Since ancient times, the rose’s rich heritage dating back thousands of years, are presumably indigenous of the Northern Hemisphere. It has been conveyed by pioneers everywhere throughout the world, where growing roses adjusted and thrived. Presently the world's most adored bloom, this astoundingly fluctuated species has a rich and colorful history.
With over three hundred species and thousands of cultivators of roses, roses are best known for their flowers of growing roses in the garden, and as commercial cut flowers. Roses are also the basis for medicinal herbs, cosmetics and dietary.
For the beholder of the rose, smell its fragrance, look at its size and shape, taste the rose water along with the rose essence and color that permeates our senses. Roses have been utilized restoratively, healthfully, and as a wellspring of healing the soul with its scent.
Roses are the queen of flowers because, in essence, they are works of art.
Types of Roses
Wild roses, known as species characterized by five-petal flowers that bloom in early summer. There are two types, an evergreen climber and deciduous shrubs, both being very hardy that grow wild without pesticides or fertilizers.
One of the oldest garden roses that date back to the Middle Ages. Albas are prized for their hardiness and ease of cultivation with distinctive flowers of white or pale pink blooms and noted for their glorious fragrance.
Known for its French unique history, Bourbons are a perfect blend of strength that flaunts elegance and beauty. Being either shrubby or having long stout branches with glossy foliage with very few thorns, they bloom from early spring to autumn.
Also known as cabbage roses, their blooms are large, globular, and closely packed that appear in clusters of three to five and are extremely fragrant. The bushes are medium in size featuring gracefully arched stems with many thorns.
Descended from China, are generally small and compact that features light green foliage, tinged with a red and a dense twiggy habit with a pleasant fragrance. They need a warm, sunny position and are very dis-ease resistant.
A tall deciduous shrub that has its origins from Biblical times. Its foliage is grey-green and downy with flowers from white to deep pink that develop slowly. There are two groups: the Summer Damask that blooms once in summer and the Autumn Damask (also called “Four Seasons Damask”) that blooms both in summer and autumn.
Rosa Gallica is native to Southern and Central Europe eastwards to Turkey and the Caucasus and considered to be the oldest of all garden roses. With beautiful flower formations of color hues of purple, crimson and mauve and prized for their medicinal properties and some with an intensely fragrant scent.
These roses are similar to the Hybrid Teas and Floribundas, are generally tall plants, hardy and vigorous. They have long stems with either single or showy flowers that grow in clusters of three to five blooms.
Old Garden Roses
Old Fashioned or Heritage Roses are sought after for their nostalgic appearance with high petal count and unforgettable fragrance. They can be very vigorous, and cope well to withstand the cold.
Bred by an American gardener in the early 1800s, Noisette roses, being vigorous climbers flowers with profusion with fragrant clusters of small blooms in a wide range of colors being either continual or repeat bloomers. The stems are smooth and covered in thorns.
Hybrid Musk Roses
Rev. J. Pemberton bred many of these roses in the early 20th century. These bushy shrubs bear large trusses with graceful growth having single flowers with five petals each with a strong musky scent.
Hybrid Perpetual Roses
These are the descendants of the Noisettes, Bourbons Portlands, and Hybrid China’s. They are stiff and leggy with sparse foliage. Flowering is recurrent, with blooms of shades of white through to the various shades of pink and purple.
Hybrid Rugosa Roses
A hardy group of old roses from China, Korea, and Japan, are low maintenance, pest, and disease resistant, being tall they need ample room to spread out. They have a wide range of colors followed by showy red rosehips.
Hybrid Tea Roses
Hybrid Tea (large-flowered) roses are valued for their simple classic beauty with distinctive well-formed pointed buds, mainly on one stem that comes in a varied range of colors. They grow in height from 1.2m to 2m.
English Roses, also referred to as David Austin roses are renowned for their strength and intricacy of their heady fragrances, charm, versatility and being made into beautiful flower arrangements.
