A rose by any other name would smell as sweet but would a rose grown in any media, other than soil, grow just as well? Rose is undoubtedly the queen of flowers. It is the most sought-after flower in the world, especially with days to go before Valentine’s Day.
Rose cultivation has been around across human civilisations since ancient times. Demand for roses as a cut flower is huge. The Dutch varieties are especially in huge demand due to their high centre flower and long stem.
There are many varieties of rose available and countless hybrids defined by the American Rose Society. Most Rose specialists would divide them into three categories: Species Roses/ Wild Roses, Old Garden Roses and Modern Roses.
A bright red Rose
Of these, we cultivate mainly modern roses in containers. Modern roses are further classified as the following—
a. Floribunda and Climbing Floribunda
b. Grandiflora and Climbing Grandiflora
c. Hybrid Tea and Climbing Hybrid Tea
d. Miniature and Climbing Miniature
f. Polyantha and Climbing Polyantha
g. Shrubs etc
Most people have planted a Rose at least once in their gardening lives. Usually, after a year or two the plant suddenly dies or we do not get desired growth or flowers from the plant. Media-cramped root system and excessive water rot the plant. To solve this problem, some Rosarians started planting roses in cinder media and got wonderful results. Cinder can keep the roots both moist and aerated while draining the excess water at the same time.
1. Soak in water to remove soil from the root system
2. Remove all old leaves from the rose plant
3. Soaked the plant in fungicide-mixed water
4. Transfer to a pot with cinder media
How to transfer the plant to cinder media – Lift the rose plant from the pot/ bag and put it in water for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the entire soil without harming the root system. We need to remove all the old leaves from the plant. Soak the plant in fungicide (SAAF / Bavistin) 2ml per litre of water for around 10 minutes.
Now transplant the rose plant in a pot not larger than six inches with the pre-cleaned cinder. Pour the fungicide-mixed water on the cinder. This will sterilise the cinder as well.
Keep the plant in a brightly lit spot or away from direct sun for a week. After that, slowly introduce the plant into the sun. November to March is the best time for planting Roses.
Fertiliser– One week after transplanting, apply 200ml of fertiliser-mixed water per plant. For that, mix 2mg NPK in 1 litre water. Throw away rest of the ferti-mix water or use on other plants.
Cinder cannot hold fertiliser, so we need to apply the same fertiliser for the next 15 days for finer root development. From the fourth week feed NPK (20:20:20 or 19:19:19) on every other day. After a month we need to feed the plant regular specialised food for Roses.
Pest control – from the second week spray fungicide Saaf (2mg/l)+ Plantomycin (1mg/l) on the plant. One day after, spray Confidor (2ml/l) and on the fifth day spray Tafgor (2ml/l). In the third week repeat the same routine.
Watering- in winter months (November – March) water once daily. Rest of the year water the plant twice or thrice a day as per requirement. If your plants are on the rooftop you need to water thrice daily. Rose plants love bathing. In summer months shower the plants thoroughly, if possible twice or thrice a day. It will lower the temperature of the plant.
Roses like acidic media. Put few drops vinegar or half teaspoon Potassium alum powder (fitkari) per litre of water and apply on the cinder.
Temperature – Rose plants can tolerate a maximum of 28°C temperature. After that their growth will stun and they will produce small and fewer flowers. They need at least seven to eight hours of direct sunlight to thrive. So keep them in a sunny place. In summer, protect them from direct sunlight by installing a shed net above them.
Pruning - The more new growth the plant has, the more the flower production. So we need to prune the rose plant regularly in winter. First week of November is the ideal time in West Bengal to prune Rose plants.
If you grow plants in a container it will need light pruning, or else the plant will die. Before pruning, sterilise the cutter with surgical spirit or by burning the blade on a flame. Apply fungicide paste on pruned branches.