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first letter of the Topic in question will take
you directly to the appropriate section of the glossary below.
Here are some abbreviations commonly used when discussing roses:
A hard spray of water from the hose will help remove aphid infestations. Aphids reproduce quickly and this may need to be repeated every couple days for a couple weeks.
Aphids have a mutually beneficial relationship with ants, so ants need to be controlled if aphids are to be controlled. Ladybugs are a natural predator of aphids and can be used to control aphids. If ladybugs are purchased, water the area well and release the ladybugs around sunset to discourage them from leaving.
Attar of roses. (also called Otto of roses, rose oil, or essence of rose) is made from the petals of roses, primarily Damasks and Gallicas. The term 'attar' is defined as a 'fragrant oil.' The attar of roses used in making certain perfumes is super concentrated. It takes two tons of rose petals to produce a pound of attar.
Balling. Blooms do not open fully, usually occurring in areas with cool, damp nights. Roses with many petals are more susceptible to balling, thus many old roses are liable to ball on occasion. If you live in an area where your roses ball more often that you would prefer, choose roses with fewer petals.
black roses: No true black roses exist. Some roses sold as black roses are actually dark red or maroon. The petals of many of these dark red roses tend to sunburn easily. To see that a rose is not truly black, hold it up next to a piece of black construction paper. To make a dark red rose appear blacker, put its stem in water that has black ink in it.
Below is an incomplete list of some roses that have been mentioned when black roses are discussed. Next to some of the roses a very subjective description of the color is given.
bane of many a rose gardener, blackspot is a fungus that causes black spots about 1/16 to 1/2 inches in diameter to
form on the leaves and sometimes stems. The infected leaves later turn yellow around the
spots and eventually fall from the plant. In bad cases, blackspot can severely defoliate a
rose bush. Blackspot thrives in warm, humid weather.
Rather than constant spraying to control this plague, plant resistant plants and practice
good husbandry (sun, water in the morning, burn diseased canes, periodic cleaning of shed
leaves, and plant at proper spacing for good air circulation).
Preventative spray treatments for blackspot
Blue rose. No true blue rose exists, but many lavender roses have been introduced. The reason that a, forgive the pun, 'true blue' rose may never be produced is that the blue pigment (delphinidin) is not present in roses.
blue roses: Though highly sought after, no blue roses exist yet. Some roses are advertised as blue, but they are actually lavender or something. Most lavender roses are difficult to grow and are quite susceptible to disease. Some of the bluer roses are Blue Girl, Blue Jay(HT), and Reine des Violettes(HP). A couple of true purple roses are Cardinal de Richelieu and Veilchenblau.
The genetics are just not there for producing a true blue color in roses. It will probably be necessary to use gene splicing to produce the first blue rose.
borers: Can enter the cane through the pruned tops. Prevented by sealing the canes with wax, white glue, or nail polish.
bud-pinching: When a Floribunda forms a bloom "spike" or "candelabra" - it is setting many little blooms on one stem. To prune Floribundas for quality of bloom, rather than the maximum number of blooms, pinch out the center, fat bud so the side buds have a better chance at developing at the same time. This encourages a big rounded mass of blossoms - a "spray." Floribundas like to do this so it is relatively easy to persuade them to flower in this manner. Once some of the blooms begin to fade, you can just cut out the few that are dying and let the spray continue to develop blooms. Once the entire spray is spent, or most of the individually blooms are finished, cut off the entire spray.
Bud Union. The point where the grafted canes join the rootstock on budded (grafted) roses. Very easy to determine due to the swelled appearance of the union. Bud union is important for determining how deep to plant the rose (varies by region).
Callus. Scar which forms over a pruning scar.
Calyx. The green protective cover over the flower bud which opens into five sepals.
Cultivar. Short for "cultivated variety," the term refers to a variety which originated in cultivation rather than the wild.
cut roses: Cut flowers in early morning or after it rains, not when they are under water stress. Cut the stem about an inch longer than you need. After cutting, immediately place cut flower in warm water. If possible, with the stem under water, cut off the bottom inch or so of the stem at an angle. This keeps air from getting into the stem. Remove all foliage that remains under water and would just rot. Re-cut the stem underwater every day if possible. Some people add a small amount of bleach to the water to keep down fungus and bacteria. Sugar or soda can be used for food. Others use a commercial floral preservative.
David Austin Roses: see English Roses:
deadheading: (see also hips)
Deadheading is cutting off flowers as they wither or don't look as good. Old blooms
left on the plant may have been pollinated and may begin to form seed pods (hips). The
formation of hips requires a lot of energy from the plant and slows flower production. By
preventing the formation of hips, deadheading encourages the rose bush to grow new
Earthing. Piling dirt around the base of a plant to protect the bud union during periods of very cold weather.
