What is the difference between own-root and grafted roses? Is one better than the other?
Own-root roses are produced by rooting and growing the cuttings of desired varieties. The types produced by this method often include Antiques, Flower Carpet, Meidiland and many Shrub varieties. Most own-root roses do not need ground level protection in winter once they are established. Budded (or grafted) roses are produced by inserting a bud of a desired variety onto a vigorous rootstock. The types produced by budding include Hybrid Teas, Grandifloras, Floribundas, Climbing and English varieties, as well as a few from the Antique and Shrub groups. Budded roses should be planted with their swollen bud union 1 to 2 inches below the surface, plus have winter protection each year to help them survive our cold Michigan climate.
Very few rose varieties are produced using both methods, so the question of one method being “better” than the other really does not apply. Since the propagation method relates to the type of rose, your choice is really determined by the rose producers and their experience of which one works best for that particular variety.