Everything you need to know about rose plant cultivation and growth. Learn about: 1. Cultivation Technology of Rose 2. Soil and Climate Required for Rose Cultivation 3. Land Preparation 4. Propagation 5. Planting 6. Manures and Fertilizers 7. Weed Control 8. Pruning 9. Diseases, Pests and their Control 10. Picking of Flowers 11. Distillation 12. Oil Content and Yield 13. Uses of Rose Oil.
Cultivation Technology of Rose:
Rose is an important aromatic crops cultivated for its essential oil obtained from hydro and steam distillation of flowers of Rosa damascena belongs to family Rosaceae. This is one of the costliest and sweetest fragrant materials known to the world from the ancient times. It is a perennial plant with an average life span of 20-25 year.
Certain species can survive up to 50 years. Rose oil has very wide application for making costly fragrances. Perfumery, cosmetics and tobacco industries are the major consumers of rose oil, on limited scale it is also used for flavouring purposes.
In India rose cultivation is done on about 10,000-12,000 hectares of land. The important center of rose cultivation are Hasayan (Hathras), Kannauj and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and Pushkar (Ajmer) and Haldighati in Rajasthan. The Damask rose, (R. damascena) cultivation is confined to Hasayan, where it is grown on approximately 5000 hectares of land. Here, the major flowers produced are used for production of rose oil, rose water and attar.
A species of rose i.e. R chinensis (Adbourd) which is also called cheenia gulab locally, as it continues to flower throughout the year. Flowers at these places are mainly processed for the production of attars, rose water, gulkand and dry petals. Damask rose is called “Chatti” or “Phasali Gulab” as the main flowering season of R. damascena is March-April, however it flowers during October-November also.
Soil and Climate Required for Rose Cultivation:
Although, rose can be cultivated in a variety of soils, medium loam well drained soils are considered most suitable. Acidic soils are avoided for its cultivation but slightly alkaline soil (pH 8.0-8.5) may be used for establishing rose plantation. Land infested with perennial weeds may be avoided. Rose plantation can also be established on sloppy land and terraces in hilly areas, provided irrigation system other than flood irrigation is available for watering the plantation.
Rose is basically a temperate plant and requires mild temperature for optimum growth. Considering the above facts, hilly areas and mild hill conditions are most suitable for cultivation. Rose can also be cultivated in sub-tropical climate, however, the yield in sub-tropical climate is lower than temperate and sub-temperate climate. In India, most of rose growing areas falls in sub-tropical climate, however, the yield in sub-tropical climate is lower than temperate and sub temperate climate.
In India, most of rose growing areas falls in sub-tropical climate. Recently rose cultivation has been introduced in temperate climate of J & K and Himachal Pradesh from where the level of yield reported is much higher than sub-tropical. Bright sunny days, high humidity (60%) with mild temperature (20-25°C) is most conducive for enhancing the flower production, as these conditions prolong the duration of flowering and give synchronized flowering.
Land Preparation for Rose Plantation:
Field for rose plantation should be deep ploughed several times to ensure the removal of deep rooted perennial weeds, deep summer ploughing can be helpful in eradicating perennial weeds. With subsequent 3-4 light ploughing the soil is brought to a fine tilth. The field is divided into beds of convenient size Individual beds are leveled with great care to help uniform distribution of irrigation water in the beds.
Propagation of Rose:
Rose is propagated vegetative be means of stem cuttings. Cuttings can be planted directly in the field or raised in nursery. Further, for direct planting there are two methods, commonly prevalent among growers. In first method 25-30 cm. wide cuttings are made 2-2.5 m apart, end-to-end. Cuttings are covered with mixture of soil and well rotten farm yard manure. In second method, cuttings are planted in pits of 30 x 30 x 30 cm.
Four cuttings of 20-25 cm in length are planted in the centre of each pit vertically with upright position. At least 1/3 portion of the cutting is dipped into the soil. The soil around cuttings is pressed properly. The first method is more common among the Bulgarian farmers while the other with rose growers in India.
For raising nursery, bundles of 50-100 cuttings are made and these bundles are placed in pits in upright position and covered with soil. The soil around the cuttings is kept moist until they are taken out for planting in nursery. After 20-25 days the cuttings become ready for planting in the nursery. During this period the cuttings are full of callus formation and buds are sprouted.