This new group of roses, often called David Austin Roses, was introduced in 1969 by David Austin of England. These roses are an attempt to combine the best traits of both Old Roses and Modern Roses. David Austin has attempted to produce roses with the classic flower forms and fragrance of the Old Roses on plants that repeat bloom like the Modern Roses. Some of the popular English Roses are Abraham Darby, Graham Thomas, Heritage, and Mary Rose.
Roses will perform much better if given adequate fertilizer. Use a well balanced
fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, N-P-K. The three numbers used to describe a fertilizer tell
how much of the three major nutrients are in that fertilizer. The first number (N) is the
Nitrogen content, the second (P) is Phosphorous, and the third (K) is Potassium. Nitrogen
or Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Potassium, (leaves, flowers, roots). Fertilize less during the first
year while the plant is getting established.
Flore Pleno. Double Flower.
Floribundas: (abbrev. FB or FL) Floribundas were created about 1909 by crossing the Polyanthas with Hybrid Teas. They produce flowers in clusters, not singly like the Hybrid Teas. Floribundas are usually shorter plants than Hybrid Teas and tend to produce more flowers and smaller flowers than Hybrid Teas on shorter stems. Although Hybrid Teas provide excellent cut flowers, Floribundas are well suited as good landscape plants providing lots of color. Many Floribundas are not very fragrant.
bud-pinching Floribundas: When a Floribunda forms a bloom "spike" or "candelabra" - it is setting many little blooms on one stem. To prune Floribundas for quality of bloom, rather than the maximum number of blooms, pinch out the center, fat bud so the side buds have a better chance at developing at the same time. This encourages a big rounded mass of blossoms - a "spray." Floribundas like to do this so it is relatively easy to persuade them to flower in this manner. Once some of the blooms begin to fade, you can just cut out the few that are dying and let the spray continue to develop blooms. Once the entire spray is spent, or most of the individually blooms are finished, cut off the entire spray.
Fossil Roses. Fossilized roses estimated to be at 7 to 25 million years old have been discovered in Asia, Europe, and North America.
Fragrance. Fragrance is one of the traits which roses are bred for and is determined by the chemicals present in the plant, concentrated in the petals, and how these chemicals interact with each other and the atmosphere. Oils, resins, alcohol's, fatty acids, and phenols all contribute to the character of the scent. While there are generally held theories about which roses are fragrant, there are fragrant roses of every form and color, so the best practice is to smell for oneself (or read about roses which are fragrant).
fragrance: Fragrance contributes much to the enjoyment of roses. It is also one of the most subjective of topics when discussing roses. Fragrance or perceived fragrance depends upon many factors: variety of rose, time of day, weather, growing conditions, the person smelling the rose, living flower vs. cut flower, etc. Each person's sense of smell is different. A rose that is very fragrant to someone, may be not at all fragrant to someone else. Roses are most fragrant around mid-morning on a warm day with no wind and moderate or high humidity. Their can dozens of components in the fragrance of a rose, but rose scents are usually categorized with such descriptions as "spicey", "tea", "old rose", or "fruity".
Here is a list of some very fragrant roses as recommended by posts to the newsgroup rec.gardens.roses.
fungus: Blackspot, powdery mildew and rust are the three most common fungus problems that roses have. See blackspot for some ways of preventing and treating fungus problems. Planting disease-resistant roses in a sunny location with good air circulation will help prevent fungi.
Grades. Bareroot roses are graded #1, #1 1/2, and #2 according to the number and size of canes on a bush. #1 is the highest grade. Standards are set by the American Association of Nurserymen.
Genus. Sub-class of plants which have common characteristics. The genus name for roses is 'Rosa.'
Heeling In. Temporary planting of roses when conditions (temperature/soil condition/no time to plant!) prevent permanent planting.
Hip. Seed pods of a rose; considered a desirable feature for providing interest after bloom. The finest hips are set from 'Old Roses' (roses originated before the Modern Era which began with the introduction of Hybrid Teas).
These are the rose seed pods that form after a flower's petals fall if the bloom was
pollinated. Hips are the fruit produced by rose plants. Apple trees are members of the
rosacae family and the apple is a hip. Some varieties such as R.rugosa produce large hips
that turn brilliant colors in the fall.
