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Ludwig Taschner
3 minute read
1 Oct 2018
2:31 pm

Make every rose petal count

Ludwig Taschner

From mixing up a facial mask to making your linen closet smell great, there are many uses for rose petals.

From detoxing to freshening linen, your roses have many uses

October is the month when gardens come alive with roses. Should they be picked or left on the bushes? I encourage gardeners to enjoy their roses indoors and outdoors.

The way to do that is to leave at least 50% of the blooms on the bush. By doing this you will have enough of a garden show and it is kinder to the rose bush. Removing too many long-stemmed blooms at once reduces the height of the bush and the number of leaves, which puts stress on the roots because there are fewer leaves to supply nutrients.

When roots are stressed, it takes much longer for new shoots and flowers to develop. Grooming the roses also keeps them looking good. Snip off the dead flowerheads to encourage new shoots and remove the small side buds on hybrid tea rose stems so that the main bud develops into a nice, long-stemmed good-quality bloom.

Watering deeply at least twice a week will keep the blooms looking fresh and a light, 2cm deep mulch helps to keep the soil and the roots cool. Spray every two weeks with Ludwig’s Insect Spray to control aphids and other small pests.

Using roses in the home

The theme of the Ludwig’s Spring Rose Festival, starting on Friday this week, is “House of Roses” and 10 florists will show how they use roses in the home, from bedroom and bathroom, to living room, kitchen and patios.

Opening the House of Roses will be celebrity actress and human-rights activist, Nomzamo Mbatha, who will be honoured by a rose named after her.

The rose has other uses in the home. Fresh petals are edible and healing and dry petals can be used in pot pourri to freshen rooms and cupboards.

For a detoxing beauty treatment, make rose water from perfumed petals and combine with green tea, flower, milk powder and turmeric to make a facial mask. Keep the mask on for 15 minutes then rinse off with warm water. It leaves the skin glowing and helps reduce acne.

Freshen bedroom drawers and cupboards by putting dried petals into an envelope, sealing it and stowing it in the drawer. Adding a few drops of rose essential oil strengthens the scent.

Sprinkle rose petals into salads, use rose-whipped cream instead of normal cream in desserts or with scones and make sugared rose petals to decorate cup-cakes. Create arrangements with a difference. Float short-stemmed roses in bowls.

Getting the best from garden cut roses

Blooms can be cut at any time of the day. Keep a half-filled bucket of water with you and put the roses straight into the bucket. This stops air being sucked up in the stem, creating an air bubble that prevents water being drawn up so the rose wilts

When enough roses have been picked, fill the bucket with water and put it in a cool, dark place, preferably overnight. Once the stems are saturated the roses can be arranged. Even if the stems are out of water for a while they will stay fresh.

To prolong the vase life of roses, add three tablespoons of sugar and one tablespoon of vinegar or one teaspoon of Jik to one litre of water.

  • The Spring Rose Festival at Ludwig’s Rose Farm, north of Tshwane/Pretoria, opens on Friday October 5 with the main display, “House of Roses” on show until Sunday October 7.
  • Take tractor-train rides through the rose fields and enjoy rose-inspired refreshments.
  • Entrance is free.
  • Ludwig’s Roses is just off the N1 North, take the Wallmansthal offramp and follow the signs.
  • Telephone 012-544-0144.

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