How To Grow A Rose Plant At Home And Use It In Your Kitchen
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If you go back in time and look at how roses came to India, you'll find the story quite fascinating. Roses are believed to have originated in Central Asia, such as China, Persia (modern-day Iran), and the Mediterranean region. They probably came to India via the trade route.

Then, when the Mughals ruled over most of India from the early 16th century to the mid-19th century, roses became even more popular. When they came from Persia, they brought with them a love for roses and their appreciation and knowledge of gardens and horticulture, as well as the cultivation of roses.

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One of the most popular varieties of roses, the Damask rose (Rosa damascena), for instance, was brought to India by the Mughals. It’s primarily known for its fragrance, which became very popular and was being used to make rose water, perfumes, and attar (essential oil). The city of Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh became a major centre for rose cultivation and the production of rose-based products, a tradition that continues to this day.

When the British came to India, they contributed to the cultivation and hybridisation of roses too. They introduced many European rose varieties to India. In the 20th century, rose societies and research institutions in India began to focus on developing new rose varieties suited to the Indian climate. 

Growing a rose plant involves understanding the different varieties of roses, picking the right spot for planting, preparing the soil correctly and most importantly, taking consistent care. The rose plant requires monitoring watering, fertilising, pruning, and pest management. Here’s how to begin.

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5 Varieties Of Roses To Plant In Your Garden

There are various kinds of roses and each has its own unique characteristics. For example:

Hybrid Tea Roses: These roses are popular in home gardens. They are known for their large, single blooms on long stems.

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Floribunda Roses: If you like more colours, pick these. They produce clusters of flowers and make the garden look vibrant.

Grandiflora Roses: This variety is a cross between hybrid teas and floribundas and can offer the best of both worlds.

Climbing Roses: This will work best if you don’t have much space available. They are perfect for trellises and fences that let them grow vertically.

Shrub Roses: The plants are hardy and versatile and most commonly used in landscaping.

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5 Steps To Plant Roses In Your Garden 

Choose a sunny spot in your garden where the rose plant will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Rose plants need enough sunlight to grow well.

Step 2

The soil needs to be rich in organic matter. Prepare the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to make sure that it is fertile and also well drained.  

Step 3 

Timing is important. The best time to plant roses is just after the rains and before winter arrives in its full glory. The weather needs to be cool so that the plant can establish roots before the extremes of summer or winter.

Step 4

Dig a hole wide and deep enough to accommodate the roots without crowding, typically about 18 inches wide and 18 inches deep. Place the rose in the hole, and make sure that the graft union, which is the swollen area where the rose is grafted onto the rootstock, is about 1-2 inches below the soil level in colder climates or at soil level in warmer climates. Fill the hole with soil, making sure that there are no air pockets.

Step 5

In the beginning, water the newly planted rose plant thoroughly to settle the soil and provide the required moisture. Even later, roses need consistent moisture, especially during their first growing season. Water deeply at the base of the plant. You will have to avoid overhead watering; otherwise, there is always a risk of fungal diseases. Generally, roses require about 1-2 inches of water per week.

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You will need to put a 2-3-inch layer of mulch around the base of the plant so that the soil retains moisture. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the stem. This will also help in suppressing weeds and regulating the soil temperature. You will also need to feed the rose plant regularly with a balanced fertiliser formulated for roses. Roses are susceptible to pests so you need to monitor them regularly and use insecticidal soap or neem oil if infestations occur.

Pruning the plant helps maintain its shape and also helps with healthy growth and flower production. It is also important to remove dead, damaged, or diseased wood, cut back weak or crossing stems, and remove spent flowers throughout the blooming season to encourage continuous flowering.

Edible Roses

Not all roses are safe to eat. Usually, varieties such as damask, rugosa, and gallica are considered edible. You need to pick organic or pesticide-free varieties. Rose petals add a delicate flavour and aroma to dishes. You can use fresh petals to make a preserve like gulkand, salads, desserts, and some drinks,  or use rose water, which is a fragrant distillation of rose petals, and even use dried rose petals to make tea. Just steep dried petals in hot water for 5–10 minutes  and then sweeten with honey.