Though the concept of heirloom plants is not unknown for most of us; heirloom roses definitely is a new concept for most gardeners. The main reason behind the popularity of heirloom vegetables was concerns over the ever decreasing nutritional value hybrid vegetables.
It is estimated that most hybrid vegetables lost a significant amount of their nutritional value in the last 30-90 years, some up to 50% of its original nutritional value!
Since roses are used for aesthetic purposes – not as a food, growing heirloom roses was not an idea that fascinated many nursery owners or home growers. The importance of growing heirloom plants were not understood by many at that time and it is only when the mosaic virus hit the rose plants that gardeners desperately started seeking other options and came up with the idea of growing heirloom roses.
Emergence Of Rose Mosaic Virus and Its Effects
When rose mosaic virus hit the United States, it hit a large percentage of nurseries and farms where roses were grown commercially and its side effects were serious.
The virus resulted in fading yellow leaves on roses but it had serious impact on the flowers as well, lesser lifespan of flowers and dull smell being the major concerns for most nursery owners. Rose Mosaic Virus also resulted in limited reproduction of new bulbs. The end results were ruthless for most growers, putting them in huge financial loss. This is when growers started thinking about heirloom plants and how to grow heirloom roses.
Growing Heirloom Roses To Fight RMV
Growing heirloom roses was the best way to prevent rose mosaic virus as the primary spreading path of this virus was grafting. Even if one of the adjacent plant has the virus in it, it won’t spread to other roses and the only source for the virus to spread is through the branches.
By eliminating budding and grafting, growers can make their plants virus-free.
The method is absolutely safe and the only downside is lower reproduction as most roses can only produce 2-3 branches at one go. Modern day heirloom roses growers have amazing heirloom rose catalogs where the actual reproduction rate is much higher than this. They use modern day growing techniques to significantly improve the reproduction rate and growth rate.
The best thing about growing heirloom plants is that their natural traits remain intact, especially for heirloom roses. The aroma and lifespan of these roses are really long and most growers sell them for premium prices, thus they can compensate the lower reproduction rate with higher price.
The commercial advantages, however, are not limited to these but heirloom roses are extremely healthy and are less prone to diseases usually occurred in winter season. You can save money on medicines and fertilizers due to this fact and natural fertilizers work really well with these plants.
Switching to heirloom plants is essential for promoting sustainable living and the betterment of Mother Nature, so you can start taking care of your responsibility by getting heirloom roses for your garden.