Selection of rose for planting and transplanting to cutoff in greenhouse is a long and expensive process lasting weeks and even months. Preparation for transplanting should be started 2 years before. Selection is very considerable investment for future (4-6 years). Therefore, mistakes are not acceptable as they lead to unprofitable outcome. Choice of sorts is important issue for owners, agronomists, sales managers. Oleg Khamko, the owner of rose wholesale business, former chief commercial officer of Victoria, rose greenhouse, shares experience and gives advice how to select rose sorts.
There is a lack of high red roses on Ukrainian market in summer. All greenhouses face this problem. Maximum rose size is 50-60 cm in late June. Because of sunlight shortage at day time and low temperature at night, growers need to turn on lower heating. This causes decrease of cutoff volume of all sorts and sizes. White rose prevails on market. There is a small offer of Avalanche, Grand Prix (80-90 cm).
On Russian market red rose (Red Naomi) prevails, on Ukrainian - Grand Prix. If you plan to transplant rose in the coming days, you should pay attention to tall-growing sorts: Red Desire, Red Eagle, or if there is favorable climate, grow Red Naomi.
If there are no sales, it means that some odd flowers are on the market. While leading such business, the first point is to gain profit from m2 all year round. There is some problem for sales department. It is sales in summer and winter. Thus, it is important to make the right choice of sort for planting and transplanting.
To make the same profit when of surplus period, there are some decisions. The first one involves agreement with other growers to take away 50% of flowers from the market and raise price twice. First of all, you will control market and it will not be glutted, besides, the rose bushes will have some rest if you let receiving part of bushes and limit cutoff.
However, the experience has shown that it is almost impossible to agree with other suppliers. Therefore, you can use the second method. You should consider competitors’ fluctuations and weather forecast for next 2 weeks, analyze the situation and predict harvest for the next 1-2 weeks. Then you make decision whether to decrease twice the price not to take place in fridge and control market situation or to sell flowers under the fixed price.
Minimum 50% and optimal 60% is the area for one-color sorts (white and red). 35-40% is for red rose, the rest is for light sorts. Colored rose is an assortment flower, you should not put a focus on it.
It is not recommended to plant many sorts of Avalance: Candy Avalanche, Perl Avalanche, Sweet Avalanche (10-15% of all). The exception is Peach Avalanche (25-30%).
It is important to have good feedback from customer, wholesaler, distributor, store when selecting a sort. It is necessary to make a list of sorts or even to make a list of colors that are in shortage on the market. Then all together (agronomists, technologists, managers) make a decision what sorts will be transplanted.
Sort selection is a collective decision as for agronomists it is important that a sort is resistant to diseases and growth environment. Economical efficiency and simplicity are important for technologists. For sales department it is important to have good sales.
It is recommended to select tall sorts of roses that will not lower to 70 cm in summer. Also you can play around with grafted rose Roulette of Rosen Tantau company, when 50% of plants are grafted. In summer this rose is tall enough, but in winter when there is bigger demand on short flowers, grafted rose is rather short (40-70 cm shorter). Bella Vita and Dolce Vita of Lex+ company also have shown good results. Some negative results were gained when grafted rose Aqua was grown. The bulb was from 5 cm and the stalk was from 9 cm.
You should consider climate where a sort was growing earlier. Climate difference affects results of one and the same sort production, e.g. in the Netherlands and Russia. In the Netherlands winter temperature is rarely under 0°С, the average summer temperature is 18°С. Therefore, rose is not the same if it is grown in country with climatic conditions when in winter outside temperature is -30°С, in summer it is +50°С outside and +40°С inside greenhouse.
It is expensive to select rose sorts correctly. It is necessary to give certain area in greenhouse for test sorts and plant 6-12 nursery plants that you liked and brought from exhibition. After that watch how the sort grows in different seasons: in spring when there is much sun and greenhouses are not whiten yet, in summer when greenhouses are already whiten and temperature is high, and in winter when there is a lack of sunlight. After analyzing, you will make a collective decision. The sorts exhibited and performed in show-rooms may vary from those that will be grown in your greenhouse. Besides, such flowers may give unexpected effect after 2-3 cutoff, so you should be careful with such exhibited roses not to lose money in future.
If you have already decided what sort to choose, then you should ask your breeder to show you how the flower grows in other greenhouses with alike climate and 2-3-year experience of breeding.
It is important to consider yield of selected sorts. Minimal yield should have not less than 200 flowers for payoff. Also consider that payoff indicated in catalogues can vary from real one this or other way. Besides, in those catalogues the yield also may vary from year to year. For example, in catalogue yield of Avalanche is 260-280 flowers per m2. But in real it is 500 flowers per m2.
Rose tolerance and speed of bud opening of different sorts at high temperature may differ. Sphinx Gold and Swing are the most tolerant to hot climate.
Care activities are very important for rose tolerance. To keep rose, you should cut it off on the early opening stage. If temperature in greenhouse is high, you can make three cuttings a day and put flowers into fridge without packing them. Some roses open very fast even if there are three cuttings a day (Akito).
Interplant Roses (sort base of Dutch company) is the best base for selection of bush roses. You chould have white (Lydia, Snowflake), pink (Gracia), two-colored (Flash Night, Fire Flash, Pink Flash), also creamy sorts for wedding season.
Another important issue is the size of greenhouse. If the area is less than 3-4 ha, then it is better not to grow bush roses. As such sort has low yield (120-140 units per m2. Besides, very costly.
Even if the customer wants to buy this sort, you can buy lacking sorts at auction. It will be more efficient decision.
Rose-spray grows slowly and needs much care. Forming of spray-rose bush is labour-intensive process. You need much time to learn how to grow flowers of such type. The area should be 20% from the whole area. Begin with the simplest sorts (white, pink, self). You will understand and become confident that you can grow it, but with time. Then you can add sorts, for example, Fire Flash.
CIS market has just got used to bush rose, so only florists are interested in peony-type roses. It is not recommended to grow this sort because of its low yield.