Cuttings in the nursery beds are planted in rows 20-30 cm apart at 15 cm distance between the cuttings. The cutting remains in nursery beds until July-August when these are shifted in the main field. Irrespective of methods of planting, it is advisable to treat the cuttings with any root growth promoting hormones for early rooting. The optimum time for taking cuttings is December when roses are pruned.
Planting of Rose and Its Irrigation Requirement:
Two methods of direct planting have already been described above. For planting nursery-raised cuttings pit of 30 x 30 x 30 cm or 45 x 45 x 45 cm are made at 1 x 1 m spacing. In temperate regions the row to row and plant to plant distance may be kept at 2 x 2 m or even 2.5 x 2.5 m pits are filled with soil mixed with well rotten farmyard manure (FYM) at the rate of 15 kg. per pit. Aldicarb 20% at the rate of 2-3 g per pit is added to the soil and F.Y.M mixture to protect the plant from termite attack. The plants from nursery are dug out carefully and planted in the pits. The optimum time for planting in subtropical regions is July-August whereas for temperate regions October-November or February-March.
For better plant growth and flower production rose requires frequent irrigations. During bud formation and flowering and also in dry months plantation should be irrigated regularly.
Manures and Fertilizers Required for Rose Plant:
Rose grows well in soil rich in organic matter and has high nutrient status. Apart from farmyard manure (10-15 tonnes per ha) that is added in the trenches or in pits, fertilizer application is done to supplement the nutrient requirement. A dose of 100 kg nitrogen, 50 kg. Phosphorous and 50 kg potassium is applied at the time of planting. Nitrogen and the potassium is applied at the time of planting. Nitrogen at the rate of 50 kg. per ha is top dressed 30-45 days after pruning.
In subsequent years the above manure and fertilizer application schedule is followed. In second year onward farmyard manure and basal dose of fertilizer in application schedule is followed. In second year onward farmyard manure and basal dose of fertilizer is applied after pruning. The schedule of nitrogen top dressing remains the same for planting as well for subsequent years of plantation.
Weed Control in Rose Plantations:
Rose is susceptible to weed interference mainly in the planting year. Therefore, special care is taken to suppress the weed growth for about 6-7 months after planning. To manage weeds during the period 2-3 manual weeding are required. In second and subsequent years the plants develop sufficient canopy and take care of weeds. In established plantation, one hoeing, after pruning in December, and a weeding in January-February may be sufficient to keep the plantation free of weeds.
Pruning of Rose Plants:
Pruning of rose plants is an important operation. The pruning operation is carried out in the first fortnight of December in Plains (sub-tropical) and October-November in hilly areas (temperate). Both, early and delayed pruning have very adverse effect on flower production. In sub-tropical climate heavy pruning is practiced where all the branches 20-25 cm above the ground are removed, using a sharp tool. In temperate region light pruning is done and branches 75-100 cm above the ground are removed.
After 10-12 years of planting the flower yield starts to decline. Therefore, it becomes desirable to rejuvenate the plantation. In this process bushes are cut from 8-10 cm above ground and the soil is dug to a depth of 20-25 cm Farmyard manure 15-20 tonnes per ha and mixture of N.P.K. fertilizers is applied. After irrigation the plants start producing new shoots.
Diseases, Pests and their Control:
The most important disease of R damascena is black spot caused by the fungus (Diplocarpon rosae). Dark brown or black spots start appearing on infected plants. In advance stage plant growth is checked and defoliation takes place. Dieback is another disease of rose caused by fungus, Diplodia rosarum. A symptom of disease starts appearing after the pruning operation when cut ends start turning black. As a preventive measure the plantation is sprayed with copper fungicide immediately after pruning. Another spraying with fungicide Bavistin should be done a month after the pruning when the foliage development has taken place.
Picking of Flowers:
Flowering in rose plantation commences two years after planting. However, the full flower production can be expected in third year onward. The flowers are picked daily early in morning so as to complete the operation before the sunrise. Depending upon the soil and management practices flower yield in sub-tropical climate from third year onward ranges from 2000-3000 kg/ha/year. In temperate climate flower yield ranges form 4000-5000 kg/ha/year. Flowering in sub-tropical climate starts from middle of March and ends up by 3rd week of April. In temperate climates, blossom starts in May and continues for about 50 days.
