From The Plant Encyclopedia
Rose, The Rose, Rosebush, Rose Bush, Roses
5 - 20
- Cultivation: For-Gardeners, For-Horticulturists
- Light: Sun
- Soil: Rich
- pH: 7
- Moisture: Medium, Well-Drained
- Form: Shrub, Vine
- Habit: Deciduous, Perennial
- Flower: Large, Petals, Yellow, Orange, Red, Pink, White
- Fruit/Seed: Medium, Seed, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, Brown
- Foliage: Leaves, Green
- Uses: Edible, Medicinal, Ornamental, Craft, Industrial
There are over a hundred Rose species and thousands of Varieties.
Most are erect shrubs, climbing or trailing plants, with stems armed with sharp thorns. Flowers are large and distinguishable. Wild species grow on every continent of the planet. Roses have been so heavily valued, interbred and hybridized for hundreds of years, that their genetic mix cannot be classified into the standard categories of species or variety. One variety of modern rose can actually be a result of several species intermingling, and their descendants being crossed continually over many centuries. Garden Roses are a complex genetic mix of these original wild species that have been carefully bred over hundreds of years.
Rose Categories in Horticulture
Due to hundreds of years of manual hybridization by gardeners, crossing of rose species, as well as the contstant interbreeding of the myriad of varieties, there is no single accepted system of classification for cultivated rose varieties. Even many rose species have unclear origins, since they have been cultivated moved around the planet since anchient times. In contemporary horticulture, roses are usually classified by the below major categories;
Hybrid Tea Roses
Also known as Modern Roses, were origionally created from the "Tea-scented Chinas" (Rosa x odorata) which were Oriental cultivars in Europe in the early 1800s. These are currently the most popular garden roses.
The Hybrid Species Tea Rose, Rosa x hybridia the modern cut "Red Roses".
Wild roses grow on every continent. Wild species include:
Example: The Musk Rose - Rosa_moschata
An Old Garden Rose is defined as any rose belonging to a class which existed before the introduction of the first Modern Rose, La France, in 1867.
Literally "white roses", derived from Rosa arvensis and the closely allied Rosa alba. These are some of the oldest garden roses, probably brought to the gardeners of Great Britain by the Ancient Rome and then bred into many varieties.
Example: The White Rose Of York Rosa Alba Semiplena
The gallica or Provins roses are a very old class developed from Rosa gallica, which is a native of central and southern Europe.
Example: Cardinal de Richelleu Rose Rosa gallica Cardinal de Richelieu
Named for Damascus in Syria, Damasks originated in ancient times with a natural cross of (Rosa moschata x Rosa gallica) x Rosa fedtschenkoana. Robert de Brie is given credit for bringing damask roses from the Middle East to Europe sometime between 1254 and 1276.
Examples: The Madame Hardy Rose Rosa damascus Madame Hardy
They are often called "cabbage" roses due to the globular shape of the flowers. As a class, they are notable for their inclination to produce mutations of various sizes and forms, including moss roses and some of the first miniature roses (see below) .
Example: Paul Ricault Rose Rosa Centifolia Paul Ricault
Moss Roses are a mutation of Rosa centifolia roses (and sometimes Rosa damascus or hybrids thereof), moss roses have a mossy excrescence on the stems and Sepals that often emits a pleasant woodsy or balsam scent when rubbed.
Examples: The Common Moss Rose Rosa Centifolia Moss
The Portland Roses
These roses were long thought to be the first group of crosses between China roses and European roses, the plants tend to be fairly short and shrubby, with proportionately short flower stalks.
Example: James Veitch Rose Rosa paestana James Veitch
Breeding History Of The Garden Rose
The earliest evidence of cultivated roses in gardens, are of the five-petaled, pink, wild species rose, The Gallic Rose Rosa gallica which were grown in the ancient village gardens of Gaul, Germania and Northern Europe, for medicinal and ceremonial purposes.
The red five-petaled wild Mediterranean Dog Rose, Rosa canina, was named for it's medicinal ability to sterilize dog bite wounds. This flower's colour led to the rose plant's Latin name 'Rosa' meaning 'red'. The Greeks and Romans associated this rose mythically with the blood of Aphrodite’s love, and used roses in various ceremonies.
