The most important flower traded in the international market is rose. But in Kerala
it still remains an ornamental plant even though there is a high scope for commercial
cultivation. Since rose prefers temperate climate the prospects of growing this
crop in high range areas like Wynad or Idukky could be worth probing.
The leaves of most species are 5–15 cm long, pinnate, with 5–9
leaflets and basal stipules; the leaflets usually have a serrated margin, and often
a few small prickles on the underside of the stem.
The flowers of most species of roses have five petals with the exception of Rosa sericea which often has only four. Each
petal is divided into two distinct lobes and are usually white or pink, though in
a few species yellow or red. Beneath the petals are five sepals (or in the case
of some Rosa sericea, four). These may be long enough to be visible when
viewed from above and appear as green points alternating with the rounded petals.
The ovary is inferior, developing below the petals and sepals.
The aggregate fruit of the rose is a berry-like structure called a rose hip. Rose
species that produce open-faced flowers are attractive to pollinating bees and other
insects, thus more apt to produce hips. Many of the domestic cultivars are so tightly
petalled that they do not provide access for pollination.
While the sharp objects along a rose stem are commonly called "thorns",
they are actually prickles – outgrowths of the epidermis (the outer layer
of tissue of the stem). A few species of roses only have vestigial prickles that
have no points.
Climate and soil
Rose can be successfully cultivated in mild climate with good sunshine. Roses thrive
in temperate climates, though certain species and cultivars can flourish in sub-tropical
and even tropical climates, especially when grafted onto appropriate root-stock.
It ceases to grow at vary low temperature. Roses require fertile and clay loam and
loam soils. Soil should be deep having good water holding capacity with proper drainage.
Roses do well in soils having pH up to 6.0 to 7.5 but it can also grow satisfactorily
in alkaline soil with pH up to 8.4. The soil pH can be brought in safe limits by
adding gypsum or other acidifying agents in alkaline soil whereas pH of acidic soil
can be raised by adding well ground dolomite lime stone.
A. Hybrid Tea
These have been produced by crossing Hybrid Tea and dwarf polyantha.
Ideal, Swati, Echo, Madam Gladstone
These are also called as Baby roses. They are compact but dwarf plants. These were
introduced from China as Pigmy rose (R.Chininsis variety minima). These
are mostly ideally suited for edging, pots, rockeries or window gardens.
E. Climbing and rambling
These produce long arching canes and need some support to keep them upright. Show
Girl, Prosperity, Golden Showers, Delhi Pink Pearl, Casino.
F. Shrub Roses
Cocktail, Joseph’s Coat.
Roses are commonly propagated by "T" or shield budding on the rootstock.
The common rootstock used in Edouard rose (R. bourboniana) or R. multiflora.
Recently R. indica odorata has been found better than the former rootstocks.
The place selected for planting roses should be dug thoroughly to a depth of 90-120
cm and kept open for few days. The soil should be dried and refilled with 10-15
kg/sq.m. well rotten farm yard manure and good garden soil at the top. The spacing
between plants varies with the vigour of the variety but generally H.T. varieties
can be planted at the distance of 75 cm from each other while for the varieties
of floribundas which are used for massing, a distance of 60 cm can be kept.
For planting roses, best time is from end of September to middle of October but
it can be extended up to November. At the time of planting roses, the soil of the
size of earth ball should be removed from the bed and plant should be placed in
this pit. Soil should be refilled and well pressed. Care should be taken that bud
union is just above the ground. Light pruning i.e. tipping back of the branches
should be done. After planting, frequent irrigation, removal of root suckers should
About 3 to 4 days before pruning, watering is withheld. Rose is generally pruned
during the 2nd week of October, from 7th to 14th, and about 6 to 7 weeks of pruning,
the plants start flowering. The old Hybrid Tea bushes are pruned by removing all
old and useless wood and shortening the previous season’s thick shoots by
half their length, keeping about 5 to 6 eyes on each stem. The Floribundas are pruned
moderately. The climbing of rambling roses need almost no pruning.
