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Dallas Morning News - October 3, 2019

Roses – More than Meets the Eye


Roses are easy to grow but best done organically since they are important medicinal and culinary herbs. Surprised? When they are loaded with toxic pesticides and other chemicals, these uses are gone, or at least, should be.


Old roses grow on their own rootstock are the easiest to grow and the best looking shrubs

Organically grown roses have edible petals.



Rose flowers are beautiful and some have pleasant fragrances but there is more. Flower petals are eatable and can be used as garnish, salad ingredients, mixed with dips or used in herb tea. Folk uses range from adding rose petals to bath water for soothing relaxation to applying petals to cuts and scrapes to help healing.


Rose hips are even more useful. A reason to not dead-head all your roses is to allow the hips (fruit) to mature. Mature (red) rose hips in teas, salads and other dishes is an excellent source of vitamin C and can also be used in jams, jellies, syrups, cold beverages, pies and breads. They can be used fresh or dried. Rose hips are said to help with colds and flues and can also be used in pet and horse feed, when dried and powdered, at 1 tablespoon per day to improve coats and hoof health.


Start by planting well-adapted roses for your area. Old roses on their own roots are often the best choices and usually have the largest and most vitamin C filled hips. They are also the most fragrant and the best looking bushes for landscape use. However, any roses can be grown with this program.


Rose hips in late summer or fall

Rose hips are decorative, edible, and medicinal


Plant in full sun – roses don’t like shade. Prepare beds by mixing in plenty of compost, lava sand, Azomite, dry molasses, whole ground cornmeal and organic fertilizer such as Good Natured Texas Two Step or Espoma Rose Tone. Tossing in a small handful of Epsom salts with the backfill is helpful. For root stimulation, Garrett Juice can be added when watering in the plants.


After planting, cover all the soil with 2" of shredded native tree trimmings mulch – but do not pile the mulch up on flares or stems.


Fertilize early spring, early summer and fall with organic fertilizer and spray Garrett Juice occasionally. Exact timing is not critical and you can actually apply organic fertilizer and sprays any month of the year.


Bugs and diseases? Well - dry granulated garlic at 20 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. is an excellent preventative for even the toughest to control pests such as thrips. For disease and insect pest control in general, spray roses with hydrogen peroxide products, garlic-pepper tea, cornmeal tea, or plant oil products such as PureGro. Apply beneficial nematodes to the soil in early spring when foliage begins to grow. For serious diseases problems such as rose rosette, apply the entire Sick Tree Treatment procedure.




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