Rose Cultivation in Open Condition

Horticulture Guruji

Rose Cultivation in Open Condition

Floriculture & Landscape Gardening

Botanical Name – Rosa spp.

Family – Rosaceae

Chromosome Number – 2n=14


  • Can be grown in all types of soil with proper drainage, but medium loam soils that have sufficient organic matter are considered good for cultivation.
  • The pH of the soil is good from 6.0 to 7.5.
  • It can also tolerate mild acidity (5.5 to 6.5) with good aeration
  • A high water table is not appropriate.


  • The most important factors are light, temperature, humidity, CO2, air circulation, etc.
  • Climatic conditions of India are suitable for rose production.
  • In the northern plains, rose flowers are best during winters while in the temperate mountainous region of the Himalayas the best flowers are produced in summer.
  • We can produce good-quality roses throughout the year in Pune, Bangalore, and other such mild climate areas.

Watch Lecture Video part 1st

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  • Light is essential for the growth and development of flowers, stems, leaves, and roots.
  • Rose likes strong sunlight for the whole day, if sunlight is not possible for the whole day, then it should be sunk for the whole day except in the morning.
  • Six hours of sunshine is ideal for better flowering.
  • For roses, the light intensity of 6000-8000 feet candle is good


  • Higher temperatures during the nighttime period, compared to the daytime period, will lengthen the internodes.
  • The mild temperature is very important for its cultivation at around 15.50C, for this reason, we get a good crop in winter.
  • However, the temperature range of 15–270C remains fine.
  • 25-300C on sunny days. Whereas on a cloudy day it should be 18-200
  • However, a maximum of 280C a day and 15–180C at night would be ideal for rose production.


Humidity plays an important role in the incidence of pests and diseases affecting growth and flowering. Mildew is associated with extremely high humidity.

Approximately 60% relative humidity is most ideal for rose production.


  • There are currently more than 20,000 varieties of roses, which vary differently in size, shape, color, aroma, and floral habit.

Selection of Rose cultivars:

Depends on the purposes of growing

  1. Garden display- Form, size, shape, floriferous-ness, colour, and fragrance have to be taken into consideration.
  2. Cut flower- Born singly on long straight stalks
  3. Exhibition purposes – For this purpose some specific properties are necessary.

Important Cultivars

  1. HT Roses –

Aruna, Belle of Punjab, Heer, Nazar-e Nazar, Rukhsaar, Dark Boy, Anurag, Arju, Delhi Apricot, Delhi Sunshine, Chitwan, Nazneen, Pale Hands, White Nun, Poormina, Rajasurendra Singh of Nalagradh, Dr. B.P. Pal, Jawahar, Kanakangi, Mridula, Mrinalini, and Raktagandha.

White colour Grand Mughal, June Bride, Dr. Homi Bhabha, Mount Shasta, Tushar, Virgo, etc.

Yellow Colour Ganga, Golconda, Golden Giant, Landora etc.

Pink Colour Confidence, Eiffel tower, First Prize, La France, Maria, South Sea, etc.

Red Colour- Avon, Bhim, Christian Dior, Crimson Glory, Kalima, Mister Lincoln, Papa Meilland, etc.

H.T. Rose Developed by Nurserymen: Srinivasa, Sugandha, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Dr. Radha Krishnan.


  1. Floribundas

Apsara, Azeez, Ahalya, Chamba Princess, Delhi Brightness, Banjaran, Delhi Pink Powder Puff, Deepika, Kalpna, Navneet, Chandrama, Panchu, Temple Flame, Prema, Mohini, Neelambari, Rupali, Sadabahar, Shabnam, Sindoor, Suchitra, and Suryodaya.

Mohini Rose variety
‘Mohini’ Rose variety

White Himangini, Iceberg, Moon Raker, saragota, etc.

Pink – Dearest, Delhi Princess, Else Poulsen, Junior Miss, Queen Elizbeth, Stanza, Tiki, etc.

Yellow Allgold, Fugitive, Arthur Bell, etc.

Orange – Anne Marie, Celestial Star, Orange Sensation, Shola, Spartan, Zambra, etc.

Red – Alain, Devdasi, Marlena, Velentine, Zizi etc.


  1. Polyantha

Priti, Katharina Zeimet (White), Baby Faurax (lavender), China Doll (Pink), Chattillon Rose (Pink), Orange Triumph (Orange), Border King (red).


