To Each His Own - Learn Everything About the 4 Most Common Rose Sizes

Do you know the four different sizes in roses? And no, it’s not about length!

By: THURSD. | 30-05-2022 | 4 min read
Different Sizes in Roses -  on Thursd - header


We all have bought or received roses. The queen of flowers, as it is the most wanted and most sold flower in the world. But did you know that in order to group the roses in segments all growers of roses and all people in the trade use specific names to classify the roses? And it's not about the length of the roses, it's all about the size of the flower (the head size, or the bud size of the rose). Now you learn all there's to know about the four different segments of bud sizes in roses.


quote 4 most common rose sizes


Knowing the differences in rose size segments will definitely be an advantage for your business and there is no better way of showing your expertise and creating trust and confidence with your buyers and sellers than by showing you know the four different bud sizes in roses. In this article, we endeavor to explain everything you need to know about the four different bud size segments in roses. 


Four Different Size Segments in Roses

All roses are divided into (from largest bud size to smallest one): 

  1. Premium roses,
  2. T-Hybrid roses,
  3. Intermediate roses (supermarket range roses),
  4. Sweetheart roses or petite roses.

This comes first. Then the length of the stem.


Measuring cards roses Eagle link - on Thursd.
Picture by Eagle Link


Bud Sizes of Roses Depend on the Variety of the Rose

One thing to take into consideration, which is obvious to rose growers, and the trade, is the fact that the bud sizes of roses are mostly dependent on the variety of the rose. It can vary between different growing circumstances, but the flowers from one variety planted in one area will give about the same bud size of flowers. So, all the flowers from one variety planted at a specific farm in Ecuador will have about the same bud size. The reason most roses from Ecuador have larger buds is because of the growing circumstances. In general, the higher the altitude, the slower roses grow, and the more time they have to become bigger. Thicker stems, with bigger leaves, and larger flowers.




A specific variety grown at low altitude in Kenya for example will be much smaller than grown at high altitude in Ecuador. But they will have the same classification in the four different sizes in roses.

1. Premium Bud Size

Premium roses are definitely one of the most beautiful when they bloom given their head size, ranging from about 7 to 8 cm. Nowadays they are commonly referred to as the “South American head size”. These are the most important bud sizes in roses to take into account, especially when it comes to the export of roses. Most Premium bud size roses are grown at high altitudes in Ecuador, and Colombia.


Premium bud size of roses - on Thursd


You find premium roses in the better flower shops and are used for high-end designs all around the world


2. T-Hybrid Bud Size

The T-Hybrid Rose, also known as the most common rose size has a full head size blossoming to be about 5.5 cm. Most are grown in the best-heated greenhouses in Europe, and at higher altitudes in East Africa.


measuring card in greenhouse


3. Supermarket Bud Size (Intermediate Roses)

Intermediate roses are commonly called the Supermarket Range Roses. These have a head size ranging from 4 to 5 cm and can fully blossom to reach a size of 5.5 cm. These roses are classified and known as the “European head size”. 


Red rose


4. Sweetheart Bud Size

As their name says, these roses are Sweethearts, ready to warm your heart up with their small head size which ranges from 2.5 to 3.5 cm when they bloom. 


Bud-Size Trend Shift

The people at de Ruiter, one of the largest breeders of roses in the world, see a bud-size trend shift in recent years. Where before most low price-oriented supermarkets and larger retailers were only interested in Sweetheart sized roses, nowadays more and more Intermediates are wanted. De Ruiter sees a lot of retailers moving more towards Intermediates and low-priced supermarkets moving towards somewhat bigger sweethearts. Where before buyers from those companies were looking for 3 cm, now more and more 3.5 cm, and even 3.8 cm, 4.2 cm, and sometimes even 4.5 cm roses. Of course, a large volume of roses is still wanted by supermarket buyers in the smallest sweetheart size of 2.5 cm.

To Each His Own @ De Ruiter's Booth at IFTEX 2022

The segmentation was also present at the IFTEX 2022. It was no surprise to see that the varieties on the De Ruiter booth were well segmented for the specific sales channels in a way that potential growers and buyers got a good overview of the range. And De Ruiter's people could give good advice to visitors.

In addition to the segmentation of the various groups of roses, De Ruiter also provided an extra service for visitors, because at De Ruiter they had also segmented a Big Five for East Africa for all the main colors. Helping both grower and buyer for each segment with the right rose for the right purpose. You can read more about the Big Five in this article: 'What Is the Big Five in Roses?'So something for everyone. To each his own!


Rose Green generation - Decofresh roses
Rose Green Generation


Purchasing Tips: purchase tight, semi-firm heads just beginning to open. The stems should be straight, strong, and unscarred. Leaves should be dark green and turgid.



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