Rose cultivation is a very good agro business if done commercially. Rose plantation can be done in both open air and polyhouse. Rose farming profit can be high if accessed right market.

This article describes about all you need to know about roses, its cultivation practices, marketing and its profitability. Cultivation practice includes the very step from selection of field and soil, preparation of the land, selection of suitable variety, planting and spacing, manuring and irrigation, various intercultural practices to be followed, disease and pest control and harvesting.

Rose Flower Information

Roses are adaptable to a wider range of climatic conditions and found widely in Asia. Rose plants can be shrub, climbers or tremblers with or without thorns depending upon the variety. Botanically, roses belongs to Rosaceae family and ‘Rosa’ genus.

Rose flower
Rose flower

Importance of Rose Cultivation

Cultivation of roses can be done at home level in pots, on backyard, fields, terraces or indoors. Commercial production of roses can be done both in open air and polyhouse but high quality roses like dutch rose is mainly done in polyhouse farming where the environmental conditions are under control. Higher quality roses with more yield are obtained in the green house. Commercial cultivation of roses can be highly profitable as there is a growing demand for the rose flowers as cut flowers and loose flowers in floral arrangements, making bouquets, gifting as well as for manufacturing rose based products like rose water, gulkand, perfumes and cosmetics.

Important Variety of Rose Flowers

There are 120 species of roses, distributed all over the world. So far as garden roses are considered only species are important. Rosa damascena, Rosa foetida, Rosa chinensis, Rosa gallica are some of the important species used for rose cultivation.

Rose Varieties in India

  1. Miniature Roses: It is also known as baby roses or fairy roses. It is mainly used for making bouquets and in decorations. It is also suitable for pot culture and for beautifying terraces and balconies. Some of the important miniature rose varieties are Pixie, Baby goldstar. Baby masquerade.
  2. Floribundas: It is also known as hybrid polyanthus. These are climbers which grows upright and needs support to grow.
  3. Bourbon Roses: Bourbon roses are also known as reunion roses.
  4. China Roses: It is known to be the ancestor of the present day popular roses. It has been considered as a refuge for decorative as opposed to exhibition roses.
  5. Polyanthus: Polyanthus roses are normally dwarf, bears immense clusters of small blossoms. Echo, Chatillon rose are some of the popular polyanthus roses.
  6. Multiflora Ramblers: It belongs to the ramblers group. It is suitable for covering fences, walls and trellis.

Requirements for the Rose Farm

There are several factors that needed to be considered while planning a rose farm. Some of them are:

  1. Site selected should receive good amount of sunshine as plenty of sunshine is required for the proper growth of the plants.
  2. Rose farm should a little away from the other plantations and plants to avoid root competition.
  3. Roses are easily damaged by strong winds and thereby needed to be protected from the direct wind. Planting windbreak trees without interfering the sunlight can be useful.
  4. Roses are also highly susceptible to water logged condition hence, proper drainage is very important.
  5. Presence of moisture increases the occurrence of powdery mildew adversely affecting the plants and flower quality. Therefore plants should not be grown in shades.
Dutch rose cultivation under polyhouse
Dutch rose cultivation under polyhouse

Soil

Well drained loamy soil of pH 6.0- 7.0 of good organic matter is ideal for cultivation of roses. Sandy soil is the best rooting medium for roses.

Climate

Good quantity of Sunlight for a minimum duration of 5-6 hours is very important for its vegetative growth as well as reproductive growth. Day temperature of 26°C and night temperature of 15°C is ideal for growing rose plants.

Land Preparation

Plot should be well ploughed up to 60 -90cm deep. Proper weeding should be done. Circular Pits of size 75- 90 cm in diameter and 60 – 75cm deep are prepared. Adequate amount of farmyard manure is added in each pit.

Planting Time

Roses can be planted after monsoon but most preferred time is September to October. In the hills the best planting time is February-March.

Propagation

Rose is mainly propagated by cuttings and budding. T-budding is considered the best for propagation of roses.