Annual heavy pruning is essential to insure the prolific bloom and long-life of
a rose bush.
Pruning of roses is actually done year round. There are two times a year when you
prune more seriously, spring and fall.
You will need the following items:
Steps to Pruning Roses - Spring
This pruning will encourage future "basal" breaks which are the life blood
of any rose bush. Basal breaks refer to new shoots, soon to be producing canes,
which arise from the graft union. These should not be confused with "suckers"
which arise from the rootstock below the graft union. Remove all suckers.
One comment always heard is to "prune to an outside bud." The basic technique
for most pruning is to cut 1/4 inch above the nearest outward-facing bud with the
cut at a 45-degree angle (the higher point above the bud). This means when picking
the point on a given cane to cut back to, make sure there is a good bud on the cane
facing toward the outside of the plant. This will insure the growth of the new bud
is to the outside, therefore keeping the center of the rose bush clear and open
for air circulation.
Another guideline in pruning back an individual cane is to cut the cane at the point
when the diameter of the cane is the size of a pencil or slightly larger. Because
of the need to prune back to a dormant bud, the size of the cane may be larger and
the cane length may be shorter.
If old and large canes have been removed to the bud union, it is a good practice
to seal these large cuts. This helps prevent insects and diseases from infecting
the cuts. Smaller canes in many cases don't need to be sealed. Use some sort of
sealing compound such as orange shellac or even Elmer's glue.
Many arbitrary recommendations are available about feeding of roses. Roses should
be fed with both organic and inorganic sources. One hundred gram of mixture containing
groundnut cake –5 kg. bonemeal – 5 kg, ammophos (11:48) – 2 kg,
ammonium sulphate –1 kg super phosphate (single) –2 kg and potassium
sulphate –1kg should be applied per bush for better results. Addition of 60
g N, 20 g of P2O5 and K2O should be applied per
sq.m. containing nine plants. These fertilizers should be applied in two splits
i.e. half amount of N, full dose of P and K at the time of pruning and remaining
half one month after the first application. In the market many ready-made rose mixtures
are being sold which can also be applied.
Water requirement of roses depend upon soil type and seasons. Light soils require
more frequent irrigation than heavy soils. During summer, water requirement is more
than winter. Therefore, irrigation is adjusted in a way that soil is moist but not
wet. During rainy season, watering is generally not done except during drought period.
During winter, irrigation is done at about 7-10 days interval whereas during summer
it should be done at an interval of 5-6 days. Heavy watering at comparatively long
intervals is more useful than frequent light watering.
They attack the plants and damage the root system and slowly plants die completely.
White ants can be controlled by applying 5% sevin @ 2.5-5 g/pit at the time of planting.
The branches are covered with a reddish-brown encrustation under which the insect
sucks the juice of the plants. This pest can be controlled by spraying malathion
or parathion or 0.25% sevin in April and again in October or by the application
of thimet in the ground.
These appear in winter months on leaves and flower buds. This can be controlled
by spraying 0.1% malathion or by applying granules of thimet.
They Damage freshly pruned rose plants and are controlled by applying 1% sevin in
fungicide at the cut end at the time of pruning.
This appears after pruning. The drying up and blackening of pruned shoots start
from the downwards. For its effective control, the pruned cut end should be painted
with a fungicidal paint, prepared of 4 parts copper carbonate, 4 parts of red lead
and 5 parts of linseed oil.
This disease appears in November and continues till the end of March. Conspicuous
circular black spots (less than 1 cm) with fringed margins appear on either side
of leaf. Leaves become chlorotic dry up and prematurely drop. It can be easily controlled
by spraying 0.2% captan at fortnightly intervals.
It is a serious disease in warm, humid and cool weather conditions. Young growing
shoots and leaves are covered with white powdery growth. Infected leaves turn purplish
and drop. Flower buds may fail to open. It can be checked by dusting 80% sulphur
or spraying 0.1% Kerathane fungicide.