Black roses, so exquisite, and not long ago, were very expensive and elusive. Today, you can find them in the market in sweet-looking mini-flowers called “tunas” for around USD 17/g. This leaves us wondering, what is so special about the black rose that these beautiful, delicate blooms are now almost totally luxe? And why don’t they grow the same way as pink? Black russet roses are all too common at the farmers market or from a black patina since they are amazing and can stand up to the selection of other fine russet roses, reds, and yellows. They are also very drought tolerant and come ready packed with every flower and shrub fertilizer needed. In many respects, black russet roses look like they were made for the homes of some old-timey American glamour agents and society women. However, if you’re looking for a beautiful arrangement of black roses, a flattering taste and charm, then it doesn’t get much better than black and white. Just look at the black petals of the Belgian petunia or some other super shrub.
If you prefer your roses from seedlings, or if you want them to get to full bloom sooner, then it’s not such a bad idea to grow them indoors. Plant them in a neat, well-drained bed with bright light and good air flow. Also consider growing black roses in a window to give the canopy of foliage something to protect the blossoms. Did you know that black roses have bitter berries in the heart of the petals, called culinary black berries? They make the flowers last longer and give the tree a nice seasonal fragrance. However, if you want to start your own black rose from seed or a miniature black cultivar in winter, here are a few other things to consider: It’s time to repot black roses and install pruning tools.
The plants should have experienced the normal winter chill and all color stems should be soaked in soapy water. Shake the stems together and let them drain for about 30 minutes. Then quickly and gently rub the soil in a wide arc around the stems. Scoop up moisture with your fingers and rub until the contents are in the dry spot. When the soil is dry, invert a pocket protector, either plastic or wood, over the stem, and gently pat it up and down until you can scratch your finger on it. This creates a little hole in the stem (not unusual with a thin rose that is only about 2 inches in diameter). Thoroughly water the plant, make sure there are no weed seeds along the sides of the stems, and don’t fertilize the plant yet.
Tend the plants and talk to the shrubs about the color and bloom cycle. It’s better to find out, once the plants go through their development cycle, before they have a chance to screw up. Just remember to mulch the plants so as to have plenty of room for air movement. The flowers of black roses are red, orange, and yellow (needy ones have spots in between the petals) in late spring and early summer. Black blooms set off the pink rose and all the rosy blues. That’s a reason to put the plants in direct light while being tardy on the fertilizer.
White blossoms set off the reds and will improve with exposure to bright light, finally, to boost the plants’ vigor. Lush with foliage and color, black roses were created with confidence and color, and are so smart about making their own. No matter what color they’re in, they give you a little something extra every time you look at them. They are homely in many ways, but not in this way. The dark color contributes to a subtle ghostly quality that may give a little time to imagine something that’s inextricably linked to our memory, including past conflicts and horrors. Black roses are very agreeable but they are still dark, whispering, whispering, gentle creatures, a beast who is all too easy to love with an unshakeable love. “Life’s never been better than it is right now,” said comedian Rodney Dangerfield. Black roses help provide the succulent proof.