  1. Miniature

Pushkala, Josephine Wheatcroft (Yellow), Little Flirt (Bright red), Cinderella (White), Dwarf King (Red), Mimi (Pink).


  1. Climbing Rose

Eiffel Tower, Snow Girl (pink), Delhi White Pearl (White), Crimson Glory (Dark red), Marechal Niel (Lemon), Golden Shower (Yellow), American Pillars (Pink Blend).


  1. Mutant Variety

At IARI three cultivar were developed through induced mutation.

  • Abhisarika from Kiss of Fire;
  • PUSA Christina from Christian Dior and
  • Madhosh from Gulzar.

Propagation of roses


  1. Seed propagation and
  2. Vegetative propagation:

2. Vegetative propagation:

A. Cutting:

  • Climbers, ramblers, polyanthus, and miniature roses can be easily propagated with cutting.

a) Stem cuttings:

  • The easiest and least expensive way. The branch should be cleaned just below the node and the lower leaves removed.
  • There should be at least two buds on the cuttings for rooting.

b) Root cuttings:

  • Some rose species such as R. blanda R. nitida and R. virginiana can be propagated by root cuttings.
  • The root cutting is more resistant to frost than the stem cuttings but the root cuttings have less growth and flowering.
  • The growing point should always be at the top.

B. Layering:

a) Air layering:

  • This involves removing the bark approximately 2.5 cm long in the form of a ring and applying the rooting hormone IBA / NAA @ 10ppm and covering it with rooting media.
  • Use moist sphagnum moss around the ringed part and cover it with polyethylene film for quick roots.

b) Ground layering:

  • This is done by tilting the shoot to the ground and covering it with soil, but the terminal is left open.
  • Cutting or notching should be done on the underside of the shoot.
  • It takes a month for the root to grow, and 15-20 days after the root is formed, the branch is separated from the parent.

C. Budding:

  • Budding is the most popular and successful method of propagating roses.
  • Rootstock prepared from seeds or prepared from cutting is used in budding.
  • T-Budding, Inverted T, and Slit Method (I).
  • Shield or T-budding is used commercially.
  • On the selected rootstock, the buds are inserted into a T-shaped incision and then tied with a suitable polythene strip or polyethylene sheet/tape, adhesive tape, binding rubber strip.
  • Usually, the budding should be done 5-7 cm above the ground.
  • Union of buds takes 3-4 weeks.
  • The ideal temperature is 10-250

Time of budding:

  • Budding times vary from place to place.
  • The correct time of budding occurs when the flow of juices in the plants is good and the cambium tissue is highly active.
  • In January – March (spring season) in eastern India.
  • Northern India December – February.
  • In places with a mild climate like Bangalore, Pune, Dharwad, etc., budding can be done throughout the year.

Characteristics of good rootstock

  • It should produce a strong fibrous root system.
  • This can be easily propagated by cutting.
  • It should have a habit of vigorous growth, be healthy, and resistant to pests, diseases, and frost.
  • The plant should have a uniform growth rate.
  • It should have thick bark to hold the bud.
  • It should be reasonably free from the sucker.
  • It should grow in a wide range of soil and climatic conditions.

Some of the common rootstocks

  1. Rosa bourboniana (Edouard rose) – Popular in the northern plains of India. They have straight and long stems.
  2. R. canina (Dog rose): Popularly used in Europe, very hardy, and is an excellent rootstock.
  3. R. indica var adorata: Tolerant to powdery mildew & other insects. Resistance to extreme soil conditions.
  4. R. laxa: common in Europe.
  5. R. maneth: In Europe it is commonly used for dwarf roses. Resistant to Verticillium wilt.
  6. R multiflora var. incremis: Good for outdoor roses. Resistant to nematodes.
  7. R. rugosa: Widely used in Europe for standard roses
  8. R. fortuneana
  9. R. moschata
  10. R. rubiginosa
  11. R. chinensis etc.

Layout and preparation of Beds

  • The design of the rose garden plan and the beds should be simple and formal or informal.
  • Rose beds can be of different designs, depending on the choice of the grower.
  • However rectangular beds are beneficial for maintenance.
  • The width of the bed should be such that weeding, hoeing, cutting of flowers, etc. can be done without stepping on either side of the bed.
  • The width should be 1.2–1.6 m and the length depending on the size of the garden, usually no more than 6 m each.

