Standard roses are roses that are grown on a single stem – usually around 3 ft (90cm) high with the actual ‘bush’ growing on top of that stem!
In practice, what happens is that the rose grower firstly grows a single briar stem to the required height. (The briar is a wild rose stem – usually a Rugosa type). Once the stem has grown to the required height, then the desired rose type is budded into the top of the briar stem.
The buds then grow and form a ‘bush’ rose – either Hybrid Tea or floribunda type. Sometimes ramblers or climbers are budded into the top of the stem to form the basis of weeping standards.
Other than the fact that standard roses have a long stem, they can be treated, to all intents and purposes, the same way as ordinary hybrid tea or floribunda rose bushes.
This includes pruning and care and prevention of normal rose pests and diseases. It is important to prune the standard rose properly – and regularly – to prevent the head from getting too large. Ensure that you prune standards back at least halfway before the winter sets in – to prevent wind damage.
The fact that standard roses are grown on a long stem – three feet or so above the ground – presents an additional problem. That of stability! The stem of the standard is not strong enough to support the rose bush growing on top of it, so preparation has to be made to secure the rose bush with a stout support cane. Wooden stakes are often used – and often rot, causing many problems if not a total disaster with the rose bush snapping off at the stem. Far better to use a plastic coated metal stake, that can be driven into the ground at least 12in (30cm) - preferably more. This should last the lifetime of the rose. It may be a good idea to have the stake protruding around 12in above the top of the actual briar stem and up into the rose bush. This will allow for the bush to be tied into the stake in windy areas.
<<<< Image of badly tied Standard rose - allowing stem to bend.
It is important that the head of the rosebush is not allowed to rock about, for this can damage the bud union, and may even result in the rose bush snapping off at this point.
Make sure that you use at least three sturdy plant ties to secure the standard to the stake. A single plant tie at the top will act as a hinge – allowing the head to rock about and end up damaged.
Standard roses are best growing in the ground rather than in a pot – unless it is a large, stable pot that will not blow over in gusts of wind.
Miniature standards are suitable for growing in patio pots because of their much smaller size.