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Garden rose, Modern shrub
Garden rose blossoms open
into large peonylike flowers with high petal counts. Many
varieties exhibit strong fragrances, with rich musky, sweet,
spicy or citrusy scents. Today, these beauties are available as
individual blooms (one
flower per stem, left) or in spray form (several small flowers
on branched stems, below).
The most commercially
available colors are pink, red, burgundy, white, cream, orange,
peach and yellow. Both solid and multicolored varieties are
The vase life of these
luxurious blooms varies from variety to variety, but if properly
cared for from farm to floral department, they should last from
three to seven days at the consumer level.
Garden roses are available
year-round, depending on variety. Over the last 15 years,
hybridizers (including David Austin Roses in England, Rosen
Tantau in Germany and Meilland International in France) have
increased their development of varieties to meet the demand of
the cut flower industry and consumers.
Research indicates that as
much as 30 percent of a rose’s vase life is lost in the shipping
process, so hydrate the flowers immediately upon receipt. First,
remove all leaves and thorns that will fall beneath the water
line with a rose stripper or soft cloth. Cut at least 1 inch
from each stem, on an angle, with a clean, sharp blade, then dip
or place the stems into a hydration solution according to
After processing, place
garden roses into a floral cooler at 32 F to 34 F with relative
humidity at 85 percent to 90 percent for at least two hours
before designing with or selling them. Depending on variety,
these flowers can begin opening soon after being placed into
flower-food solution, but immediate refrigeration will slow that
Garden roses are heavy
drinkers, so check the nutrient solution level in their
containers every day.
The effects of ethylene gas on garden roses
(premature petal drop or malformed flowers) varies by cultivar,
but most varieties are at least moderately sensitive; therefore,
make sure your flowers are treated with an ethylene inhibitor at
the grower level or during transportation.
If garden roses become water stressed (premature wilting, bent
neck, etc.), submerge the entire stems, up to the blooms, into
room-temperature water for 20 minutes. Recut the stems under
water, removing at least 1 inch of stem.
Give consumers packets of fresh flower food, and encourage them
to change the nutrient solution and recut stems every other day.
The rose is known as the “Queen of flowers” and, in 1986,
was designated the official flower and floral emblem of the
United States. It is the symbol of grace and beauty, the
emblem of kings and paradise, an ingredient of magic and
medicine (vitamin C), an architectural embellishment and a
decoration on currency around the world. It is the
inspiration of poetic verse and endless declarations of
Because of their fragrance, roses are widely cultivated for
use in the production of perfume as well as for flavoring in
food products such as jellies, honeys, syrups, vinegars and
Purchase garden roses that
have tight, firm blooms; however, avoid overly tight buds
because they may never open. Also look for turgid stems and
healthy, green foliage. Avoid bunches with fully opened or
soft blooms, limp stems, and damaged or Botrytis-infected
foliage and petals. Botrytis, a result of too-moist
conditions and/or moisture on petals, leaves or stems,
appears as brown blotches on petals or fuzzy gray patches on
leaves or stems. Order garden roses well in advance of need
if specific varieties or colors are required.
Photos courtesy of
Transflora and Florists' Review
Some information provided by:
Chain of Life Network®,
Transflora; Miami, Fla.