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How To Grow Rose

Plant: Shrub

Hardy: To 10degC
Height: To 2m
Soil: Moderately Rich, Moist
Exposure: Sun
Propagation: Cuttings
Uses: Fragrance

Growing: In cool-summer areas choose varieties that do not have an unusually large number of petals as they will not always open well. Pastel colours are best; dark, rich colours often tend to get "muddy.”  Plant in open areas to assure good air circulation, and water deeply to encourage deep root growth.

In hot-summer areas roses grow fast and strong but if planted in the hot sun they sometimes open prematurely, burn, or fade. Provide midday or afternoon shade for best summer flowers. Avoid reflected heat from light coloured walls and avoid south or west exposure. Mulch heavily to conserve moisture and keep roots cool.

In cold-winter areas, select hardy plants. Plant them with bud onion just below the soil surface. After planting, mound soil over canes for protection against freezing. Begin removing soil gradually when hard freezes are over. Cut out dead branch tips in the spring.
Most roses like a well-aerated, moderately rich soil and need good watering. Feed regularly in coordination with the blooming periods just after one period has ended and new growth is beginning for the next one is a good time. Roses are subject to aphids, spider mites, and thrips, depending on the variety and your geographic location. Spray against them as needed. 
Roses are perhaps the best loved and most widely planted shrub in temperate parts of the world. For an herb garden the most frequently planted ones are the old roses—particularly damask, cabbage, and sweet briar.
Cabbage rose (R. centifolia) has prickly stems growing to 2m. Pink to purple, very fragrant double flowers bloom in the late spring and early summer. R. C. muscosa or moss rose has flower stalks and bases covered with hairy green "moss." The flowers are mostly double, and pink, white, or red in color, and have an intense old rose fragrance.
R. damascene, the old-world damask rose, grows to 2m and has pale green foliage. Double blossoms appear in large clusters and are very fragrant. Colors range from pure white to red. The species flowers only in spring, but some of its varieties will blossom repeatedly through summer and fall. The variety called Kazanlik (R. d. trigintipetala) is grown in vast quantities in southeast Europe for its flower petals which produce attar of roses.
R. eglanteria or sweet briar is a vigorous climber to 1.5-3m. The stems are prickly and covered with dark green fragrant leaves that smell like apples. The single flowers (4cm across) appear singly or in clusters in the late spring, followed by reddish orange fruit. Plant 1-1.3m apart fora hedge and prune once each year in the spring.
R. gallica (French rose or "Apothecary´s Rose") has 1-1.2m tall stems growing from creeping rootstocks. The leaves are smooth and dark green. The flowers have an old-rose fragrance and are about 6cm inches across. They are pink through slate blue and purple, often mottled.
R. rugosa, Ramamas rose or Sea tomato is a vigorous hardy shrub growing to 1-2.5m tall. The leaves are bright, glossy green and have distinctive heavy veins which give them a crinkled appearance. Flowers are 5-10cm across and are single or double and pure white through pink and deep purplish red. The bright red fruit is an inch or more across, shaped like small tomatoes and very showy against the foliage. They are edible but seedy.
Since ancient Grecian times, roses have been a symbol of beauty, love, fidelity, and happiness. They are most valued for their fragrance. In the later Roman period the flower petals were strewn on the floors of banquet halls and on the streets during parades and processions. Rose water is said to have flowed from fountains, and the wealthiest classes bathed in rose wine and rose water. Cakes and other delicacies were made from the petals and fruit.
There are two myths which attribute roses to gods. One says that they came from the blood of Adonis, the other that they got their red color from the blood of Aphrodite.
Varieties of the French rose (R. gallica) were symbols of the two royal houses of York and Lancaster: a white flowered one for York and red for Lancaster. Their dynastic struggle against one another during the 15th century was known as the "War of the Roses" after these symbols.
Medicinally, the damask rose was used to make a syrup taken for colds and coughs.
Roses are usually grown from plants purchased from a nursery or from a mail-order rose specialist. Choose species that are suitable for your climate, as their hardiness varies. Many of the old roses will grow easily from cuttings taken at the time you prune the plants before they leaf out.
The most common use for roses is in the landscape, but you also can use the petals and fruit to make tea, jellies, potpourri, and sachets.