Hybrid Teas: (abbrev. HT)
Hybrid Teas are easily the most popular class of roses today. Hybrid Teas as a group have large flowers with a high-pointed bud. They are excellent repeat bloomers, often blooming almost continually. They bloom one flower per stem on long sturdy stems making them excellent for cutting. Hybrid Teas come in a large variety of colors. Hybrid Teas are upright shrubs.
The rose "La France", bred in 1867, is classified as the first Hybrid Tea rose.
Japanese Beetles: A shiny copper green beetle that can eat entire flowers as well as foliage. Can be controlled by milky spore.
Knees. Terms used to describe the bare underside of many roses, usually later in the season and almost always unflattering. Hybrid Teas and Grandifloras are especially prone to bare knees; planting perennials or annuals which grow 12-18 inches in front of the roses is an effective way to cover bare knees.
Lateral cane. Secondary branches originating from the basal cane. Shrubs with strong lateral cane growth tend to be bushy, whereas shrubs that do not create many lateral canes tend to have an arching form.
Leaf cutter bees cut semi-circle shaped holes in the leaves of roses. They pose no real threat to rose health, but they drive exhibitors crazy.
La Malmaison. The gardens (and home) of Empress Josephine (wife of Napoleon I) and in it's heyday the home of over 250 species of roses. Although the gardens are in ruins today, La Malmaison re-introduced the rose as an ornamental plant. Empress Josephine may be considered the first true rosarian.
Mildew. See Powdery Mildew.
miniature roses: Miniature roses grow to only about 6"-18". The plants, leaves are all miniatures of the larger roses. Miniature roses tend to be quite hardy and can be grown in containers.
mites: Spider mites are a tiny arachnid that appear like dust under the leaves. They occur during hot, dry weather. They can be controlled by spraying the plant every 7-10 days with water to destroy the webs and knock the mites off the leaves. Be sure to thoroughly cover the underside of the lower leaves. They can also be controlled with the miticides Avid or Kelthane.
Modern Roses: Refers to roses introduced since 1867 when the first Hybrid Tea was created. Usually refers to Hybrid Tea, Floribunda, or Grandiflora roses.
mosaic virus: see virus
mulch: Roses benefit from a 2-3 inch deep organic mulch such as pine bark, pine needles, leaf mulch, etc. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the stem of the plant.
Benefits of proper mulching:
Sometimes called Old Roses, Old-fashioned Roses or Antique Roses, these are the varieties of roses that existed before 1867 when the first Hybrid Tea was introduced. Some of the classes of Old Roses are the Albas, Bourbons, Boursaults, Centifolias, Chinas, Damasks, Gallicas, Hybrid Perpetuals, Mosses, Noisettes, Portlands, and Tea roses. Some of the Ramblers and Rugosas are considered Old Roses.
As a group, Old Roses tend to be once blooming, though some are repeat bloomers. They tend to be more disease-resistant and require less maintenance than the Hybrid Teas which accounts for some of their popularity. There are exceptions to this, especially the China and Tea roses. The China and Tea roses are tender and disease prone, but are very important because they provide the repeat blooming genes to many classes of roses (notably Hybrid Teas). This FAQ contains a document with more information about Old Roses.
Roses that bloom once a year, usually in the spring. Since, they bloom only once a year, when they do bloom they usually put on an excellent show. They flower on old wood, so most pruning is done just after they have finished blooming, not in the winter.
Organic Fertilizer. Fertilizer made from natural substances rather than chemicals. Examples of organic materials include compost (excellent!), alfalfa, blood meal, fish emulsion, manure, bone meal, and kelp.
own-root roses: An own-root rose is a plant whose rootstock (the roots) is the same variety as the top of the plant.
Grafted roses, commonly referred to as budded plants, are plants where the desired rose is grafted or budded onto a rootstock of a different type. The point where the desired variety and the rootstock meet is called the bud union.
Own-root roses are usually recommended for those in very cold climates. This is because an own-root rose that dies back to the ground during the winter can grow back the next year from the roots. If a grafted rose dies back to the ground, what will come up next Spring is the rootstock variety, usually an undesirable variety of rose.
Even if a rose doesn't die back to the ground. Sometimes a shoot will emerge from the
rootstock. If the rose is grafted, this shoot is called a sucker, and will be the same
variety of the rootstock, not the desired plant. When this happens with own-root roses,
the shoot will be of the desired variety.
A rose variety may be patented just like any other plant. A patent grants to the holder
exclusive rights to distribute and propagate that variety of rose. Of course the patent
holder can license others to distribute and propagate that rose. A patent lasts for 17
years, so most older roses aren't currently under patent. After the patent has expired,
anyone can distribute and propagate that particular variety.
