Forget gifting flowers, build a rose garden instead. Winter is the perfect month to plant roses. Read on to get your patch of fragrant space.
Roses thrive in cool, temperate climes and not in the harsh dry summers of India. That is why the best places for growing roses are Pune, Chandigarh, and Bengaluru. But first pick a site that gets the morning sun for at least six hours. To care, fertilise regularly, mulch generously with compost so that the soil around the roots never dries, and prune properly. Regular deadheading is a must as the removal of deadheads encourages regular flowering for a longer time. Removal of rootstock suckers is also crucial for the health of a rose bush. Roses like deep watering at least three times a week in summer. Here’s a list of roses that grow well in India
INDIAN RED ROSES
For the amateur gardener this is the ideal garden-worthy rose. It is fragrant,free-flowering and can be grown in pots as well. After hybridization you get them in pink, and orange too, but sans the fragrance. Since this rose is extremely hardy, it is easy to grow and maintain. Flowers have single layers and open fully. All it wants is sun, regular watering and compost. Every year, cuttings can be sown after the rains to make new plants.
Climbing roses are not known for their profusion but they certainly add a new dimension to a garden entirely devoted to roses.
Don’t ever grow them against a wall. Instead, put a trellis between the wall and the plant. This way the flowers will stand out. Sometimes the size of the flowers is even bigger than the tea rose. Climbers do not need any pruning for the first two years, and when you do prune, make sure it isn’t deep.
HYBRID TEA ROSE
Considered rose royalty, the tea rose is well known globally. It is a shrub rose with long stemmed, beautifully formed, and fragrant flowers in all colours, from lavender to orange. They are inclined towards repeated flowering, and it takes a long time for the bud to open fully.
They are tall plants that have the blooming ability of floribundas and the long stems of tea roses, though they don’t have any fragrance. They flower continuously when in season. Grandifloras are also a hardy group that grows easily.
Yet another hardy group, the plants as well as the flowers are small in size, as their name suggests, with 24-inch bushes. They flower profusely and are repeat bloomers. They are also resistant to diseases. The single-petal flowers are delicate, and because they become naturalized to the Indian climate easily they are often considered cousins of the desi Indian red rose.
It is a recent addition to the hybrid group. The shrubs are smaller than the shrubs of tea roses. The flowers are also smaller, and are known for their cluster-forming habit. Floribundas are rarely out of flowering
Also known as stem roses, standards are hybrid but the grafting point is higher so as to give plants height. Colourful fragrant flowers form a cluster at the top. They are rooted on wild rose stems. Don’t prune standards like other hybrids, instead, leave about five stems all around. They are best grown in the ground and need a stake to keep them straight. Use a plastic stake rather than an iron or a wood one.
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