By William Mills
Does the perfect houseplant exist? A firm favourite would be one with a profusion of brightly coloured, scented flowers which last all summer coming from an easy to grow, maintenance free plant which doesn’t take up too much space.
Roses seem go a long way to match these expectations, but can they be truly house plants given they have sharp spiky thorns?
The easiest to buy are small floribunda, those with a profusion of small flowers, from local supermarkets. Costing a few pounds, these colourful miniatures are nonetheless over quickly and usually disappointingly fragrance free but don’t tend to have thorns.
Various specialist nurseries grow what they call, dwarf, patio or containerised roses. These can be bought online by mail order for less than £10 each. Some arrive already planted in a four litre pot, a size small enough to fit comfortably on a living room table, and soon produce Hybrid-T, or traditional sized roses with some fragrance, although not perhaps as much as their full outdoor garden bedded cousins.
Others arrive ‘bare root’ in a plastic bag. Although this keeps the delivery costs down it entails a visit to the garden centre for the appropriate pot and compost. Both types need to be well watered so either stand outside or place in the kitchen sink and give it a good initial drenching.
Rose varieties are also called bedding, rambling and wall climbing. Below are so images of roses both growing in the garden and indoor varieties.
Three cuttings were taken about six months ago in October 2013 these are shown below
These have just been re potted. First a bucket was filled with garden compost then organic chicken manure pellets are stirred in.
Next the plant is added.
The next below is a bare rooted rose received from Spalding nurseries in March 2014 and planted into an outside container.
Likewise this one below…I wonder which will flower first…the jam jar contains a sweet mixture to capture the wasps..
Moving to the indoor varieties next, which were bought in March 2014 from Rumwood Nurseries. These arrived already potted and flowered after about six weeks. The flowers have only a very light fragrance.
However it’s small enough to be carried around the house and the thorns haven’t caused a problem.
The flower head below was beautiful to behold…
However after this the plant went downhill so by 10 May it was a far cry from its former glory…
The Second potted rose from Rumwood Nurseries, ‘Sweet Dream’, again arriving on 7 March took a little longer to initially flower…
But it was well worth the wait…these pictures show the plant both in an outside patio….
A lovely display of flowers, yet small enough to be swiftly carried around…
Again the fragrance is so faint… so next step will be encouraging the commercial nurseries to invent one!