In the 1100s, during the reign of the British King Henry II, the Gallic Rose through selective breeding by the King's gardeners, was transformed into the first rose variety, and it bloomed "perpetually"; meaning it produced flowers the entire growing season, from spring to fall. It was kept hidden, under guard, at the centre of a hedge labyrinth in the Royal Palace Garden. This rose is known as Rosa galica Mundi, called ‘Rosa Mundi’ was named for King Henry’s loved mistress, Rosamund.
In the 1600s, skilled estate gardeners across Europe took Rosa galica Mundii and artfully hybridized it through hand pollination, using different wild rose species from across Europe, as well as the red Rosa canina of the Mediterranean. The resulting varieties are classified as the Hybrid Perpetuals.
Rosa persica, also known as the Princess Flower of Phoenicia, was a yellow desert weed found in farms of the Middle East during the Persian Empire. It was hybridized by human hands with The Austrian Copper Rose, Rosa foetid, a wild pale-orange alpine rose species native to the Cauacasus Mountains. This created a mysterious new Yellow Rose of mixed backgrounds which was later transported from Jerusalem to France in the 1750s and was bred into many Hybrid Perpetual varieties by French, British, and Dutch gardeners. These rose plants are characterized by their yellow colouring and the desert plant trait of thick velvet-like petals. These thick petals, and strong desert genes, made later 'Cutting Rose' varieties possible.
Chinese Tea Roses, Rosa chinensis were introduced into Britain in the 1790s. They were called Tea Roses for their scent, black tea, and for the fact that they were imported alongside the British tea trade. They have a full headed flower structure with many petals. Due to these plants aversion to cold climates, they originally were only grown in greenhouses throughout Britain and France. It was not until they were crossed with Hybrid Perpetuals that they were able to be grown outdoors. The cross of Hybrid Perpetuals, with the Chinese Tea Rose species, resulted in The Hybrid Tea Rose, Rosa x hybridia. Hybrid Teas bloom all season in a various forms and colours, with long blooming seasons of large and showy flowers.
The first true Hybrid Tea Roses came from the garden of Napoleon’s Empress Josephine. Joséphine de Beauharnais at her country home, Château de Malmaison, had built what is called the first 'Rose Garden'; a large estate garden dedicated to the careful and artful breeding and showcasing of rose varieties. The first Hybrid Tea Rose was named La France, Rosa x hybridia La France. It's exact breeding history is a mystery, although it's thought to have ancestry in the famed Rosa Mundi, Rosa x hybridia Mme Falcot (a Tea) and also Rosa x hybridia Mme Victor Verdier (a Hybrid Perpetual) and Rosa x hybridia Mme Bravy (a Tea).
As breeders continued to play with the selective breeding of new Hybrid Teas, brilliant varieties began to emerge, such as the early Eden Rose Rosa x hybridia Eden.
The most popular garden rose variety in the world currently is The Peace Rose, Rosa x hybridia Peace, a pink and peach blush Hybrid Tea Rose, created in a French home garden just before the Nazi occupation of France. It's cuttings were smuggled out in the pocket of it's refugee creator Francis Meiland to New York USA. The plant was later named at an official ceremony at the first United Nations Council meeting to commemorate the end of World War II. The peace rose now grows in literally millions of gardens around the world.
New world roses like The Wild Prairie Rose Rosa arkansana and The Wild Nootka Rose of the Pacific Northwest, Rosa nutkana are now being incorporated into the genetic mix of hybridized garden varieties. These new genetic creations have brought new characteristics to roses, such as climate, wind, and disease tolerance and hardiness. Hybrid roses like The Captin George Vancouver Rose Rosa x hybridia George Vancouver have come from these new crosses, creating hardy landscape rose groups like 'The Canadian Explorer Series'. These new rose groups are often created on a theme for a special purpose by commercial growing houses.
These themed groups of roses varieties with similar characteristics are being called 'breeds'. The most popular new rose breeds are are produced by one commercial rose grower, David Austin. The 900+ varieties of the British breed of the 'David Austins' Roses are now among the most popular new varieties world-wide, and include whimsically named varieties such as William Shakespeare 2000 Rosa x hybridia William Shakespeare 2000, introduced in the year 2000.