  1. Cuttings: Climbers, Ramblers and Polyanthus are raised by this method. Matured cuttings of 20cm – 30cm long are cut and the leaves are removed. The cuttings then are dipped in solution of IBA for promoting root growth. These cuttings are used for planting as well as for raising rootstocks for budding.
  2. Budding and Grafting: it is the operation in which a bud or a part of tissue of one plant is transferred to another plant by various proper techniques. The main objective is to enable one to utilize the vigorous root system of other for proper combination using the best characters of both the variety which gives the root system is called as ‘Stock’ and the cultivar grafted upon stock is called ‘Scion’.

T-budding Process on Rose

The first thing to do is to select the suitable rootstock. Several rootstocks are suitable grafting. Edward rose is most popular in North India whereas Rosa multiflora in South India.

The three main steps in budding are:

  1. Preparation of the stock
  2. Selection of the right bud.
  3. Insertion of the bud in to the stock.

A healthy stem of pencil thickness is selected for budding and all the other branches and leaves are removed. The bud is inserted at about 5-6 cm above the ground level.

The next step is to select the bud that is small vegetative swellings at the axils of the leaves from which new shoots develop. The bud with a little wood is taken out from the stem in the shape of a shield measuring 2.5cm long in length with the help of a sharp knife. The portion of the wood is gently removed. A T-shaped cut about 2.5 cm long is made in the stock and the bud is inserted in to it. The bud should point upwards. It is then tied to the stock or taped around. The bud union will take place in about 3-4 weeks. The budded plant will be ready to transplant after 6 months

Method of Planting

At the time of planting, it is important to add 4 – 8 kg of well rotted cow dung manure or organic manure and a handful of bonemeal in each pit. Well rooted cuttings are planted in each pit with roots widely spread in the pit. In case of budded plants, bud union should be kept above the ground level. The soil around the stem should be firmly pressed by feet. Plants are watered immediately after planting. Plants are planted with proper spacing depending upon on the cultivar used.

Spacing

Proper spacing is important for proper growth of plants avoiding competition for space, sunlight and nutrients. Spacing varies with the variety used for planting. Cultivars like Queen Elizabeth, Happiness and Super giant grow vigorously requiring wider spacing. The end rows in a bed should be about 30cm – 40cm away from the border. The planting distances are 90cm – 120cm in standards, 3m in climbers and 45cm in polyanthus.

Irrigation

Water the plants regularly until the cuttings or plants are well established. Irrigate twice in a week later on.

Nutrients

Roses are heavy feeders of nutrients. Generally, 4-8 kg of well rotted cow dung manure per plant is applied. A little BHC is mixed with the organic manure to prevent the attack of the white ants.

An Organic liquid manure prepared by fermenting gingelly (sesamum, neem or mustard) oilcake is applied when flower buds have formed and till their opening. This liquid is diluted to a pale straw colour. About 5-6 liter of this liquid is applied per square meter at 5-7 days interval.

Special Practices in Rose Plantation

  1. Pinching: Terminally growing portions are removed and is mainly done to reduce the plant height and encourage lateral branching.
  2. Deshooting: Unwanted shoots are removed which helps in increasing yield up to 50- 75%.
  3. Defoliation: It is the removal of leaves during pinching manually/ chemically for improving the flower production.
  4. Pruning: The best time of pruning is the period when the rose plant goes to dormant stage with least activity. Pruning time will depend on various factors like variety used for cultivation, climate, topography etc.  Cut back the vigorous past season shoots to half the length during October to December. All the weak, diseased, criss-crossing and unproductive shoots are removed. The cut ends should be protected with Bordeaux paste or Copper Oxychloride + Carbaryl 50 WP.

Diseases and Pests in Rose Cultivation

Though rose is considered to be a hardy plant, it is still attacked by a number of diseases like dieback, the most serious one. Other diseases include rust, black spot, powdery mildew, and some viral diseases.

  • Die back: This disease kill the plant from top downwards. Injured plant parts like fresh cuts after pruning or deshooting can increase the chance of this disease. Once infected, the plant part gets blackened and may spread to other parts downwards, killing the whole plant till roots. This disease is more prevalent in older plants than younger plants. To prevent the spread of this disease, tools used for various operations should be dipped in alcohol or formaldehyde for disinfection after each use.
  • Powdery mildew: This disease is very widespread in India. This disease mainly affects the aerial parts like leaves and stem. Initial symptoms are white powdery like substance on the leaves. The affected buds do not open properly. Wettable sulphur is effective in controlling this disease.
  • Rust: This disease is more common in the northern hills of India. Red brownish pustules appear in the leaves, petioles, and stems. For controlling, spray dithane 0.2% or wettable sulphur such as Thiovit or Sulfex.