Preparation of Rose beds

  • Soil should be rich, porous, and well-drained.
  • The initial preparation of rose beds should preferably be started during the summer season so that the soil gets exposed to hot sun and air and during the monsoon, it gets a chance to settle down before planting.
  • Grasses any perennial weeds should be removed along with their roots, knots, rhizomes, etc. by deep digging.
  • The soil should be pulverized; gravels, stones, brick pieces, and other foreign materials removed and exposed to the sun for at least a week.
  • Pits or trenches are to be made and basal dusting with Malathion has to be done. The pit/trench should be filled with soil and FYM mixture (2:1).
  • In the Trench system, trenches of about 2.5 feet width and between trenches 2-3 feet with any convenient length with 1 – 1.5 feet depth.


There are two types of planting systems that are commonly followed in rose production, viz,

  1. Pit system: 45 cm3(Length x width x Depth)
  2. Trench system:
    • 60 – 75 cm (2-2 ½ ft) Wide
    • 30-45 cm (1- ½ ft) Depth
    • Any length depending upon availability.
    • 60-90 cm (2-3 ft path) between the trenches.


It may vary from the type of rose, from one type of soil to another and from one place to another, and for the purpose of planting.



Protected cultivation

Outdoor cultivation


60×30 cm

75×75 cm

other varieties

30×20 cm   or 30×30 cm   




However, from the management point of view, 60 x 60 cm is ideal for outdoor cultivation.

Precautions during planting:

  • Remove all immature, dead, or diseased parts.
  • Reduce the possibility of moisture loss by removing some leaves, including dried and yellow leaves.
  • Plants should be immersed in 0.1% blitox solution (ie 1.0 g in 1 liter of water) before planting to reduce the risk of fungal attack.
  • Planting should be done in well-prepared beds or trenches or pits.
  • The soil should not be too wet or too dry at the time of planting.
  • The budded portion of the plant should be planted 2.5 to 5.0 cm above the soil level and planted at the appropriate depth.
  • Then the soil around the stem should be spread by the feet and press firmly. This will remove the air in the soil, which will help the roots to come in contact with the soil particles and the intake of water and nutrients through the roots.
  • The beds should be irrigated immediately after planting.
  • Planting time depends mainly on the climatic conditions of the area. In areas with severe winters, planting can be done either in the autumn or early spring when the plants are in dormant condition and are easy to handle.
  • The best season for better planting is rainy and winter (June-October).
  • Support the plants immediately after planting.


  • Adequate soil moisture is very important during the vegetative and flowering stage of roses,
  • Waterlogged conditions are not good for rose cultivation.
  • The frequency of irrigation depends on the stage of growth, soil texture, climate, and production area or type of pottery cultivation.
  • In general, irrigated rose once a week or 10 days in winter and twice a week in the summer season.
  • Drip irrigation is ideal for roses.
  • Excess salt in water is harmful to the rose plant resulting in chlorosis; Tip burning and reduction in flower yield and stem length.

Manures and Fertilizers

  • Rose is a nutrient-loving plant and all 16 essential nutrients play an important role in its proper growth and development.
  • Apart from the major nutrients like N, P2O5, K2O, Ca, Mg & S, rose also requires micronutrients like Fe, Mn, Cu, B, Mo, Zn, etc.
  • The dose of nutrients varies in different soils and different climates.
  • Basic composting is to be done with bulky organic manure before planting.
  • Both organic and inorganic fertilizers are applied after planting as well as immediately after pruning.
  • Supplementary manure should be given after the first bloom and pause for the next flush.
  • Giving manure monthly is a better option for healthy growth and flowering.
  • The recommended dose of fertilizer for rose is NPK / plant 10:10:15 g after each pruning. Along with this, a complex of 100 gm rose has to be given. Usually twice a year i.e. after each pruning.
    • First dose – 15 days after pruning (when new growth has started)
    • Second dose – after the first flush is over.
    • Third dose – After the second flush is over before blooming in spring.
    • FYM – 05-10 kg / shrub
    • Fertilizers should be given at a distance of 20 – 25 cm from the stem.

Liquid fertilizers

  • Fertilizers are given in the liquid form to harden the soft stem and obtain good flowers for the purpose of exhibition.
  • Dissolve potassium nitrate @ 680 grams, ammonium sulfate @ 340 grams and potassium phosphate @ 170 grams in 96 gallons of water and plant @ 0.5 gallons / plant.
  • Micronutrients, such as rose mixtures/multiplexes, are given through foliar sprays.
    • 09 grams – Potassium sulfate
    • 17 grams – Ammonium sulfate
    • 35 grams – Potassium nitrate.
  • Mix all these in 8 gallons of water and use this solution in 1.36 g / liter of water.