Peace: Peace is the most popular rose in the world. It is a Hybrid Tea that was smuggled out of France just before the Nazi occupation and introduced just after the end of the World War II. It produces large blooms of yellow blending to pink on the edges. It is not very fragrant.
Pemberton, Joseph. Before David Austin, there was the Reverend Joseph Pemberton, one of the most famous rose hybridizers of the 20th century. Pemberton developed the Hybrid Musk class of roses, which are characterized by graceful arching form, clusters of delicately colored flowers, and some shade tolerance.
Pillar Rose. Indicates a form, not a class of roses. Roses grown as pillars have flexible canes of five to twelve feet which may be trained around an upright support (it does not have to be an actual pillar). Roses suitable for use as pillars are moderate in growth so that they will not overwhelm their support.
Pistil. Female organ of a flower. The pistil includes the stigma, style, and ovary.
Powdery Mildew. A fungus disease, powdery mildew strikes under cool, humid conditions. Leaves will become covered with a whitish residue and may be curled and distorted. Powdery Mildew is not normally a serious affliction in that plants do not normally succumb to the disease. However, it is certainly unattractive. To prevent, water in the morning so that leaves dry during the day (also a good preventative for blackspot).
Bare-root: Roses that are shipped in their dormant state with no foliage. Bare-root
roses are planted during Winter or very-early Spring.
This fungus forms a powdery white or grayish coating on the upper surface of young
leaves and sometimes on the buds. Infected leaves crumple and become distorted.
See blackspot for other treatments of powdery mildew.
Recessive gene. Genes are either dominant or recessive. A dominant gene's characteristics will predominate when paired with a recessive gene. For a recessive gene to show, it must be paired with another recessive gene. For example, in humans, blue eyes are recessive and brown eyes are dominant; thus, a person who has blue eyes must have received the recessive blue eye gene from each parent. Of interest perhaps, two blue-eyed parents can have only a blue eyed child; two brown- eyed parents can have either a blue or brown-eyed child.
Redouté, Pierre Joseph. Court appointed painter to Marie Antoinette and Empress Josephine, Redouté's credo was, "one does best what one loves most, however humble the pursuit." He is best remembered for his paintings of plants, especially roses and lilies. His paintings from Empress Josephine's garden at La Malmaison provide modern gardeners with an invaluable visual documentary of the roses grown two hundred years ago.
Remontant. Flowering more than once in a season. Species roses tend to bloom once a season. Roses which are remontant may bloom continuously or in regular waves (for example, floribundas or hybrid teas or some older classes), whereas others may have a two waves, one in spring and one in fall.
Rootstock. Host plant to which selected rose varieties are grafted. Most commercial growers propagate new plants by grafting cuttings to a rootstock. The advantage of rootstock is that many roses, especially modern cultivars, have weak root systems. The primary rootstocks used are Rosa multiflora, 'Dr. Huey,' with 'Fortuniana' recommended for very warm climates. The issue of whether 'own root' roses or grafted roses are better is one of the enduring debates of rosarians, and each technique has its advantages. Cold hardiness is the primary benefit of 'own root' roses, while grafted roses are often attributed with greater vigor.
Rugose. Leaf veins which are deeply etched into the leaf. Rugosa roses are so-named for this specific characteristic.
Rustling, a.k.a. rose rustling. The practice of searching for Old Roses in the hopes of taking cuttings (or if the bush is in imminent danger, rescuing the entire plant). Favorite haunts of rose rustlers include abandoned properties, cemeteries, and roadsides. Always ask permission before taking cuttings.
Scion. The leaf stock or shoot which is grafted to rootstock.
Species Rose. Roses which are self-fertile, and if self-pollinated will come true. Another term used is 'wild'; species roses are those which have evolved naturally to adapt to their native habitat.
Sport. Genetic mutation in a plant. Sports in roses are not unusual, and many new introduced varieties are sports as opposed to hybrids. Sports may be evidenced in different flower colors, flower form, and growth habit. For example, Souvenir St. Anne's is a semi-double sport of Souvenir Malmaison, and Climbing Souvenir Malmaison is a sport of this relatively small Bourbon.
Substance. The amount of moisture in the rose's petals. While it is difficult to ascertain how much moisture is in a particular rose's petals by touch, thickness and firmness are keys to determining substance. A rose with substance will last well after being cut, thus, it is important that exhibition roses (or roses you would like the family to enjoy in the house) have good substance.
Sucker. Stem or shoot growing from the rootstock instead of the grafted variety. Suckers should be cut off at their base.
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