Soil Preparation and Planting Location
Roses will grow in any good soil but will do poorly in high alkaline soils, which should and can be amended, with sulphur. For best results, allow the soil time to settle by preparing the beds at least 3 weeks before planting in April, or as soon as the soil is workable for spring planting, or for fall planting in September. Double digging is recommended, if at all possible. If this is not possible, improve the existing soil by adding generous amounts of well-rotted manure, compost and peat moss. Mix these well into the soil to a depth of at least 30cm. Where the soil depth is not sufficient, or to improve drainage in soil containing excessive amounts of clay, use beds built up to a depth of 15 to 20cm with good topsoil. Mix bone meal or super phosphate into the upper 30cm of the dug bed, breaking up any lumps. Allow the soil to settle before planting. To avoid injury to the young roots DO NOT ADD any other fertilizer during initial planting.
- Bare Root: Place the roots in a bucket of water overnight and keep the roots moist at all times. If the roses cannot be planted at once bury the plants in moist earth, in a slanted position, until planting time. Before planting, cut back broken or damaged roots and canes to healthy tissue.
- Container grown roses: These plants are already growing, so when planting always remove the pot, even if fibre type, and try to minimize root disturbance. Cut away the bottom. then cut the pot vertically. Holding the pot, place the plant at the correct depth in the hole, back-fill part way and peel off the pot. Finish this process as described above for bare root planting. Dig a hole large enough to permit the roots to spread out freely. Set the plant on a mound of fine soil and spread the roots over the mound with the bud union at least 5cm (2 in) below the finished grade. In Zones 2-4 this should be 10-15 cm (4-6 in). Back-fill the hole with soil/peat mixture to about three quarters full and firm around the roots. Fill the hole with water permitting drainage. Finish filling the hole and continue adding earth to form a mound covering the canes. This process should be done in either fall or spring: providing winter protection in fall and protecting against sun scald in spring. Remove the mounds when the plants are established and the buds begin to open.
- Bush roses: 45 to 75cm ( 1½ to 2½ ft) apart, depending on the vigour of the cultivars.
- Shrub roses: 1 to 1. 5m (3 to 5 ft), or as solitary specimens.
- Climbers: 1.5 to 2.5m (5 to 8 ft), depending on desired effect.
- Wild Roses: These hardy plants can be spaced however you like. They can be grown even as a dense hedge with stalks planted touching each other in clumps or in lines.
When spring clean-up has been completed, fertilize established roses during the growing season, working into the soil and water well. Suitable fertilizers should have a macronutrient around the 1-2-1 ratio. Water at the rate of 8 litres (2gals) per plant once a week (more in hot weather), preferably applied at ground level. Do not water in the hot sun and make sure the foliage is dry by nightfall, therefore watering in the morning is the favored time.
Fertilizers To Mix To Acheieve Proper Ratio For Roses,
- Alfalfa Meal (2-7-0, 5-2-8) a well-balanced, slow release fertilizer. Blood Meal (13-2-0) Rapidly available nitrogen. Bone Meal (3-2-0.5) 24% calcium rapidly available phosphorous; increased pH slightly. Compost Balanced, slow release, contains calcium and magnesium. Cottonseed Meal (8-2-2) rapidly available nitrogen. Epsom Salts (0-0-0) excellent source of magnesium sulfate. Fish Emulsion (5-2-2) rapidly available nitrogen. Fish Meal (10-4-4) rapidly available nitrogen. Kelp Meal (1-0.2-2) slow release of potassium and micronutrients. Contains growth stimulates. Manure (cow) (2-1-2.4) Compost all manures before using to prevent burning. Good source of sulfur, calcium, and micronutrients. Manure (horse) (2-1-2.5) compost all manures before using to prevent burning. Good source of sulfur, calcium, and micronutrients. Manure (chicken) (4-3-1) compost all manures before using to prevent burning. Good source of nitrogen.
- Deadheading The removal of spent flowers ensures a continuous supply of blooms. Cut just above an outward facing 5-leaflet leaf on a cane strong enough to support a new bloom.
- Disease Control Disease control is obtained through protective sprays. A diseased plant cannot be cured. Apply fungicidal sprays every 10 to 14 days from the time new shoots are 10-15cm (4-6 in) high until October. Use materials specifically formulated for rose black spot and mildew control, such as Funginex alternated with benomyl or folpet (Phaltan) where still legal to do so. (Please see bellow for further information regarding pest control).