Mulches are used on rose beds or in greenhouses. They conserve;

  • Soil moisture
  • Supply humus
  • Suppress the weeds
  • Keep the soil somewhat cooler in the summer months
  • Results in the improvement of growth and flowering of roses.

For mulching well-decomposed garden compost, FYM, peat straw, sawdust, ground or whole corn cobs, Black polythene sheets (0-18 mm thickness).

Weed control

  • Weeds are a very serious problems in rose cultivation.
  • The weeds not only consume water and nutrients but also act as hosts for a number of diseases and pests.
  • The manual method is effective if it is done properly and frequently.
  • However, the chemical method is economical, convenient, and efficient in eradicating weeds by one or two applications.
  • Eg: 2, 4-D @ 2 kg / hectare (before flowering) controls broad-leaved weeds.
  • Nitrofan @ 9 lb (4 kg) ai / acre give 95% control

Pruning in roses

Pruning refers to the removal of a certain part of the plant. Pruning consists of two operations of Thinning and Shortening of the stem.

1) Thinning: Thinning involves the removal of old, weak, dry, and diseased stems and branches from the beginning.

2) Shortening: This means shortening the remaining shoots, which aims to reduce the growth of the previous year to the desired height.

Objectives of pruning

  1. To remove unproductive growth, as new growth takes place in the rose plant.
  2. To ensure the production of a large number of strong and healthy shoots (branches).
  3. Improvement in production of flowers with quality.
  4. Binding the bud to produce the strongest shoot (branch) by pruning.
  5. It keeps the rose bush in proper shape and size.
  6. Helping light and air reach in the middle of a rose bush.
  7. Removing long and straight stems to facilitate various horticultural works such as weeding, sterilization, composting.
  8. Rejuvenate old plants. Older plants are cut from the base to obtain stronger branches.

Time of pruning

  • Late pruning delays flowering and also significantly reduces production.
  • The best time for pruning the rose is the period when the activity of the rose plant is least and the plant is in a dormant state.
  • In temperate climates, this is usually done in the spring.
  • Pruning is done only once a year in a large area (Indo-Gangetic plains) in India.
  • The normal time of pruning is during October-November.
  • In some areas, pruning is done twice a year, i.e. in May and October for flowering in monsoon and winter respectively.

Principles of rose pruning

  • Each stem of the rose has alternating eyes (buds) in the opposite direction in the leaf axis (usually outside and inside).
  • The basic rule of pruning is to cut off about half a centimeter from an active bud, which is found in the direction in which the branches want to grow.
  • Since the rose bush has to be kept open from the middle.
  • Standard roses as well as floribundas have an outer growing bud cut from the top.
  • Where in climbing roses, pruning is done on the bud with more or less pointing upwards.
  • Always encourage the outer bud to keep the center open.
  • The cut above the bud should be slightly slanted.
  • While cutting, care should be taken that it should not be too high above the eye (bud) as it may cause that part to dry up.
  • On the other hand, if the cut is very close to the bud, it may die due to sap flow. So cut one inch above the bud.
  • Cleaning the pointed end is absolutely necessary as broken tissue, bark wounds, or hanging pieces will invite infection with pests and diseases.
  • All pointed ends should be treated with copper fungicide to protect against fungal attack.

Types of pruning

There are three types of pruning practiced in rose viz.

  1. Light pruning:

  • Cut the bud of the second or third eye just below the flowering stalk.
  • The top is removed with 2-3 buds in the standard, climbing rose.
  1. Moderate pruning:

  • Healthy shoots (branches) are cut back 45–60 cm from the base.
  • Commonly used in Floribundas and HT roses.
  1. Hard pruning:

  • Here, the growth is cut off by keeping only three or four branches of the previous year’s growth and about three or four eyes from the base.
  • For rejuvenation of old shrubs and weak plants, the plant is cut off from the top, leaving a 10–30 cm long branch from the bud joint.

Special cultural practices to improve the quality

  1. Thinning:

Removal of undesirable growth like inward growth, weak stems, blind shoots, crowded growth.

