Old Tea Roses - ‘Hume’s Blush Tea-scented China’, with large delicate, pale pink flowers was crossed with a second Chinese rose, a once-flowering pale yellow climber ‘Parks’ Yellow Tea-scented China’ and from them came the Teas, with flowers in delicate shades of pink, creamy yellow and apricot.
Tea roses came in bush form or as climbers. In cold climates the Teas do not do well, but are quite vigorous in the WA. The bush forms grow up to a metre or more with a generally twiggy flower head. That is, the flowers tend to be in clusters on small twiggy growth, which tends to make them hang their heads. Flower shapes and colours cover the whole range. Most of the Teas are fragrant and have good foliage.
No matter when you prune Tea roses you will be sacrificing loads of blossoms. Leave them alone if you feel like it or prune them if you are feeling energetic. Either way they are forgiving. Such is the vigour of old Tea bushes that the spring flush produces masses of new canes literally covered with dozens of flowers and buds. By frequently cutting long stems of flowers in summer, you can avoid winter pruning. Judicious and gentle pruning will keep the bush within bounds wherever excessive size is liable to be a problem. Remove old twiggy growth and cut back long canes by a third to a half in late winter.