China roses are repeat bloomers and tolerate humidity well. Prune them only to remove dead limbs in winter. Middlesized shrubs, Chinas include ‘Mutabilis’ (flowers open yellow, turn pink, then crimson) and ‘Old Blush’ (pink).
Polyanthas rate well in the South, too. Small and leafy, pick three pink polys: ‘Cecile Brunner’ aka the sweetheart rose, ‘The Fairy’, and ‘Clothilde Soupert’. This modern group blooms in clusters.
Climbers that perform best include Lady Banksia (yellow or white), Silver Moon (a June bloomer, thorny enough for a fence), and ‘Red Cascade’ (dime sized bright red flowers in profusion).
Others to love: ‘Natchitoches Noisette’ (the sweetest noisette of all), ‘Fuchsia Meidiiland’ (blooms all summer), ‘Reine des Violettes’ (hybrid perpetual rose), ‘Maggie’ (a Bourbon popular across the south).
Miniature roses were found in China in the 19th century, then lost, and rediscovered in 1917 in Switzerland. Excellent for container culture, repeat blooming.