Growing Roses – Introduction to the world of Roses
‘Love planted a Rose & the world turned sweet’- Katharine Lee Bates
Rose is ‘The king of flowers.’ It is woven into the history of India & enjoys pride of place. Starting from the common Desi pink variety, tremendous progress has been made in Rose growing in the country. Scientifically known as Rosa sp. belonging to family Rosaceae, Rose is a woody perennial flowering plant that can bloom throughout the year. There are hundreds of species & thousands cultivated varieties. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing or trailing with stems that are often armed with well known sharp prickles.
Classification of Roses:
Following are major types of Rose varieties:
1.Hybrid Teas: These are large flowered hybrids. They are bushy; vary in height & other characters. Hybrid Teas are the most popular rose types. Eg. Gladiator, Double delight, Lander, peace, etc.
2. Floribunda: There are hybrids of ‘Hybrid Tea’ & ‘Polyantha’ which have the same habit of blooming in large clusters. Eg. Iceberg, Sea-pearl, dearest, Queen Elizabeth, etc.
3. Miniatures: These are baby Roses which of late have gained popularity due to growing admiration for miniature plants. Eg. Cri-Cri. Baby Masquerade, Ros-marine, Starina, etc.
4. Polyanthas: As their name implies, they produce flowers in profusion either in trusses or a mass of single or double blooms for an extended period. Eg. Echo, Pink shower, etc.
5. Climbing Roses: Also known as ‘ramblers,’ this distinctive class of Roses are more free flowering and can be grown to climb in any shape of arches & pergolas. In India, they bloom freely in hills only. Eg. Casino, Fountain, Crimson Glory, etc.
6. Sweetheart Roses: These are single stem roses with relatively short stems, small flowers, and a high stem production. Eg. Kiss, Lara, Only love, Sonia, etc.
Classification according to colors: All the above cultivars of roses are available in shades of Red, rose pink, yellow, blue, purple, orange, white, off-white & even bicoloured flowers.
- Economic importance: There are more than thirty thousand varieties of roses, that can also be classified according to their economic importance.
- Rose Garden: Rose is the most popular ornamental flowering shrub in any outdoor garden. It is always the best selling plant in nurseries. Many hobby gardeners exclusively grow Rose gardens with a collection of a full range of Rose grafts.
- Flower pots, bouquets & other decorations: These roses are selected according to flower size, color, fragrance, long flower stalk & fresh leaves.
- Exhibitions: There is ‘rose societies’ all over India who conduct annual exhibitions of magnificent Roses. Here visitors can get to see all the possible Rose varieties.
- Edible Roses: Petals of wild rose varieties are used directly as food different edible preparations. Rose petals are used in sweets, syrups & squashes in local cuisines. ‘Gulkand’ is a popular sweet medicinal product of India.
- Perfumeries: Rose perfumes are made from rose oil (also called attar of roses), which is a mixture of volatile essential oils obtained by steam-distilling the crushed petals of roses. An associated product is rose water which is used for cooking, cosmetics, medicine and religious practices.
- Art & Symbolism: Roses are a favored subject in art and appear in portraits, illustrations, on stamps, as ornaments or as architectural elements. Thousands of songs, poems, literature all over the world are dedicated to Roses. The long cultural history of the rose has led to it being often used as a symbol of Love, purity, passion, fertility & life.
In upcoming blogs, we will learn about layouts of Rose Gardens, Cultural hints for growing Roses, Climate, Soil, Land preparation, Plantation & maintenance of Rose pants.
‘If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly… our whole life would change.’