Both unusual and beautiful, purple roses have long been associated with royalty and wealth. Today, these beautiful flowers remain a popular choice for special occasions such as weddings, or as a gift for someone special. In fact, they say that to give someone a bouquet of purple roses is to send the message that you are willing to give them the world.
Purple rose bushes make stunning additions to the garden and home and are easy to grow and care for. Keep reading to learn about the characteristics, history, and different varieties of purple roses, how to grow and look after them, and how to arrange them for bouquets and decorating.
What is a purple rose?
As the name suggests, purple roses are roses that flower in shades of purple, lavender, and lilac. These colors aren’t naturally abundant in the flower kingdom, making purple roses rare and treasured. For breeders and hybridists, they pose a fun and exciting challenge. As gifts and arrangements, they symbolize grandeur, regality, and mysticism.
The history of purple roses
Purple roses were first developed in the 1800s by hybridists, likely accomplished by crossbreeding roses found in China with European roses. Since roses already contained the natural pigments of red, pink, yellow, and orange, it was possible to create different shades of purple through innovative rose breeding. Eventually, lavender, plum, and lilac petal colors also came about.
These glorious blooms were well-received and became exceptionally popular among those seeking the rare blooms colors. Purple roses are still popular today, and more colors exist than ever before.
Characteristics of purple roses
Purple roses are a color hybrid and not a specific breed of rose. The different types of rose shrubs that produce purple blooms will be discussed shortly, but in the meantime, let’s have a brief look at the shades and hues of purple roses.
The color spectrum for purple roses stretches from deep, dark, purple-red to light, airy, lilac. When we refer to purple roses or lavender roses, we generally refer more to blooms that are lighter grey-lilac or pink-lavender in appearance.
Like almost all roses, they are easy enough to care for and require plenty of sun, water, well-draining soil, and regular pruning.
Varieties of purple roses
Several different roses have been created to bear purple blooms. In particular, hybrid teas, climbing roses, shrub roses, Floribunda, Grandiflora, and miniature varieties are good options for growing these lavender delights in your garden, in containers, or in your home.
Purple hybrid tea roses
Hybrid tea roses are the roses most commonly associated with florists and are famous for their long stems, which bear a single large flower. They require some maintenance in terms of pruning but overall they’re not difficult to grow.
Purple hybrid teas are ideal as cut flowers and as feature blooms for bouquets.
Purple climbing roses
Gorgeous climbing roses are known for their tangling canes that grow along trellises, fences, and latticework. Purple varieties give an exceptional and unusual appearance to this kind of rose.
Climbing roses can become large in size and may span areas between 8 and 20 feet.
Purple shrub roses
Shrub roses have a slightly wilder appearance than their long-stemmed and climbing counterparts and are often described as bush-like. In terms of their blooms, variety abounds, and flowers can range from delicate single blooms all the way to “very full” (yes, that’s an actual rose bloom term) bloom giants.
They may produce either single-bud stems or cluster blooms and vary drastically in shape and size.
Purple Floribunda roses
Floribunda roses produce tightly packed blooms in clusters of between 3 – 15 buds per stem. They are smaller than most rose varieties but very dense in their look.
Purple Floribunda roses are charming border or hedge plants and bloom all summer long while also being hardy and low-maintenance.
Purple Grandiflora roses
As the perfect combination of hybrid teas and Floribunda roses, it’s easy to see why purple Grandifloras are a much-loved plant all over the world. These beauties have the stereotypical high center and big bloom of hybrid teas but can grow in clusters like Floribundas.
They are tall plants, growing up to 6 feet, and make stunning additions to any landscape.
Purple miniature roses
Purple mini roses are a must-have if you want to grow roses in containers or even indoors. These magnificent plants have proportionally tiny blooms but mimic their larger rose cousins in look and behavior.
Purple mini roses are downright magical, extremely easy to look after and add an eclectic feel to any space.
Popular varieties of purple roses
If you want to purchase purple rose plants for your home or garden, take a look at the Violet’s Pride, Heirloom, Easy on the Eyes, Arctic Blue, Life’s Little Pleasures, and Lavender Veranda varieties.
