Rose bushes: a rewarding challenge!

They are cited in all literature, from holy books to children’s tales. It is the symbol of man in exoterism, for having five petals or more, hiding the heart and possessing perfume, besides fascinating by its colours and shapes. Defend yourself with thorns and delight your admirers.

It is a perennial, that is, it lasts forever as long as it is well cared for. Rose bushes are challenging plants for their immense variety, which makes them the desire of collectors, as there are many different from each other. The fact, however, can make the version of each crop a little difficult. Some descend from wild roses, others from shrub roses, which have been cultivated throughout history and enhanced between species crosses, so there are rose bushes classified as wild rose, singles, tea rose, tea hybrids, polentas, grandifloras, perpetual hybrids.

Each with specific characteristics, cultivated and selected for different regions and climates, some more resistant to cold and dry climates and stony terrain such as wild. Already simple roses are simpler and rustic, with five or more petals. They can be folded, but in general, they show pistils and attract bees a lot. They have greater fruit production (rosehips, rose hips, canine rose), from which vitamin C is extracted and very beneficial oil for the skin, with anti-signal and anti-oxidant properties. Its petals are also used as a tea for baths and essences. Floral Tea roses ( Rosa chinensis ) are small shrubs with medium and long branches. They produce large, fragrant flowers with more than sixty petals. From these rose bushes arose the hybrid varieties, cultivated by European botanical gardens and royal aficionados in the late 16th century.

Brought from China around 1529, they formed a network of scholars and collectors for their attractive scent and larger flowers, so they were crossed and hybridized until new types emerged, such as floribunda roses. These are plants that bring together qualities of the original rose bushes, but more adapted to the cultural treatments of each region, aiming at greater flower production, more colour variety and longer flowering duration.

Later, the floribundas were hybridized with the hybrid tea roses, which provided upright branches and larger flowers, to give rise to Grandiflora, a taller plant species, 90 cm to 180 cm high and flowers 7 to 13 cm in diameter. Note that as the rose bush moved away from its rustic origin, among the various crossings, it became demanding in care and soil quality, so taking proper care of each type requires knowing the variety from which it originated.

More recently, the perpetual hybrid variety has been created, with greater petals, durability and fragrance, obviously cultivated for commercial purposes and currently being the most commercialized.

There are also several types of miniature roses, those with heights between 10 and 40 cm. They produce clusters of multiple flowers, usually no more than 5 cm, and have a wide variety of colours. They can be very resistant to cold, even blooming throughout the winter.

Polianthes are lower rose bushes with a lot of flower production. More resistant to sudden changes in temperature in regions of altitude and dry climate, they form excellent hedges and a great attraction for birds and insects in the garden. They are more difficult to prune when clustered side by side due to thorns but produce more flowers. With varieties of almost every colour, they ask for frequent watering and well-fertilized soil.

Finally, climbing roses are varieties that originate between wild and pollinates. They have sloping branches and need support to settle down. They can cover a pergola or reach the threshold of a window. They produce medium to small flowers, their branches are greener and more flexible, however, more susceptible to the attack of fungi and aphids because they are more tender.

Rose Care

Brazilian architect and landscape architect Burle Marx was already saying that roses like manure.

Once you have identified the size and type of rose you have, make manure with bone manure and flour. Give preference to do this on new and growing moon days.

At pruning time, keep an inch away from each bud you want to grow next season and avoid leaving straight branches from the bottom to the top. Try to form a chandelier with two or three main, adjacent, bud-free branches on the inside faces so that light can penetrate the entire plant throughout the year.

The cut should be done with pruning shears appropriate to the size of the branch. It should be cleaned and disinfected with alcohol or chlorine solution and should be well sharpened.

For the amount of water with each watering, you must observe the humidity level and the retention of your ground. Stick a wooden skewer, such as a barbecue, into the soil next to your flowerbed and remove it before watering to see if it gets wet. If you find it dry, increase the number of waterings. The recommendation is to water the rose bush early or late afternoon.

Try to cover the bed with pine bark, straw or dry leaves to preserve moisture and soil-dwelling microorganisms. Flush the flowerbed every three months, freeing it from weeds. Garlic, onions, tagetes and basil can be planted near the rose bushes. They will help scent the flowers and attract beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, which feed on aphids.

After pruning, your rosebush will recover, the old branches and dry leaves will give way to tender buds and fragrant flowers. When in bloom spray the petals with decanted water (chlorine-free), so your roses will last longer. And a tip: If you lose an old rose bush, avoid planting a new one in the same place. The soil has memory and the same thing that caused the death of your plant may attack the other.

Roses are susceptible to fungal and virus attacks. If spotted leaves and dry branches appear, do not hesitate to cut with well-groomed scissors. Neem dye sprays can prevent reinfestation, and when the frost burns, only scissors can save what is left of your plant. A cardboard box can protect your rose bush from the extreme cold.

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