  1. De-suckering:

De-sucking is the removal of the sucker from the rootstock, i.e. the removal of the shoot produced below the bud union on the rootstocks.

  1. Wintering in rose

It is a pre-pruning operation aimed at stopping or reducing the water supply for a period of 3-7 days depending on the season and age of the plant. By doing this, the water flow from the weak twigs is reversed towards the roots, which are to be pruned. The soil around the roots is removed to a depth of about 15 cm to allow them to sunbathe for three days. As a result, the leaves turn yellow and some weak branches also dry up.

  1. Pinching:

  • Removing a portion of the growing top/ terminal of the stem is called pinching.
  • This is done to reduce plant height and promote auxiliary branches.
  • Pinching of blind shoots is beneficial for good flowering.
  1. Disbudding:

  • Removing unwanted buds is known as disbudding.
  • A quality flower is developed only by keeping the central bud and removing the others.
  • This is done in standard / hybrid tea roses to reduce the number of flowers.
  1. Removal of young vegetative shoots:

  • This action is also known as de-shooting.
  • It is generally followed in hybrid tea roses.
  • The young basal and auxiliary shoots developing from the axil of the leaves are removed leaving only one terminal / middle branch.
  • It is important from the point of view of the length of the floral stalk.
  1. Defoliation:

  • It is used in special circumstances, but it has been reported that removing leaves from rose plants will increase the number of branches.
  • This will force the plants to grow and produce flowers during the desired period.
  1. Use of growth hormones:

  • To some extent retardants like CCC and some growth regulators like GA3 are used to obtain good quality flowers in large numbers.
  • GA3 @ 250ppm has been found to be good for increasing stalk length, flower size, and reducing the number of blinds shoots.
  1. Removal of faded flowers:

  • If opened or faded flowers are not removed in time, seeded fruits are developed.
  • Once the hips are formed and the plant reaches an advanced stage of development, growth, and flowering during that season is reduced;
  • Cutting off faded flowers will produce strong lateral shoots which will produce good quality flowers.


  • The stage in which the flowers should be harvested depends on their use such as for decorating or for cut flowers in a tight bud stage, and for loose flowers (garland, perfume, and rose water). It should be pluck after full bloom.
  • When the bud shows full color for the cut flower but the petals have not started opening yet.
  • By harvesting at this stage, the flowers remain in vases or during transport to maintain color and freshness for a long time.
  • plucking time may vary slightly depending on the variety and the correct phase for plucking is to be experienced empirically.
  • Because when the red flower varieties cut a little early, the flower may fail to open later.
  • Most of the pink and red varieties are allowed to develop until a stage at one of the two outer petals begins to unfurl at the upper point.
  • Loose flowers used to prepare perfumes and various other products for worship are harvested only when they are fully opened.
  • The flowers should be plucked before sunrise i.e. early in the morning or in the afternoon when the sun is setting so that the buds are not damaged due to high temperature during the day.
  • Late plucking of flowering results in reduced vase life of a cut flower and also reduces oil content.
  • It has to be cut on top of two five leaves. The cutting of the stem just above the ‘Knuckle’ (ie, the point from which the branch originates, is called ‘Knuckle’) is cut above the first or second five-leaf stage of the flower it will reduce yield significantly.


  • The yield depends on many factors such as variety, plant density/unit area, flowering period, pruning method, nutrition, other farming practices adopted from time to time.
  • Outside rose cultivation produces about 60 – 80 flowers / m 2 / yr.
  • The density of plants has a great impact on the total yield. Normally closure spacing yields more number flowers than wider spacing.

International Quality Standards of Cut Flower for Export

General Requirements

  • The straight, strong stem that is able to keep the flowers upright.
  • Uniform stem length
  • tight bud and open slowly
  • Flower size should be representative of varieties
  • Flowers should be free from stains, injuries, diseases, and pests
  • Flowers should have a large number of well-arranged petals.

Vase life

  • Aging/ Senescence in cut roses comes from a decrease in concentrations of anthocyanin, protein, and tannic acid, and an increase in most amino acids, glutamine, melic acid, and free ammonia in petal tissues.
  • Senescence occurs due to an increase in ethylene production and an increase in membrane permeability.
  • Pre-cooled and pulsed flowers are normally better stored. However, some preservatives such as 8HQC @ 300ppm, 8HQS @ 150pm, AgNO3 @ 20-30ppm, citric acid @ 200ppm have been found to be good for prolonging the life of a cut rose vase.

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