The important pests of roses are white ants, chafer beetle, digger wasp, aphids, thrips, mealy bugs, and nematode.

  • White ants: It affects and can kill newly plants as well as established plants. 5% BHC or Aldrin should be applied to rose beds.
  • Red scales: It attacks tender as well as older branches which look like waxy scales and appear as pox marks on the attacked branches. The first causes distortion of tender branches, leaves and blooms. Application of Thimet in the soil is effective.
  • Red spider mites: It sucks the sap from leaves. It produces silky web under surface of leaves. Spray with Dicofol or Rogor 0.03% are recommended.

Harvesting in Rose Plantation

It should be done in early morning hours or late evenings to reduce the transpirational water loss. A sharp knife or scissor is important for cutting the stem. Harvesting is done at different stages depending upon the purpose for which it is harvested.

  • Cut flowers for local market: The flowers are harvested when the outer petals start curling outwards.
  • Cut flowers for distant markets: It is harvested at the tight bud stage with buds showing full but petals not unfolded.
  • Loose flowers: It is harvested when it is opened fully.
Harvest from rose farm
Harvest from rose farm

Post Harvest Operations

Harvested rose flowers along with stem are kept in a bucket containing water with post harvest chemicals which may be 10g of citric acid per liter of water or AlSO4 for few hours. This helps in maintaining the freshness of rose and prolonging the vase life of the flower. The flowers are then kept in cold storage 2°C -10°C for 3 or more hours.

Grading

Grading is done depending upon the length of the stem, colour of the flower, size and shape of petals.

Grades Stem Length
GRADE 1 45cm
GRADE 1½ 35 – 45cm
GRADE 2 30 – 35cm

*According to American Association of Nurserymen.

The flowers are then again stored at cold storage at a temperature of 2°C in post harvest chemical like chlorine.

Packing

Packing can be done next. Suitable packing materials like corrugated cardboard boxes are used for packing. The roses are packed with suitable packaging material like plastic film. Roses are packed in bundles of 10, 20 or 25 in corrugated cardboard boxes of 100 x 32.5 x 20 cm accommodating about 0-100 cut roses of 60-65 cm length. Wrap the bunches in cellophane sleeves. Inline the boxes with tissue paper or newspaper.

It is then pre-cooled at2°C. Refrigerate the truck in which the packed roses are to be transported. The truck storage temperature is maintained at 2°C. It is then taken to the various markets for sale and export.

Marketing of Rose Flower

Roses are sold directly in the market in the form of cut flowers, garlands, bouquets. Cut flowers are sold at an average price of around Rs 10/flower. Loose flowers are sold at an average price of around Rs 2000 / kg. Rose garlands are sold at an average price of around Rs 2825.

Famous rose markets in India are Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune and New Delhi.

Rose Farming Profit in India

An average cost benefit ratio of 1:1.29 has been worked out from the rose cultivation in Satara district of Maharashtra. It means that you get a benefit of Rs 1.29 for every Re 1 you spend in the various operations in the cultivation of rose. This benefit can vary from place to place and depends upon the quality of roses produced. Better returns are gained when the roses are exported to the foreign markets or when supplied as the raw material to various industries like perfumeries and cosmetics.

Reference

  1. FLORICULTURE IN INDIA BY G.S. RANDHAWA & A.MUKHOPADHYAY
  2. http://www.krishisewa.com/articles/production-technology/211-rose-cultivation.html
  3. https://www.rd.com/advice/relationships/6-rose-colors-and-their-meanings/
  4. http://agritech.tnau.ac.in/horticulture/horti_flower%20crops_commercial%20rose.html
  5. https://www.indiaagronet.com/indiaagronet/Agri_marketing/contents/Marketing%20of%20flowers.htm

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