ROSE: A LOVE INCITING FLOWER

DR. S.M. ALAM
Feb 23 - Mar 01, 2009

Roses are one of the most popular groups of ornamental plants having a long history and are among the most economically important ornamental crops throughout the world.

Roses are liked by everyone living on the earth and they are also loved on the basis of different nature of colors (as yellow, pink, red, orange and white), shapes, sizes and variety of beautiful smell and unsurpassed fragrance. They have been symbols of love, romance, beauty, war and politics. They are the only widely admired flowers all over the world and are truly called the king of flowers.

It is a well documented fact that presence or use of roses for making rosary on marriage occasion, birthday, and funeral is a very common for festivity all over the world. The common rite or tradition of sending rose flower to an ailing relative or friend as a gesture is also very common, therefore every city or a town of a country has established big shops for making standard floral garlands to meet the requirement of the people. Thus, the roses provide decorative pleasure to everyone.

Different roses are traditionally grown for essential oil and rosewater, besides their ornamental and aesthetic value. Rose has also been figured in myths and legends, in poetry and music of many ancient people. The rose is indeed universal flower found almost in all parts of the world except in climates of Arctic and Sahara.

Presently, there are more than 160 known varieties of roses grown all over the world. They are normally named by researchers or discoverers, keeping in view either the place or country of origin, structure of the flower and the foliage or some other considerations.

Cut flower rose business is very popular in the country. Pakistan also exports flowers to foreign country and earns a huge amount by exporting different roses to Middle East and European countries.

Both desai and grafted roses are grown in all the four provinces of the country. The province of the Punjab has lion share in producing grafted roses and supply them to all the cities of the country. Any person familiar with gardening can grow roses successfully in any type of garden, but good planning is necessary.

Before selecting the site, it is necessary to first analyze the soil of the site. Creating a good planting site is one of the most important steps to grow healthy, and beautiful roses. Fertile, free draining but evenly moist soil is more than a blessing for a rose gardener. Well drained soil rich in organic matter is a necessary for virtually all garden roses. Well-fertilized soils encourage better root growth, resulting in more residues to build organic matter and improve soil physical properties.

Increased organic matter improves soil structure and aggregation, resulting in better water infiltration and higher nutrient reserves to enhance fertility and productivity. The use of mulch around roses to help retain soil moisture is a practice that is highly encouraged.

Roses grow best with a steady supply of moisture. Watering should be in accordance with season and requirements. Roses do best with uniform soil moisture throughout the growing season. The amount and frequency of application will depend on soil type. Sandy soils will need more frequent irrigation than heavier clay soils. Hot temperatures would call for more frequent irrigation also.

Soil pH should be around 6.5. Both major and minor nutrients should be sufficient to flourish the plants. Roses need a steady supply of nutrients to bloom at best. In order to maintain strong, healthy roses, it is important to establish an annual fertility program. Fertilization schedules vary depending on the types of roses being grown. Plenty of light is also a major requisite of roses. At least six hours of sunlight a day with some afternoon shade is necessary. Temperature ranging from 15oC to 25oC is considered ideal.

Strong winds can play havoc with plants and bloom, while powerful gusts can easily snap off the heads of standard roses, if they are not properly secured. Normally November planting shows good results. February-March is a flowering season. Dense population inhibits branching.

There are normally 13 thousand roses planted per acre at a distance of 1-foot with a 5-feet path among 3-rows plantations. The rose garden needs careful weeding, pruning, and spraying of water time to time. Roses are susceptible to a number of diseases and insect pests.

Application of fungicide and insecticide should be done right after pruning. Some of the common pests and diseases appear on the rose plants are: Aphids, beetles, caterpillars, spider mites, leaf cutting bee, thrips, black spot, powdery mildew, rose mosaic virus, rust, rose scales, slugs and snails, grey mould, rose crown gall and rose leaf-rolling sawfly and rodent.