Tuesday, June 18, 2024 Information Gateway on Agriculture to Convert "Know How To Do How"
Agriculture > Ornamental Crops > Rose

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

  • Red and dark red: Black Velvet, Crimson Glory, Happiness
  • Orange: Hawaii, Super, Star, Duke of Windsor
  • Yellow: Summer Sunshine, Golden Giant, Kiss of Fire, Double Delight
  • Pink: Eiffel Tower, First Love, First Prize
  • White: Virgo, White Christmas
  • Bicolours: Suspense (red and yellow), Perfecta (pink and white)
  • Lavender: Blue, Africa Star, Paradise
  • Novel Colour: Careless Love
  • Fragrant Roses: Fragrant Cloud, Sugandha

B. Floribunda

These have been produced by crossing Hybrid Tea and dwarf polyantha.

  • Red: Rob Roy, Jantar Mantar
  • Orange: Scarlet, Independence, Shola
  • Yellow: All Gold, Fugitive, Gold Bunny
  • Pink: Queen Elizabeth, Mercedes
  • White: Iceberg, Himagini
  • Lavender: Angel Face, Lavender Princess
  • Bicolour: Red Gold, Fantasia
  • Multi Colour: Banjaran, Madhura

C. Polyantha

Ideal, Swati, Echo, Madam Gladstone

D. Miniature

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.

  • Red: Red Flush, Little red
  • Pink: Rosemarin
  • Orange: Sum Blaze, Mary Marshal
  • Yellow: Yellow Doll, Summer Butter
  • White: Cindrella
  • Lavender: Jewel
  • Multi Colour: Puppy Love, Party Girl
  • Bicolour: Sassy Lassy

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.

Source: http://www.indiaagronet.com/indiaagronet/floriculture/Floriculture.htm


Cultivation practices


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 be done.


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.

Pruning methods

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:

  • a good pair of hand pruners (preferably the scissor type, not anvil type)
  • a sharp keyhole saw and large loppers
  • a heavy pair of leather gloves
  • a pruning compound
  • a dull knife.

Steps to Pruning Roses - Spring

  1. The first step in spring pruning of Hybrid Teas, Grandifloras, Floribundas and Climbing roses is to remove any canes that are dead or just old and non-productive. These canes are usually gray in color and scaley. To prune hybrid tea and grandiflora roses follow certain principles including:
    • High pruning for more flowers earlier or low pruning for fewer, bigger flowers later
    • Pruning to remove weak and crisscrossing canes
    • Removing growth an inch below a canker
    • Removal of damaged, dead, or broken canes back to healthy growth
    • Removing sucker growth as close as possible to main root.

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.

  1. The next step involves taking a good look at the bud union. If you have any old, dry scaley wood on the union, remove it. Use the dull knife to scrape the bud union to remove the scaley wood. By doing this it will again make it possible for new basal breaks to come about.
  2. Beginning to fine tune the pruning, remove all twiggy growth on the remaining canes. (Note: The fine tune pruning on climbing roses should be done after they bloom in the spring.) Try to clean out the middle of the bush as much as possible. This allows for good air circulation to prevent insects and disease.
  3. Now you are ready to prune on the good healthy canes. With the early flush of growth on the roses the most important procedure this year is to prune each cane back to a dormant bud. A bud that has already begun growth will continue to grow vigorously and bloom very little. A dormant, non-growing bud will initiate growth after pruning and will produce an abundance of blooms.

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.

  1. When pruning is completed remove any old foliage left on the canes and spray with a mixture of Funginex or Benomyl and Orthene or Diazinon as a clean up spray. Spray the entire bush and the ground around the bush.
The final product of your pruning should be a rose bush about 18 to 24 inches tall with 4 to 8 canes. Add some fertilizer and regular pest spraying, and that pitiful looking rose bush will soon give you a shower of flowers.


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.

Source: http://www.indiaagronet.com/indiaagronet/floriculture/Floriculture.htm


Plant protection

Insect pests

  • White ants

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.

  • Red scale

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.

  • Aphids

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.

  • Digger wasp

They Damage freshly pruned rose plants and are controlled by applying 1% sevin in fungicide at the cut end at the time of pruning.


  • Die-back (Diplodia roseum)

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.

  • Black spot (Diplocarpon rosae)

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.

  • Powdery mildew ( Sphaerotheca pannosa var. rosae)

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.

Source: http://www.indiaagronet.com/indiaagronet/floriculture/Floriculture.htm


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