Seasonal and Extreme Climate Rose Care:
In late spring, when the soil has thawed and a hard freeze is no longer expected, carefully remove soil mounds from established plants so as not to damage any shoots that have begun growth.
Wash away the last of the soil from the centre of the bush with a gentle stream of water. Clear away any pruned material and dead leaves left from last fall. In the spring, newly planted roses should be cut back quite severely, leaving only three strong canes, 10-12 cm (4-5 in) long. Prune established rose bushes after the soil mounds have been removed in the spring, when canes show signs of growth, around April. Cut out any dead or diseased shoots to ground level. Remove weak, twiggy and crossing shoots to their point of origin, leaving only 3-6 healthy canes of pencil thickness or bigger. Cut these back to live wood, as indicated by white pith. Pruning cuts are to be made with sharp shears, about 5mm above an outward facing bud. During the spring season, plants should be fertilized regularly, as roses demand lots of nutrients in order to produce the best flowers. Fertilizing can and should continue throughout the summer season. There are many different fertilizers and methods, each grower may have their own tips and favorite methods. Roses need to be watered diligently. Approximately 1 inch of water a week, either from rain or watering is sufficient.
In the summer months, mulching is key. Roses need less weeding and watering and become healthier if you mulch. This should be done by laying down 1 to 2 inches of organic mulch, for example, wood chips, pine needles, biodegradable material, etc. Throughout the summer months, the plant shape needs to be maintained by trimming dead or unhealthy roses. Some roses may only bloom in June, others may bloom throughout the summer, and trimming the roses will leave more room for further blooms. Spraying the plant is also necessary, especially if your roses become diseased or is infested with insects. The safest way, and first step to getting rid of these issues is to trim the diseased portions and give the plant a good blast from a hose. If this does not work, then use chemicals to get rid of the problem. Do so safety, by doing your research.
Fall and Winter In Northren Climates:
When Autumn rolls around, stop fertilizing and deadheading the roses. This should be stopped at lease one month before your first frost date.It is also very important to make sure that the roses do not dry out, as this can cause drought stress, which can lead to winter injury.
Once frost has arrived, it depends on the temperature of your winter, if you need further winter care. If the temperature doesn't fall bellow 20 degrees F/ degrees -7 C, then no additional care is needed. However, if you experience colder winters, where the temperature falls bellow 20 degrees F but above 10 degrees F/ -12 C, then constructing a simple mound of several inches of soil over the base of the rose should be sufficient. For even colder winters, those that go bellow 10 degrees F, mount to a foot, a month after last years average frost date, then two weeks after that the plant should be wrapped in burlap
Growing Roses in Tropical Climates
Roses favor and thrive in temperate climates, where season vary, and are not harsh, such as Australia, Canada and, UK and USA. Roses have difficulty surviving temperatures that are too hot or too cold, however, it is possible to grow roses in topical or extremely cold countries, but they will require extra aid and care. Currently technology and human aid have made it possible to grow roses worldwide.
Tropical climates, such as Chile, Ecuador and Indonesia, experience two main seasons, dry and wet, both of which are very hot and hard to grow roses in. Growing roses naturally in these countries will require manpower and attention. This includes, providing shade for the bushes when it becomes to hot, to cover them during rain fall, and to be prepared with pesticide. If there is a mountainous or colder area of the tropical country the roses will thrive better in these areas. Greenhouses are also used in tropical countries, as temperatures can be control and therefore the better roses can be grown.
There are certain varieties of roses which are better suited for warmer climates. These include any of the Tea Roses, excluding the Hybrid Teas, as well as the Noisettes Roses, deal better with warm temperatures.
Protection in Extremely Cold Climates
In cold climates, rose care and protection against the winter should occur in the fall, well before the first frost. This process is referred to as winterizing your roses. Roses that are more susceptible to cold damage, such as Hybrid Teas, need to have the graft union and roots protected, because the soil freezing and thawing can twist the graft union and break the roots. This can also be avoided by mounding soil over the crown and lower stem to about 8-12 inches, in order to protect the roots. To provide additional protection, straw or dry leaves can be piled up around the roses. The mulch can be kept in place by creating a corral around the rose plant with chicken wire or other fencing materials. If you live in extreme coldness, then wrapping your plant in burlap after mounding the rose, will provide extra protection. Keep the burlap in place by wrapping in heavy rope, being careful not to tie too tight. This method is referred to as hilling.
