Fragrant garden roses: an interesting growing market

“If the garden roses are big-headed and both fragrant and healthy, it is easy to sell them”, says Rosa Eskelund of Roses Forever, who sees the market for fragrant garden roses growing. For several years, this Danish breeder has been working on developing fragrant garden roses with the above mentioned characteristics and in 2013, she put the first one on the market. Over the years, she added more plants and formed a series: Plant’n’Relax. They are suitable to be produced in containers outdoors, but also to be sold as bare rooted to be planted direct in the garden. Rosa sees the demand increasing year by year.

One of the garden rose fields in Denmark with Plant’n’relax® and Sweet Home roses®

Product with potential
Most of Eskelund's garden roses are grown in Denmark. “Here we have four growers who sell them both potted, ready for the shops, and also bare rooted, so the garden centers can pot them by themselves. In the Netherlands we have two growers growing the roses and we are looking for one more”, she says. “It is a product with potential, because fragrant garden roses are popular in many European countries, but also in China and Japan.”

One of the clients that ask for bare rooted roses is Hageland, the biggest garden center chain in Norway. Rosa explains: “they plant them in pots themselves due to the import tax. After the big rose convention held in Denmark in June this year, rose lovers from Norway were strongly represented. Since then, more demand was coming from Scandinavia for our fragrant Plant’n’relax roses. Their reactions were very enthusiastic: they wanted to buy the roses right now. Well… production time is 1.5 year, so that takes a little bit more time”, Rosa laughs.

Inger Forever™ Plant’n’relax® Floribunda rose. "Is very suitable for hedge but also solitary. A lot of very fragrant flowers." 

Compact growing
According to Rosa, the compactness of the plant is one of the advantages of the Plant’n’Relax. “The garden roses are relatively compact growing, which makes them suitable for container grow. Also, it makes it easier to pack on CC trolleys for transport.” Other advantages she mentions is that the roses flower on first year's shot. "This makes it easy to let them flower in the selling pot." On top, some can even grow on their own roots - to minimize production costs. "Only here in Scandinavia they are all grown on Multiflora rootstock, due to the colder temperatures they have." 

On the left: ‘Our Last Summer’ ™ Plant’n’relax® won the gold medal at Plantarium in the Netherlands first time it was shown. On the right: Royal Diva™ Plant’n’relax® "big flowers and wonderful fragrance".

New varieties
The first fragrant garden rose that Roses Forever introduced was the Climberg rose 'Our last summer’ in 2013. It became a bestseller in Scandinavia and it is still popular. "This variety grows up to 2.5-3 meters and has big, strong and fragrant flowers." The Plant’n’relax series currently consists of three fragrant varieties and the breeding hasn’t stopped. “In 2019 we'll introduce a new variety.”

From left to right: Sweet Family™, Sweet Summer™ and Sweet Perfume. 

Sweet Home Roses 
Beside the Plant’n’relax line, Rosa also has another line of garden roses, called the Sweet Home Roses. This line consists of 12 varieties with big filled flowers of which three are fragrant varieties - Sweet Perfume (pink), Sweet Summer (yellow) and Sweet Baby (Vanilla). "They are suitable for potting in and forcing early in greenhouses and later to be planted in the garden or big pots on terraces "before all other garden roses are flowering."

On the left: Sweet Perfume™ Sweet Home Roses®. On the right: Sweet Home Roses®. "Perfect for forcing in greenhouses in early spring. It flowers already after 6 weeks."

Roses Forever will be at IFTF in stand B2.42. The company will also have a presence at the IPM, in January in Essen, in stand 6H34. At the IPM, they will showcase the garden rose assortment, the Sweet Home Roses and the Plant’n’relax series.

For more information:
Roses Forever
Rosa Eskelund

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