Changing Rose Color – Why Do Roses Change Color In The Garden?
Roses have been around since ancient times. They were used to decorate tombs and graves. Some believe that the flowers are symbols of love, while others think that they represent death. Whatever their meaning, it seems like everyone loves them! Today’s modern day roses are actually hybrids between two species: Fragaria x ananilla (red) and Ficus x lilium (pink). These hybridized plants produce a variety of colors.
Why do roses change color?
The answer to this question is not completely understood. There are several theories out there, but none of them seem to explain all the reasons why roses turn red or pink. One theory says that when these plants mature, they start producing a hormone called anthocyanin which causes the leaves and stems to become reddish brown. Another theory suggests that the red pigment may be produced by pigments present in the soil. A third theory states that the color changes due to light exposure. However, this explanation does not explain why some roses are green and some are blue.
What is Anthocyanin?
Anthocyanins are compounds found in many fruits and vegetables such as apples, berries, tomatoes, lettuce and carrots. However, they have a bitter taste, so they are usually red. They can protect against diseases and illness. While most plants contain these pigments, roses produce the most anthocyanins of all flowers which is why they are red.
A Quick Note About pH
Soil acidity affects the color of a rose’s flowers. A soil that is more acidic will produce blue roses. In more alkaline soil, the flowers turn pink.
Why Do Roses Change Color?
Roses change color in the garden for several reasons. In short, it is a combination of many things. Though more research needs to be done, we delve into the best answers we have right now.
Here are a few of the main reasons why roses turn red or pink when they bloom:
There are different types of pigments that cause rose petals to be red, orange, yellow, and even purple!
These pigments are anthocyanins.
These pigments are what give fruits and vegetables their rich and vibrant colors, too!
They are antioxidants and they have a number of health benefits.
They help the plants which produce them survive in harsh environmental conditions like extreme temperature variations, drought, and lack of nutrients.
Is It Just The Rose Petals That Change Color?
Nope! The entire flower changes color. As the flower gets closer to blooming, it starts to change. The green sepals get lighter and turn a pale yellow. Then, they begin to curl inwards. This is when the buds are just about to bloom! Next, the petals start to form and they get a puffy appearance. As this happens, the white sepals begin to darken and take on a pinkish hue. Finally, the bud blooms and the rose opens up revealing a rich red color. This is when the rose is at its brightest. Over the course of a few days, the rose will begin to lose its luster and its true color will be revealed. The rose will stay this color until it begins the next blooming cycle where the process repeats itself.
The color of a rose is not permanent and can fade due to many reasons. Roses can even turn colors depending on how you treat them. A few reasons why roses turn different colors are because of sunburn, pests and diseases, nutrient deficiency, soil acidity, or even the type of rose that it is!
That’s why at Everything Roses, our expert growers take all these things into consideration when growing roses. Each rose is hand-picked and given just the right amount of care, love, pest control, and nutrients so that it can reach its fullest potential. That’s why when you order your roses from us, they will be the healthiest and most vibrant that you have ever seen!
How Do You Keep Roses From Changing Color?
So how can you keep your roses from changing color?
There are a few things that you can do:
Sunburn: Give your roses some shade! If they get too much sun, the sepals (the outer petals) can burn and change color.
Diseases: If your roses are getting sick, there’s a good chance that their color will suffer, too. This could be anything from a fungus to a virus. To treat disease, you can mix a 1:1 ratio of milk and water in a spray bottle.
Spray your rose with this mixture twice a day. It should help clear up any diseases that it might have.
Pests: If you see any bugs on your rose, it probably has pests. Both pests and diseases can quickly change the color of your rose, so make sure you treat them quickly! Our Rose Rx is a great treatment.
It soothes the roses’ appearance while getting rid of any pests or diseases that could be effecting its appearance.
Nutrients: If your rose isn’t getting enough nutrients, it will start to show. Most nutrients come from the soil, so if it doesn’t have enough, it will start to become discolored. To fix this, you can add some fertilizer to its water.
A good, all-around fertilizer ischidolic potassium fertilizer. Add ½ a teaspoon to each gallon of water that you give your rose.
Acidity: Roses like their soil on the acidic side. If the soil is too alkaline, it can change the appearance of the rose. To fix this, add an acidic nutrient like apple cider vinegar to the soil.
Use at a rate of ½ a cup per every 5 gallons of soil.
Type: Some roses just aren’t meant to be red. There are many types of roses out there and each one has their own color. No matter what you do, a yellow rose is probably never going to be a dark crimson red.
What Makes Our Roses So Different?
At Everything Roses, we pride ourselves on our roses. Each rose that we sell has been hand-picked by our team of growers. They know the perfect growing conditions for each type of rose and will pick them at the perfect time to ensure that they will have the richest color possible.
Once they are picked, they will be shipped to your front door! Here at Everything Roses, we have many repeat customers who order our roses for their weddings and special events. We treat each rose like it was our own and know that you’ll be satisfied with the quality of our roses.
How Do You Preserve Roses So They Don’t Change Color?
If you want to make sure your rose maintains its color, simply put it in a cool place. A basement usually does the trick. If you want to make it really fancy, you could even buy a fancy cooler or bucket to keep it in.
Remember to keep the rose in full sunlight. This is crucial for it to maintain its color!
Does The Weather Affect Roses?
The weather definitely affects the color of the rose. The hotter and sunnier it is, the more likely your rose is going to experience sunburn. This will cause the rose to lose its color.
On the flip side, if it’s too cold, the rose will change color due to the chlorophyll building up in its petals. You want to keep it in a nice, cool environment where it can stay at a nice temperature and stay hydrated!
What Other Types of Flowers Do You Have?
Here at Everything Roses, we have all types of flowers. You want it, we got it. Check out some of our other flowers below!
Sources & references used in this article:
The biology and main causes of changes in numbers of the rose aphid, Macrosiphum rosae (L.), on cultivated roses in South Australia. by DA Maelzer – Australian Journal of Zoology, 1977 – CSIRO
Rose (Rosa spp.) genetic resources of Lake Van basin, Turkey: endangered antic roses of old Van gardens by Ş Alp, M Koyuncu – Genetic resources and crop evolution, 2010 – Springer
Color and phenolic content changes during flower development in groundcover rose by V Schmitzer, R Veberic, G Osterc… – Journal of the American …, 2010 – journals.ashs.org
Van Gogh’s Irises and Roses: the contribution of chemical analyses and imaging to the assessment of color changes in the red lake pigments by SA Centeno, C Hale, F Carò, A Cesaratto… – Heritage Science, 2017 – Springer