Are All Roses Created Equal?

Updated: Aug 2, 2021


Nearly 200 million roses are purchased in the US annually. Roses are by far the most popular flower around the world. Most roses available in the market today come from rose farms in South America and Africa. These roses are grown to be aesthetically appealing but are loaded with dangerous chemicals and pesticides with devastating environmental impact to our air quality, water, soil, and our health.[1] Although roses are considered an edible flower, it is recommended that you verify the growing practices of the farm before dressing up a salad with rose petals, or sipping rose hip tea.

Why not grow your own? A bouquet of roses from a home garden is truly a gift of love.

When considering a purchase of a rose bush to accent your garden, does it matter what type of rose you buy? Many people would simply choose the bigger rose because bigger is better, right? Not necessarily. According to homeguides.sfgate.com the perfect rose will have between 25 to 40 petals. Too many petals can affect the shape of the rose or cause the rose bush to blossom less frequently. Double roses often wilt quickly and may not open fully. [2]

Looking at the nutrition of producing healthy rose buds I learned that the rose is more than 80 percent water. Rose bushes also require adequate nutrition to support flower growth.[3] Like most flowering plants, roses need a balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. They also require magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc as well as trace minerals. Establishing a regular watering and fertilizing program will promote lush green foliage and continual blossoms for your enjoyment. Of upmost importance is preparing and maintaining the health of your garden soil to receive continuous rose blooms all season. Heirloomroses.com offers several helpful videos that go into detail on how to prepare your garden, for planting, and fertilizing your roses to produce healthy roses and plant growth.

Why all the fuss about growing roses organically, you may ask? Planning an organic rose garden will produce the cleanest, healthiest roses used in making rose water, rose hip tea or simple to add the petals to a gorgeous salad. What we put into our soil will eventually come in contact with our skin. Why not start with clean, permaculture gardening practices and keep all things healthy.


What is Rose Water?

Rose water has been used for thousands of years in beauty treatments and skin care products. It is made by steeping rose petals in water.

The benefits of rose water for skin are:

  • It balances your skin’s natural oils

  • Rose water helps reduce redness due to abrasions, bug bites, or rashes

  • It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties to fight infections from cuts and burns

  • Rose water naturally hydrates

  • Rose petals contain powerful antioxidants that help to protect against UV rays

  • It provides a clean base for nutrients

  • It helps tighten your skin and minimizes the appearance of large pores

  • Rose water helps to unclog pores and smooths your complexion

  • Good for all skin types, gentle enough for sensitive skin

  • Good as a hair detangling spray

  • Rose water and human skin have the same pH 5.5

  • Relieves dandruff and oily scalp, makes your hair shine

How to Make Rose Water

If you are gathering rose petals from your garden, pick the petals early in the morning when the blossoms are the most fragrant. Pluck the petals from the stems until you have a cup of petals.[4][5] If your rose variety has 25 to 30 petals, you will use three roses.

Steps to Make Rose Water:

  1. Collect one cup of fresh petals

  2. Rinse with filtered water

  3. Add the petals to 1.5 cups filtered water and turn stove burner to medium heat

  4. When the water begins to simmer, cover with a lid, reduce heat to lowest setting, and leave on the stove until the petals lose their color. This should take about 15 to 30 minutes.

  5. Remove from stove, and cool completely

  6. Strain to remove rose petals

  7. Transfer rose water to a sealed container and store in the refrigerator.

  8. You can pour your rose water into a spray bottle for easy use after showers, baths, or any time during the day you want to spritz your hair, face, neck, bed pillow, linens, and more.

  9. Other options: add your rose water to your favorite home-grown hibiscus or chamomile tea.

[1] https://www.plantsnap.com/blog/why-do-people-love-the-rose-flower/ [2] https://homeguides.sfgate.com/rose,petals-64878.html [3] https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3345537 [4] https://www.greenmatters.com/p/how-to-make-rose-water [5] https://wellnessmama.com/119067/rose-water/

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