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Edible Roses in Edible Gardens
Roses are a beautiful and stunning addition to any landscape. They bring drama with their vibrant colors and romance with their delicate petals. No matter what type of roses you choose they can bring an element of elegance and charm to your home.
But did you know that you can eat them too?
Best Edible Roses
There are thousands of varieties of roses with rose petals ranging in taste from flavorless to sour and bitter to sweet. Older varieties of roses tend to be sweeter than newer hybrids. In particular, you can try damask roses, apothecary roses, and beach roses. And nearly every part of the rose bush is edible! You can eat the leaves, rosebuds, petals, and rose hips.
Roses in Landscape
If you’re building an edible landscape you should definitely consider adding roses to your displays. Roses, in their different varieties, offer different heights and a myriad of available colors. This helps to add dimension to your landscape – you’re not stuck with fruit trees over top and then lots of green bushes and green vegetables down below.
When choosing roses to add to your edible landscape you want to go for older varieties and avoid the hybrids. It’s not just a matter of taste, but a matter of quality. Modern hybrid roses are bred for beauty and not for the food they can produce. This has led to bland or flat-out bad-tasting roses and small, under-developed rose hips. Older varieties have rose hips that are a good size – gumball-sized, and the flowers and petals are delicious and sweet.
How to Plant Roses
Planting roses in your edible landscape doesn’t have to be challenging. You just want to be sure that the roses are planted properly. They are a pretty handy species of plant and can withstand a lot of abuse as long as some basic conditions are met:
- Make sure they are planted in a place with good circulation.
- Avoid over-fertilizing, about three cups of compost mixed with a cup of bone meal after pruning in spring is perfect.
- They need full sun.
- Roses need to be kept in a bed with excellent drainage
- After transplanting, water deeply for a couple of weeks then ignore for a while.
Pruning should only be done in the spring with angled cuts to outward-facing buds. This encourages bushing and the new growth will fan out rather than grow up. Some varieties can be left unpruned and allowed to sprawl, but in general, roses should be trimmed once a year in order to improve growth, keep back diseases, and prevent them from becoming disorderly.
If you plan to plant roses in your edible landscape so that you can eat them, you want to choose varieties that come with their own root ball. Clear off as much dirt as you can before planting and wait a year before harvesting for eating. This allows them to acclimate to your yard and get rid of any chemicals that may have been in their original growing location.