5 clear criteria for growing roses yourself

Roses are beautiful flowers exchanged on special occasions or or a just-because surprise. Bouquets of roses can still be quite expensive, however. Learn to grow them yourself and you will save money while having fun!

5 clear criteria for growing roses yourself

History

  • It is the old roses, and not the modern hybrids, that work best in cooking, perfumery and herbal medicine.
  • Except for the common rosehips, these old varieties are originally from the Middle East and East Asia; they have been grown for so long that their names and their exact origins are unknown.

Rosehips

  • Varieties o fRosa rugosa are very productive and resistant to exposed coastal locations. They are remontant and bearclusters of rosehips the size of cherries, delicious in syrup or in tea.
  • Other rosebushes with fruit, including wild (dog rose) rosebushes (with rosehips) and sweet briar (eglantine) roses, are used for the production of rose hip oil (sometimes called rose musk oil). Antioxidant and astringent, it is very rich in essential fatty acids, flavonoids and carotenoids.

Gardening in 5 practical concepts

1. Location

  • The old varieties prefer an old clay loam, enriched with well-rotted compost or manure.
  • The rugosas like lighter soils, tolerate saline soil and make beautiful hedges.

All these flowers bloom best in full sun.

2. Multiplication

Take hardwood cuttings in the spring.

3. Care

Prune old roses just after blooming, as they bloom on wood at maturity.

In the winter, cut at the base all the old stems that no longer produce and shorten by one third the very long young shoots.

The rugosas bloom and have fruit in autumn; it is therefore necessary to prune shrubs or hedges in the winter. Spread mulch after trimming.

4. Pests and diseases

The main problems are the black spots on the leaves and aphids on the rosebuds.

5. Harvest and conservation

  • Pick the roses when they have just opened on a sunny morning when the dew has evaporated.
  • Dry the petals flat on covered trays of paper, protected from the sun.
  • Pick the rosehips when they are very colourful, and dry them in the same way.

The roses are resistant and, although most only bloom once in early summer, they still deserve their place in the garden!

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