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Common Name: Rose

Botanical Name: Rosa spp.

Family: Rosaceae

Type: Perennial with edible flowers and fruit which are called hips.

Location: Full sun is best. Morning sun is critical.

Planting: Roses can be installed year round if container grown. Bare rooted plants should be installed fall and winter. Cuttings can be taken early summer through fall.

Height: 1 to 10 feet

Spread: 3 to 10 feet

Final Spacing: 3 to 5 feet

Bloom/Fruit: Flowers of many colors are followed by fruit called hips which contain the seed. The hips are ripe and ready to use when they change from orange to red.

Growth Habits/Culture: Most roses are thorny, bushy or climbing. They all like well-drained soil in sunny locations. Growth varieties include low-spreading to tall bushes. The old roses, or heirlooms, are much better looking plants than the hybrids, and the flowers and hips are better for eating and using in teas. Roses need extra amendments in the bed preparation. Beds should contain more compost, volcanic material, rock phosphate, alfalfa meal, and other organic amendments than most other plants. The beds should be raised or mounded and the bare soil should be mulched year-round. The best mulch for roses is 1 inch of compost or earthworm castings following by 3 to 4 inches of shredded native cedar. Feed three times a season, and spray Garrett Juice weekly. Add garlic tea to the spray for minor insect and disease infestations.

Problems: Black spot and other fungus problems are controlled by applying cornmeal to the soil any spraying with Garrett Juice plus garlic tea. Add potassium bicarbonate for severe disease infestations. Thrips are controlled with the same tools plus natural organic pest control products. Orange oil products can also be used. See the Organic Rose Program

Harvest and Storage: Dry petals and hips can be stored in a cool dark place. It's better to use the petals and ripe hips when they are fresh.

Culinary Uses: The hips are used in sorbets, cakes, syrups, soups, jams, jellies, rosewater and wine. Use petals in salads, jellies, jams and desserts. Petals are best when the flowers first open. The petals and the hips can be used in teas. 

Medicinal Uses: A distillation of rose petals is used for eye baths and as a sedative. The hips contain lots of vitamin C and work as a diuretic, blood purifier and infection fighter. Rose hips were used by the ancients to build blood and stamina. Again take as a tea.

Landscape Uses: Great plant for the landscape and perennial garden.

Other Uses: Floral arrangements, potpourri and perfumes. Oil is distilled from flowers or pulled off the hexane.

Insight: Old roses are the best choices for larger hips.

Varieties: The best choices for useable hips include Old Blush, Rogosa spp., ‘Duchesse de Brabant’, ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’, ‘Mutabilis’, ‘Katy Road Pink’, ‘Dortmund’, ‘LaMarne’, and ‘Belinda’s Dream’. Rosa rugos ‘Hansa’ and Rosa cania are especially good.

Organic Rose Program 

Roses are actually easy to grow and should only be grown organically since they are one of the best medicinal and culinary herbs in the world. When they are loaded with toxic pesticides and other chemicals, this use is gone, or at least, it should be. Drinking rose hip tea or using rose petals in teas or salads sprayed with synthetic poisons is a really bad idea. For best results with roses of any kind, here's the organic program that really works.


Buy and plant well-adapted roses for your area. Old roses will 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.


Prepare rose beds by mixing the following into existing soil to form a raised bed: 6” compost, ½” lava sand, ½” of decomposed granite, 20 lbs. of dry molasses, 20 lbs. of whole ground cornmeal, 30 lbs. zeolite and 20 lbs. of sul-po-mag  per 1,000 sq. ft. Remove all the soil from the root balls and soak the bare roots in water with Garrett Juice and one of the mycorrhizal fungi products such as Bio S.I. per label directions. Spread roots out radiating from the trunk and settle the soil around plants with water. For root stimulation, Garrett Juice can be added to the soaking water or added when watering in the plants. Use the products at the same mixing rates used for spraying.


After installing the plants, cover all the soil in the beds with  ½ - 1 inch of compost or earthworm castings followed by 2 - 3" of shredded native tree trimmings mulch. Do not pile the mulch up on the stems of the roses.


If possible, save and use rainwater for irrigation. If not, add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar per gallon of water or Garrett Juice at half spray mix rate.


Round #1: organic fertilizer @ 20 lbs. / 1,000 sq. ft.,  lava sand @ 40 lbs. / 1,000 sq. ft. and whole ground cornmeal at 10 - 20 lbs. / 1,000 sq. ft.

Round #2: organic fertilizer @ 20 lbs. / 1,000 sq. ft., greensand @ 40 lbs. / 1,000 sq. ft., soft rock phosphate at 30 lbs. / 1,000 sq. ft.

Round #3: organic fertilizer @ 20 lbs. / 1,000 sq. ft., and sul-po-mag @ 20 lbs. / 1,000 sq. ft.


  • Apply dry granulated garlic to the soil.
  • For insect pest and disease control in general, spray roses every 30 days with Garrett Juice and garlic tea or natural organic pest control products.
  • For thrips, apply beneficial nematodes to the soil in early spring or when foliage begins to grow. 
  • For more information, read Texas Gardening –The Natural Way.



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