Roses need plenty of water for their optimum growth and flowering but, they do not like water logging. The frequency of watering is dependent upon the water and nature of soil. Sandy soil needs more frequent water than clay soils. Water requirement of rose depends on the plant size and growth period; and the frequency of irrigation depends on stage of growth, soil texture apart from climate and weather. Rose beds are to be watered once a week, or ten days in winter, and twice a week during summer.
In a climate like Bangalore, having red soil, one heavy irrigation at five day's interval is recommended throughout the year expect during rains when this has to be adjusted depending on the rainfall. In eastern India where the rainfall is heavy, no irrigation may be required at all during the rainy season. An average sized H.T. rose bush might loose through transpiration about 30 gallons of water during the growing period. A well-established Rambler "Dorthy Parkins" may transpire about 100 gallons of water. Misting in the greenhouse is beneficial for faster growth of rose plants.
Water loss from the plants in the non-cooled green houses is much higher than in the air-cooled green houses. Cooling in the green houses improves the flower and foliage colour and size, while there may be reduction in flower production with the over-cooling. Experiments were also conducted on surface irrigation and automatic injection of water with variable results.
Macroscopic observation showed that stem length as well as the time to reach the different stages of development externally was affected by irrigation and shading treatments. Due to irrigation or shading on the first stage of development, acceleration of flower bud appearance was recorded on the flowering shoots under most severe irrigation treatment. Flowering shoot under this treatment, irrespective of shading, reached the stage of flower bud appearance earlier, with a shorter stem length compared to the flowering shoots under the less severe treatment.
While observation under the scanning electron microscope of samples originated from the different irrigation and shading treatments, showed that subsequent development was the same under all irrigation and shading treatments. It was concluded that water stress imposed affected only growth and not development.
Recycling water is an excellent way for pathogens dissemination. To avoid potential risks of plant health, the disinfection of irrigation water is an alternative. Studies demonstrated that an amount of 4mg/l of active chlorine applied over 30 minutes was necessary and sufficient to obtain disinfections of bacteria and no plant health problem was detected in roses after 3 years of operation. Thus, disinfecting with chlorine gas is an excellent preventive method.
Phytomonitoring technology is now being introduced in commercial rose green houses world wide as a new information tool both for detecting physiological disorders, in plants and for the fine-tuning irrigation and climate control. Phytomonitoring in "Golden Gate" roses disclosed unexpected water deficit at night time. Then, it helped to examine the releiving effect of night time watering. Furthermore, the phytomonitor enabled experts to observe directly the favourable effect of root flushing on plant growth.
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1. Growing roses requires good soil preparation
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