The rose is one of the world's most recognized flower species. One of the world's oldest species, the rose prevails as a symbol of love, passion and wild perfection. The rose is propagated in many colors, shapes and smells, and is still one of the gardener's most difficult challenges.
According to fossil excavation, the rose likely dates back at least 35 million years. The rose's genus, Rosa, has about 150 different species which grow in the Northern Hemisphere. According to University of Illinois, growing roses in a traditional garden likely began around 5,000 years ago.
Rose plants are sold in modern times according to grades: 1, 1 1/2 and 2. Grade 1 plants have three or more canes as part of the plant, each one 3/4 of an inch in diameter. Grade 1 1/2 roses have two canes which can be grown into grade 1 size and strength after a two-year period. Grade 2 plants are considered a cheap grade and will not likely grow into a better grade.
Rose plants require a good amount of sunlight and a porous, loamy soil. Roses require around six hours of sunlight daily. Morning sun will grow roses if all-day sun is not available. An area that is shady in the afternoon prevents the delicate rose leaf and petal from burning in the sun. The growing area requires tilling before planting, with a 2- to 4-inch layer of organic matter applied to the soil to aid nutrients.
Pruning is required to get the best flowering and growth from the rose bush and to prevent disease. Pruning is a difficult matter as many species have different requirements and thrive under varying pruning treatments. Pruning among all varieties removes dead or diseased material, increases air circulation, removes tangles in the shrub, and encourages flowering growth.
Several diseases are common among rose varieties. Black spot, powdery mildew and botrytis blight are diseases caused by fungal infection. These affect the foliage and petals of the rose plant, ruining the aesthetic quality of the flower. Fungal disease may cause cankers as well, which destroys the flowering wood. Preventive fungicide spray and cultivation practices will reduce the chance of rose disease.