Floribunda roses occasionally called cluster-flowered roses are distinguished for their prolific classically shaped blooms, frequently giving a dramatic display. Colors include orange, apricot, yellow, pink, purple, white and multi-colored. They range from low growing to more than 1m in height, being well suited for attractive borders and hedges as they tend to be hardy and easy to care for.
Popular since the 1920s, and with such diverse backgrounds, Polyantha’s are distinct by their dwarf and compact growth with tiny flowers that are carried in clusters of up to a hundred blooms in shades of white, pink and red without scent.
These roses are recognized for their moss-like growth which covers the stem and sepals of the flowers. The flowers range in color from deep purple-black through to pink to pure white and also includes a striped form and pleasant fragrance.
The Portland rose has the characteristics of old-fashioned roses that are known for their remarkable repeat flowering. It has short stems with very fragrant flowers ranging from deep red to deep pink.
Rambling and Climbing Roses
Modern climbers and rambling roses are hybrids grouped together because of their growth habit. These can vary from vigorous shrubs to some recently developed climbers. They have long flexible stems that can reach upwards of fifteen feet. Their foliage and flowers vary considerably according to their ancestry. They can be used to cover unsightly walls or trained, and used to decorate pergolas, etc. However, they do need to be supported either by a fence, wall, trellis or pillar. Choose climbing roses with moderate growth for traffic areas, and those with few thorns or thornless to keep neighbors and visitors happy!
A diverse group dating back to the 1860s. Shrub roses are a woody perennial plant, smaller than six meters in height, having permanent stems branching from or near the ground. Their distinctive characteristics are of more informal graceful habit than bush roses.
Ground Cover’s provide a mass of color all season, both disease resistant and low maintenance. Their wide bushy hardy and healthy growth will guarantee ground covering with an abundance of blooms growing to a height of around 50cm by 70cm -1.5m wide.
Weeping standards are usually budded onto rootstock varying in heights from tall to short weeping varying from1.2m – 1-8m tall. These bear long flexible canes that create a cascading effect.
Descended from Chinese garden hybrids, this elegant and superb disease-resistant were shrubs were introduced into Europe in the early 19th century. Known for their exquisite colors, distinctive fragrance, fine foliage with consistent flushes of flowers in warmer areas.
Miniature roses may be bush or climber and are miniature versions of Hybrid Tea roses generally growing less than 50cm in height. Used for edging or growing in containers or in rockeries with showy and colorful blooms.
- June is the National Rose Month. The National Floral Emblem of the United States, the National flower of England, Iraq, Finland, and Bulgaria plus New York’s State emblem flower.
- Roses are truly ageless. Recently, archaeologists discovered the fossilized remains of wild roses over 34 million years old.
- According to Greek myth, the rose was created by the Goddess of Flowers, KHLORIS(Chloris)
- Shakespeare's Sonnets reference roses more than 50 times.
- Bulgaria, Turkey, Southern France, and Morocco cultivate roses for exuding rose essences.
- While the rose may bear no fruit, rose hips (“grate-cul”) contain more Vitamin C than almost any other fruit or vegetable.
- In Ancient Greek Mythology, it was Aphrodite, often portrayed with a crown of roses around her head, who gave the rose its name. Additionally, the rose is a symbolic carrier of secrets.
- Confucius had a great interest in roses and had 600 books specifically on how to care for roses!
- Records show The Rose of Hildensheim at St. Mary’s Cathedral was placed against an apse constructed in the 11th It is said to be the world’s oldest rose.
- Medieval Latin literature referred to the Virgin Mary as a “rose without thorns”.
- The romance of the rose is believed to originate from Egypt where Cleopatra carpeted the floor of her boudoir with delicate rose petals to seduce Mark Antony.
- Samuel deChamplain brought the first cultivated roses to North America in the 17th
- Empress Joséphine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte grew more than 250 varieties of roses.
- Rose Attar or Rose Otto Essential Oil uses 4000kgs of rose petals to make 1 kg of oil.
- From the early 16th century, camel loads of roses were introduced by the Muslim Mughal emperors from Persia and Afghanistan to rule India. 20,000 rose flowers were distilled to make the finest rose liquors for the emperors and royalty during the Mughal dynasty.
