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Rosa Loves Me roses

Kenyan growers eager to grow new garden cut rose

Garden type cut roses and scented cut roses are highly demanded but known for their short vase life. For this reason, breeders are investing time and money in developing this popular variety type with the desired habits. And Rosa Eskelund of Roses Forever is such a breeder. She invested years in breeding a cut rose that does not only look like a garden rose, but also smells like a garden rose and has a long vase life. After ten years of breeding, she succeeded and after nearly 5 years after trialing the variey, now the so-called Rosa Loves Me® series enters the market. And they seem well demanded varieties for mainly Kenyan growers. "We receive many positive reactions and many are eager to plant new beds of these varieties", says Rosa.

Rosa Loves Me® roses
Rosa Loves Me® roses
Rosa Loves Me® is a new rose brand that consists of seven varieties. According to Rosa, all these cut rose varieties have the looks and many the scent of a garden rose and have a very long vase life. "They last for 12 days up to 3 weeks", she says. "And on top of that, the healthiness of these varieties contributes to the sustainability of their production in for instance Colombia and Kenya", says Rosa. The names of all varieties start with Rosa Loves Me® and the names of the new varieties are: Sweet, Tender, Two Times, With Heart and Soul, Over the Moon, Purely, and, Just a Little Bit More.

Rosa Loves Me® Just a little bit more planted at a Kenyan farm.

Demand Kenyan growers
Five years ago John Pouw, who is responsible for the marketing within Viking Roses, sent the first budwood to Kenya, only enough to make a few plants per variety. And it has been a slow process. "It took several propagation rounds, and therefore a lot of time, to come to the 50 plants required for a first test", says Pouw. "Then you need to ‘build up’ the plant to see it for 4 flushes. So. another year gone. Then expand to a full bed. Of course, many varieties are beautiful, fragrant, long life, but do not pass the productivity requirements." Finding the best altitude for each variety is another challenge. "Take Rosa Loves Me® With Heart and Soul,” Pouw says, "Up to around 1400m and above 2000m the stems will be crooked. In between, they are nice and straight. Each variety reacts differently to altitude and this cannot be predicted."

Rosa Loves Me® Two Times

Today, the first reactions have come back from the wholesale and retail customers. According to Pouw, these are positive. "Now the first commercial plantings are on their way to three farms in Kenya and one in Colombia and it is time to reveal the varieties to a larger public at IFTF", she says. "And it is interesting to see that the same retailers that demanded head sizes of at least 5 cm are now saying that for the Rosa Loves Me® series, averaging at 4.5 cm at 2400m, this is not necessary", says Pouw. "Emotion cannot be standardized. The auctions have been masters at this, but in the end the consumer decides. Look at the history of Rote Rose in Japan. Production was terrible, plants ugly, flowers small, but if you saw and see the end product presented to the Japanese buyer, you understand the high prices." And Pouw predicts a similar future for Rosa Loves Me®, with flowers slowly opening into diameters 12 cm. They will not flood the market with the varieties, the supply will follow the demand. "Cultivation licenses will only be issued to those farms that are complementary in the market."

At the IFTF, that will be held from November 2-4 in Vijfhuizen, the Rosa Love me® cut roses will be on display. Besides that, Rosa will also show the Roses Forever® and the Infinity® mini potted roses. Roses Forever and Rosa Loves Me can be visited at booth number B2.31.

For more information
Roses Forever
Rosa Eskelund
T: +45 51 57 19 90
Email: [email protected]

DVR Marketing B.V.
John Pouw
Mobile: +31 641686880