Another method, called coning, is very similar to hilling, however you cover the plant with a styrofoam rose cones.
Edible And Medicinal Uses
- Rose hips
The Rose hip, the fruit of some species, is used as a minor source of Vitamin C.
Rose hips are occasionally made into jam, jelly, and marmalade, or are brewed for tea, primarily for their high Vitamin C content. They are also pressed and filtered to make rose hip syrup. Rose hips are also used to produce Rose hip seed oil, which is used in skin products and some makeup products.
The fruits of many species have significant levels of vitamins and have been used as a food supplement (see previous section). Many roses have been used in herbal and folk medicines. Rosa chinensis has long been used in Chinese traditional medicine. This and other species have been used for stomach problems, and are being investigated for controlling cancer growth.
Rose Diseases and Pests
There four diseases which are the most common and prevalent in roses. These include, black spot, powdery mildew, brown canker, and crown gall. The best method of preventing these diseases is with the use of a good all-purpose fungicide, spraying every 7-10 days.
- Black Spots: This is the most wide-spread rose disease, affecting various rose types globally. This disease is however very easy to spot, as they are diagnoses with the appears of black, round spots, often surrounded by yellow rings. As the disease worsen, the yellow will spread throughout the plant, the leaves will lower. If this disease is not treated in time, the plant can loose all of its foliage. Preventing this disease requires spraying the plant when the leaves are half grown, and then continuing this weekly.
- Powdery Mildew: Signs of this disease on rose plants, is the appearance of small masses of white spores which show on young leaves, stems and shoots. Shoots may begin to swell or become distorted. This disease can start over the winter season, attacking first the dead and fallen plant matter. Prevention of this disease requires you to clear all fallen and dead material and spray with lime sulfur.
- Brown Canker: Indication of this disease are small red-purple spots with light centers. These spots will grow and spread throughout the plant. In order to stop this disease from spreading, remove and burn all affected areas, then use an all-purpose fungicide.
- Crown Galls: Symptoms of this disease include slight swelling of the stem, followed by stunted growth, and possible death. To prevent this deadly disease, purchase gall-free roses and plant in an area that has not been effected.
Pests are very common with roses. At least 25 different insects attack rose plants, often causing serious damage. Below are a few common insects that you may encounter:
- Japanese Beetles - these are metallic green, with cooper wings, and are approximately 3/8 inches . They appear on leaves and flowers during July and August.
- Rose Chafer - Very common in the North, during June and July, and can destroy a whole flower overnight. They are yellowish-brown beetles with long legs.
- Rose Leaf Beetle - these metallic blue beetles are very small and cause holes in buds and flowers.
- Leafthopper - These tiny, hopping insects will suck the plant juices, causing leaf stippling.
- Sider Mites - These are very difficult to see, but their destruction is easy to see. They cause stippling, and can produce silky webs over a whole leaf's surface.
If you use an all-pupose dust and spray, and apply these every 7-10 day intervals, throughout the growth seasons, your plants should remain healthy and pest free. Follow the direction carefully, as to not harm your plant further. Failure to follow instructions can harm your plant, garden, or even yourself.
There are many ways to insure a better rose plant. The most common and easiest would be cutting:
- Softwood Cuttings:
These cuttings are taken from new growth, but the wood needs to be firm enough that it can resist bending slightly. Select strong canes that have already lost their first blooms, discard about 6 inches from the tip and remove old flower matter, leaving only 2 leaflets and cut canes into 6-8 inch pieces. Soak cuttings to half of their length in moist vermiculite. Keep the cuttings in a warm, well lighted room, approximately 70 degrees F/ 21 C. When the roots have had enough time to develop, plant them carefully in pots which contain mixtures of half sand and half compost. Plant the roses with the pot. Once the plant has matured properly, transplant the roses to a new spot in the rose bed.
- Hardwood Cuttings:
Very similar to softwood cuttings, however there are a few differences. Using a can that is at lease one year old, select a plant, in the early spring before any leaves have developed. Cut the canes down to 10 inch pieces and use a container at least 6 inches deep for planting.