Saudi Arabia: Taif rose farmers gear up for pre-production season

Taif, Saudi Arabia, is home to 2,000 rose farms. It is situated 1,900 meters above sea level, giving it an ideal atmosphere for roses to grow. The roses are planted every year at the beginning of the “Al-Tarf” season, one of the agricultural seasons that encourage the branches to bear the rose fruit.

This year, cultivation specialists warned that the upcoming winter would be a critical threat to crops and that some farm owners are considering finding warm spray pipes to combat frost.

They noted that some attempts to cultivate Taif roses in Europe and Arab countries did not succeed. European countries received experience and guidance from cultivation experts, but the roses failed to match the Kingdom’s quality due to the different atmosphere and soil.

Awad Al-Talhi, who owns a rose farm in Al-Shafa in Taif, said that the high areas of Taif are the best places for planting the roses, but this also leaves them highly exposed to frost, the first major threat to the success of the farms. Al-Talhi added that the best method for dealing with frost waves is to use specialized tanks connected to warm spray pipes to remove frozen bushes. The warm water spray is effective at keeping frost at bay, but it comes with a high cost.

“Rose farmers begin the process of pruning trees at the beginning of every year, which takes about two-and-a-half months, depending on the size of the farm. There is no watering of the trees in this period. By mid-March, the harvest season of Taif roses begins,” said Al-Talhi.

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