Friday, December 17, 2010

Trading off the long peduncle!

I look at the long peduncle of this one rose of mine. It’s long and sturdy for that single blooming rose, indicating all the care (fertilizers, watering, etc) had been right.

Instead of feeling happy about this little achievement, I kind of feel sad.

Glossary: Peduncle--"The stalk of an inflorescence (a cluster of flowers) or of a solitary flower." The word comes from pedunculus, a diminutive of the Latin pes, ped-,meaning foot. In other words, peduncle simply means the 'flower neck'. In Bahasa Malaysia, we call it as 'tangkai bunga' or 'leher bunga'.

Roses have been known in the last century by growers worldwide to have bad reputation. Roses are said to be hard to grow, require regimental spraying, picky about their soils conditions, and etc.

The long majestic peduncle with small bud on top.

I take a long look at my garden and know that the above is true to some extent. I do the occasional spraying and I hate it.

The flower blooms to 3 inches in diameter.
Roses’ bad reputation is the by-product of man’s desire to create the perfect bloom, thus sacrificing the plant’s genetic propensity for fragrance, disease and insect resistance in favor of bigger blooms, bolder colors and long stems.
The peduncle is almost at 5 inches mark.

The result - home gardeners like you and I must adapt our maintenance programme to compensate for the absence of qualities that make roses care free.

We spend dimes on fertilizers, pesticides and bloom enhancers and spend time to maintain our roses but pollute the environment and our bodies with wastes and endure the side-effects of these products in the process.

The funny thing is, the insects are winning. They naturally develop resistant to pesticides. They are now harder to control compared to in the last few decades.

Would I want roses that bloom a lot? Yes. Bigger blooms? Yes. Bold colors, long peduncles and stems? Yes, yes and yes.

But would I trade off any of these traits for roses that are disease resistant and care free?

The answer is absolutely YES!

Dear hybridizers, ...

Hybridizers of the last century had to be applauded for making roses so ever popular and cool with so many forms, colors and sizes to choose from. I am indeed grateful.

But I wish to thank and show support for the hybridizers of this century who've heard this loud cry and are doing something about it.

Today's rose hybridizers are engineering the long lost trait (disease resistance) back into roses and making this their ultimate goal; in addition to try to keep all other best traits that we love in roses so much intact.

As home gardener, I will do my part in choosing carefully what roses that go into my garden and opt to use safer and less products.

Copyright of Rough Rosa


AaronVFT said...

I hope one day roses will be as hardy as foliage plants...

Stephanie said...

This 3-inch rose amazes me! Gorgeous! Pest is my plants' greatest enemy. But I will try to use organic pesticides as much as possible. When they don't really work well, I must admit I will switch to non-organic ones. I am with you on your plea to hybridisers ;-)

Rose said...

A very interesting post, Rosa! I don't grow hybrid roses for the very reasons you mention. I'm glad that plant breeders are recognizing the need for varieties that are more disease resistant. I would love to grow more roses if I knew I didn't have to fuss with them so much.

One said...

You are right! The same goes with other plants like tomato, chillies, hibiscus etc. If only they are more resistant to diseases. Won't that be wonderful?

Autumn Belle said...

Pest problems is one hindrance that prevented me from growing roses. I am all for the development of rose hybrids that are hardy and resistant to pests and survive well on the lowlands.

ROUGH.ROSA said...

@Aaron I hope so too.

@Steph Yup! The only 'bad' thing about roses is the pests. Without them, roses would probably have strong popularity and many hobbyists in Malaysia. If only...

@Rose Here in Malaysia we don't have that many varieties. I too would prefer OGRs and earth kind roses, if we were to have them here - and stay away from hybrids!

@One I agree with you. Some of these plants meant as crops. Disease resistant wasn't part of the DNA plan but high fruits/flower yields were. Very sad...

@Autumn Belle I hear ya! Exactly the sentiment.

Eliza @ Appalachian Feet said...

I've been growing roses organically for a while now but I didn't know what a peduncle was -- thanks!

I would love it if you'd submit one of your rose posts to the next issue of How to Find Great Plants. Maybe the recent one on red roses? If you're interested, the deadline is December 31st and this link explains how to enter:

ROUGH.ROSA said...

Eliza@thanks for inviting. I'd wish I had more time to review and do something about ur slipped my mind. Anyway, thanks again. i'll take the next round.