Rose of Castile (Rosa gallica)

All roses have something special. They are elegant, cheerful, and very pretty. But there is one that is also simple: the Rose of Castile. It does not have a double crown of petals as modern varieties usually have, but that does not mean that it is ugly, quite the opposite. This is a plant that will give you great satisfaction, since, like all rose bushes, it is very, very easy to care for.

Therefore, we are going to dedicate this article to tell you all the characteristics, care and uses of the rose of Castile.

Origin and characteristics

Our protagonist is a plant known as Rose of Castile, Castilian Rose, French Roses or Red Rose whose scientific name is Rosa gallica. It is native to Europe, Asia and North Africa, which is where it is most often found. It is a shrub that reaches a height of up to 1 meter, highly branched. The branches are straight and provided with large stingers.

It blooms in late spring or early summer. The flowers can be solitary or appear in groups, and are large up to 9cm in diameter, pink or purple-red in color. This plant requires some special conditions and if they are not met it is unlikely that they will be able to develop well. It is a very satisfactory plant to care for since it can be quite beautiful in our garden. In addition, it has numerous medicinal properties.

The stems are armed with rather strong and rigid curved spines. Its flowers are light pink to light red.

Cultivation of the rose of Castile

In order to grow the rose of Castile, we must meet numerous requirements that this plant needs to be able to develop in good conditions. We are going to analyze little by little what your requirements are. First of all is the location. The location that we are going to give this plant in the garden is essential for it to develop well. It needs a location outside and in a place where it can be in full sun. This plant requires a lot of sunlight to grow.

Often times the seed of this plant can take several years to germinate. This is because it needs a period of warm weather after a period of cold weather in order to mature the embryo and reduce the seed layers. A possible way to reduce this period is to scarify the seed and place it again for several weeks in humid peat at a temperature that is between 27 and 32 degrees Celsius . Subsequently, we must have it at a temperature of only 3 degrees for the next 4 months so that it can germinate earlier. The seed that has been sown can germinate in spring.

Now we continue with the land. If we want to have the rose of Castile in a pot, we will need a universal growing substrate mixed with 30% perlite. On the other hand, in the garden it is not very demanding with the type of soil, as long as it has good drainage. The drainage is needed by the soil to avoid treatment water due to irrigation or rain. We can grow this plant on level soils, hills and terraces that always have a medium to high grade.

The time of flowering must be at a temperature that is around between 25 and 30 degrees and the relative humidity above 60%. If the environment continually finds the relative humidity above this figure and the temperature moderately between 15 and 20 degrees, the plant will offer a higher flower yield.

As for watering, it is enough to water it 3 to 4 times a week during the summer and every 4-5 days the rest of the year. It is convenient to provide a subscriber from the beginning of spring to summer. The fertilizer must be specific for rose bushes and always follow the indications specified on the package. This supply of nutrients will help you to increase flowering.

Uses and maintenance of the rose of Castile

Once we have planted our rose bush we must take into account some aspects. Since there is little margin between crops of rose plantations, the early stage of the development of new plantations can be seen as an opportunity to intercrop suitable crops such as legumes and vegetables in order to increase the fertility of the soil. Since this plant after two years developing enough that it does not leave room for intercropping. This is because the rose of Castile is a plant that prefers sunlight and a clean and tidy area.

One of the tasks that must be carried out to carry out the maintenance of this plant is pruning. It is interesting to remove dry, diseased or weak branches and withered flowers. This plant requires a dormant or resting period before flowering. If we are in a region with a subtropical climate, this plant must be pruned essentially in order to introduce this necessary artificial dormancy before flowering.

Other purposes that pruning has is to be able to train the plant in the desired way to maintain the size we want and eliminate diseased parts and terminal shoots of the plant. In this way, we managed to change the growth habit of the rose of Castile. The rusticity of this plant allows us to have temperatures of up to -7 degrees from time to time during winter frosts without the plant dying.

During the second year of development, the plants should be pruned several times a year . Once it reaches a height of 50cm, it is advisable to wait a few months until it reaches 75cm to prune again. Additional pruning should be done only once a year and when the plant reaches a height close to one meter.

In terms of uses, the Rose of Castile, in addition to being used as an ornamental plant, is used to cleanse the skin. To do this, 150 grams of petals are boiled in 1l of water, and boiled. Then it is allowed to cool for five minutes, filtered, and stored in a clean and airtight jar.

The petals are also used as a flavoring in pastry, and even to make vinegar.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the rose of Castile.

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