attained their mature size in diameter. As a minimum, at least one cane must be at least 1/2 in. in diameter.
Grade 1 1/2
Hybrid Teas and Grandifloras must have two or more canes at least 15 in. long.
Floribundas must have two or more canes 14 in. long.
Climbers must have two or more canes 18 in. long.
Note: Polyanthas that do not meet Grade 1 standards are not graded.
All classes must have two or more canes 12 in. long.
**Note**: The above being said. The folks that mark the bagged roses have their own grading system. Their system consists of placing a number on the bag in most cases and probably does not even consider the above grading system. Buyer Beware! Know the system above and then compare to the grade they say the bush is! The Grade 2 roses I have tried just have never taken off well. If they did take off, they were not hardy or good performers and usually got “shovel pruned”.
Note the root system on the above rosebush illustration. This is what you should see on a good rosebush. If you do not have this good root system your rosebush will need considerably more time to get established and growing. Severely chopped root systems usually spell death for the rosebush and frustration for the rose loving gardener!! Also note the number of canes and their length in the illustration above.