Distillation Process for Extraction of Rose Oil:
As soon as the harvesting is over flowers are taken to distillation plant for processing. In case, there is delay in processing, flowers should be spread in shade at low temperature and water should be sprinkled to avoid the loss of oil through evaporation. In India, three different methods are in practiced for the processing of rose oil.
Majority of rose distillers in India use traditional distillation equipment which consists of round kettle (deg) and a receiver (bhapka), which also serve the purpose of condenser. These are made of copper. The kettle and the receiver are connected with bamboo (chonga) through which steam from kettle reaches to the receiver. The receiver is placed in a small water tank which helps in the condensation of vapours containing rose oil.
The kettle has a capacity of 50-100 kg flowers per batch and takes about 6-8 hours to complete the distillation. After distillation is over the receiver is removed and oil is separated. This method gives a recovery of 0.01-0.015% which is significantly lower than the other methods described below.
The unit consists of a kettle (still), a column, condenser and receiver. The whole unit can be of copper or stainless steel. The capacity of still may range from 100-250 kg. flowers per batch. To increase the fuel efficiency and to generate sufficient steam, fume tubes are fitted in the bottom of the still. The outlet of the receiver is connected with the column to recycle the condensate into the still, after the separation of oil takes place in the receiver.
This process in known as “Cohobation” which has been found to improve the recovery of oil. The plant is simple in operation and can be operated by a semi-skilled worker. Direct fired plant may cost Rs.1.25-1.5 lack, if made out of stainless steel. The plant takes about 4-6 hrs per batch for completion of distillation.
This is most modern method of distillation and suitable for large-scale production of oil. The whole plant consists of three units, a boiler, a distillation unit and a “Cohobation” unit. Flowers are charged in the distillation unit and distillate after passing through a receiver fed to another still through cohobation column to ensure complete recovery of oil. Part of the oil is also collected from the first receiver and the remaining from the second.
It is advantageous to collect the distillate from the second separator and feed-back it to the distillation tank in pace of fresh water. Complete distillation in boiler operated distillation unit takes 4-5 hrs. The oil recovery varies from 0.025% -0.03%. Depending upon the capacity; of the boiler, the unit may cost Rs.6-8 lacs. The other advantage with the system is that several distillation units can be connected with the boiler.
Although scattered flowering may be noticed in the planting year itself, optimum flower yield is obtained in third and subsequent years of plantation. This yield level is maintained until ten years of plantation, thereafter tends to decline. In subtropical climate an average flower yield of 200-300 kg in the first year, 500-800 kg in the second year and 200-300 kg. /ha. In third and subsequent years of planting is obtained.
Thus, with an average 0.020% recovery, oil yield during third and subsequent years may vary from 0.4 to 0.60 kg/ha/year. Considering an average recovery of 0.03% oil in temperate climate, the oil yield in third and subsequent year may range from 1.20 kg to 1.50 kg/ha/year from 4000 to 5000 kg flowers/ha harvested each year.
The odour is floral rosy, deep rich as if rose flower are present in bulk. This oil finds use in high quality fine fragrances. It is also used in pan masala and tobacco blends.
It gives a soft natural character in food flavours as well. These materials also find use in flavours in trace amount in apricot, strawberry, raspberry, bitter almond, apple, etc. Flavour is sharp at high conc, but turns to be soft, warm, sweet, balsamic upon extreme dilution.
The oil is also useful for dry, natural and sensitive skin. It is also effective for wrinkles, eczema and as a cardiac tonic.
Rose flower can be used for making gulkand which is an excellent laxative. The flower also finds its use for decorative, ornamental purposes and in gift as a bouquet.
Rose water is used in making soft-drink, flavouring sweets. It acts as a skin toner, hence, used in face packs and other herbal cosmetic products.
Rose absolute which is produced out of rose flower is produced extensively in high and medium price perfumes particularly in floral bases, chypres, oriental bases, etc. They are also used to round off the sharp notes in synthetic composition. It blends well with Jasmine, Cassie, Mimosa, Orange flower and other floral as well as with most of the synthetic perfume materials.
The rose oil and absolute both are highly diffusive in nature and because of this character they form a good place in high to medium price perfumes.
The waxes produced during the rose concrete also find use in soaps. The rose concretes are also used for perfuming the solid perfume waxes.