- Brahma and Vishnu acknowledged the supremacy of the rose over all the flowers, including the lotus.
- Australia, believed to be the oldest continent, has no naturally grown roses.
- Roses were seen as a luxury item and symbolized success during the Roman civilization.
Roses are rather particular, and you need to be aware of the roses you choose to plant, the growing conditions and time and the care necessary to keep them happy.
- GROWTH HABIT: The size and type of the rose chosen will determine where it will fit in your garden. Note that some roses only have one flush of blooms.
- HARDINESS: Check what zones are recommended from your local or regional growers, local public parks and gardens or your local Rose Society as to what variety will perform best in your area.
- SITE: Roses need to receive 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day. In hot climates protect them from the intense afternoon heat. Roses also require some kind of protection to survive the winter and by staking from pervading strong winds or weight of rain, especially climbing roses and upright tree roses need special attention.
- SOILS: Roses need good drainage and rich, moisture-retentive soil, with a pH between 6.5 and 7. An incorrect pH level can waste your fertilizer. Consider raised beds and compost with a high organic matter.
- WATER: Roses require more water, especially in the first year of planting. Drip irrigation concentrates the water at the root zone and keeps the foliage dry to minimize disease problems. Mulch also conserves moisture and reduces weeds. Giving roses a good, deep water soak is better than a little each day.
- FERTILIZER: Roses are heavy feeders and will benefit from a steady supply of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Use either a liquid or granular fertilizer, or regular applications of compost, rotted manure, fish emulsion, and seaweed extracts or Blood and Bone to balance and stimulate soil life.
- PRUNING: Dead, weak and sickly stems can lead to disease problems. Pruning these away will increase the air circulation and minimize fungus problems. Pruning stimulates new growth and gives a more please aesthetic look. Deadheading encourages new blooms, and removing black spot leaves keeps the plants tidy. Keep an eye open for suckers to be removed at the point of origin. Make sure your pruning utensils/secateurs are regularly sterilized to prevent the spread of diseases.
- PESTS and DISEASES: By choosing stronger resistance plants helps to avoid an arsenal of chemical dust and sprays. Keep plants in healthy condition, maintain good air circulation, keep foliage dry, and remove any diseased foliage or spent flowers. Keeping up your spray program will keep your roses pest and disease-free. Throw all dead cuttings and spent flowers in the rubbish. Be Bee-friendly.
Rose Medicinal Applications
- Analgesic Applications – Rose Healing Balms and/or Rose tinctures are effective for minor cuts and abrasions, cooling and healing for burns, skin rashes and skin irritations and will actively calm throat soreness. A Rose Elixir/tincture applied to a minor cut or wound will stem the bleeding.
- Anxiety/Stress – Rose is commonly used to promote peace and calm. Rose Tea or a Rose Elixir helps reduce anxiety. It helps to calm and relax an agitated mind.
- Anti-inflammatory – Used topically Rose lotions or liniments are an effective treatment for painful joints and muscles. Rose Tea or Rose tinctures help reduce inflammation throughout the entire body.
- Heart Health Tonic – Rose Hip and Hawthorn berries belong to the same family. Both contain high levels of Vitamin C and bioflavonoids and encourage heart strength and heart protection.
- Liver – Rose relaxes and calms the Liver, helping to reduce liver heat and promote healthy liver function.
- Nutritional Value – The Rose Hip, particularly the skin, is very high in vital vitamins, including A, B-Complex, C, and E, as well as potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Rose Hip is commonly used to make Tea, Jelly, and Jams to promote a healthy lifestyle.
- Pain Relief – A Rose Petal poultice placed on the site of muscle or sciatic pain will ease and calm the nervous system.
Just remember that being surrounded by the transience roses, take a moment to daydream, smell the roses, and know that growing roses in your garden is an oasis from stresses of modern-day living. Roses are very special in so many ways.
Purchase “Romancing the Rose: Petals of Inspiration” book that one of these roses featured may help carry you throughout the day.