Roses are loved by one and all across genders and age. We cannot imagine Mughal Badshah Akbar without a red rose in his hand nor can we imagine Jawaharlal Nehru without a red rose adorning his coat.
It is a joy to grow roses and the effort is worth it when you experience the perfume that is released as the buds open petal by petal. No designer label perfume can come close.
Rose is undoubtedly the most loved flower in the world. Roses are used to profess love, give respect for the dead, decorate party halls, to accentuate the garland, and give dignity to any garden.
Roses can be as small as a button or as big as a lotus. The hues are unlimited and the height of the plant can reach 7 meters.
Botanical name of rose is Rosa rubiginosa and belongs to the family Rosaceae. There are 100 species of Roses cultivated across the globe. These woody perennial plants can be erect shrubs, climbing / creeper, or dwarf varieties. Most of the species are native to Asia and the rest are native to Europe, North America, and North West Africa.
Planting and nurturing Rose plant is long considered a wonderful hobby and the plants are a favorite choice of a gardener to enhance the beauty of a landscape. Rose cultivation promises big returns as there is an increasing demand for hybrid Roses.
The leaves are alternate and have a saw-like margin with small spikes on the underside of the stem. The leaves are 2 to 6 inches long.
Wild Roses have a single line petals with pollens exposed, whereas hybrid Roses have many layers of petals held tightly. The five sepals look like a hand holding together the petals proudly.
The thorns that appear on the stem is actually the outgrowth of the outer layer of the tissue of the stem. Some of the thorns are red and yellow and add to the beauty of the plant.
The fruit of the Rose is known as rose hip. Each of these hips contains many seeds rich in Vitamin C, which are eaten by birds.
Blooming season in India is May – August and November – December
Roses have inspired many poets, artists, photographers, and architects. Varieties of Roses are printed on stamps and Rose festivals are held in many countries.
There is a great demand for Rose petals in the perfumery and cosmetic industry. Rose oil is derived from the petals of roses.
In India roses are offered to gods. During weddings Rose garlands are a favorite. Rose water is another derivative from Rose petals used in cooking and as a facial skin enhancer.
Rose petals are used in India for cooking many Mughlai dishes.
Roses are perfect for flower arrangement as they last for a long time and add class to the arrangement.
Rose hip is a power house of Vitamin C and hence been used in herbal medicine. Chinese traditional medicine uses Rose extensively to cure few ailments.
Rose plants are grown by planting cuttings. Grafting is very common in cultivating rose plants. Plant them in full sun as they require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight for flowering and growth. The plants require well-drained soil.
Suckers are shoots that appear on the stems near the root. These have to be removed immediately. After the blooming season cut the branches to encourage new growth and budding.
Water the Rose plants daily and twice during summer. Mulching is necessary during summer to avoid evaporation. Pesticide has to be sprayed once a week to keep pests and insects away.
Recipes using Rose Petals:
Rose gardens that I have visited:
- Sim’s Park Coonoor
- Lal Bagh, Bangalore
- Mughal Gardens, Rashtrapathi Bhavan, New Delhi
- Brindavan Gardens