When to plant purple roses
The best time to plant purple roses is from late May to early fall. If you purchase plants from a nursery or garden center, the best time for planting is late spring.
As long as you keep your rose shrubs well-watered and pruned, you can plant them anytime in their blooming season.
How to grow purple roses
If you don’t want to purchase an already-grown purple rose bush from a nursery or garden center, there are some methods you can use to grow purple roses yourself.
Growing purple roses using cuttings
The easiest way to grow purple roses is to purchase or request a cutting from a parent plant. Once you have a freshly cut stem, remove the leaves, and dip the end into rooting compound. Insert two-thirds of the stem into good-quality, well-draining soil.
Keep the cuttings away from direct light and make sure the soil stays moist. It can take up to a year for new roots to develop.
It’s best to plant multiple cuttings since there’s no guarantee that they will all take.
Growing purple roses from seeds
Growing roses from seeds can be a long and trying process, but it is possible.
Seeds can be harvested from the purple parent plant roughly four months after seed hips develop. Harvesting is achieved by gently slicing the hips in two and soaking them in a solution of 3% peroxide for twelve to fourteen hours before delicately removing the seeds from the hip pulp.
Plant as many seeds as possible in a tray of moist compost. The tray must be covered with a plastic bag and kept in a refrigerator for up to ten weeks.
Caring for purple rose bushes
Purple, lavender, and lilac roses require the same care as most rose plants.
To successfully care for your rose bushes, select a location where they receive at least six hours of direct per day. They need well-draining soil and plenty of water. When watering, the ground must be drenched and should never be allowed to become bone dry. Water roses at least every 2 to 3 days.
Rosebuds can occasionally be lightly misted to deter pests and moisturize the petals.
The base of purple roses should be covered with a layer of mulch to protect them during the cold fall and winter months. They can also be treated to a helping of fertilizer or plant food after blooming.
Pruning purple roses
Before pruning any plant, make sure your shears are clean and sterilized to minimize the risk of transferring bacteria or diseases. When it comes to roses, always cut stems at a 45-degree angle above outward-facing buds. This will help to encourage new growth and maintain the plant’s shape.
Hybrid tea, Floribunda, Grandiflora, and miniature roses should be pruned late in winter or the early spring. Dead branches, crossed and tangled stems, and unshapely or spindly growth can be cut back to make room for the plant to flourish anew. Wait until all threats of frost have passed.
In summer, flowers should be deadheaded throughout the blossoming season to encourage new blooms.
Climbing roses tend to flower on older stems, so pruning should be reserved for summer, when the plant is at the peak of its flowering season. Climbers can be shaped whenever you like.
Repotting and transplanting purple roses
Repotting purple roses
Roses don’t need to be repotted often, but if your plants suddenly experience stunted growth or yellowed leaves, it may be time to freshen them up.
Start the repotting process by cutting back at least half of the plant. This will reduce water and nutrient loss. Gently remove the plant from its pot and cut away any broken or damaged roots. Clean out the pot thoroughly.
Fill half the pot with new good-quality potting mix, place the plant, and fill the remaining space with more potting mix. The soil density in the container should be light but firm.
You can also add a layer of mulch to the pot to prevent the soil from becoming too compacted.
Keep your newly repotted roses away from direct sun for up to a week to give the plant a chance to settle.
Transplanting purple roses from containers
If you are transplanting purple roses from a container into a garden bed, start by digging a hole as deep as the container and at least twice as wide.
Mix the soil you’ve dug up with some compost, plant food, and bone meal. Drench the hole with water and allow it to drain away.
As with repotting, cut back the rose shrub by half. Place the rose in the ground and fill the hole with soil, making the ground is firm but not compacted. Remember to water your roses regularly.
Transplanting purple roses from one bed to another
To transplant a rose bush from one bed to another, it’s critical not to damage the shrub’s root system when removing it from the ground.
Dig up rose bushes by cleanly cutting through roots at a distance of 0.7ft from the plant’s center, using a sterilized spade. Never tug on roses to get them out of the soil, as this can greatly harm the shrub.
After that, the same method for transplanting from containers can be followed.
Creating bouquets and decorating with purple roses
When it comes to creating bouquets with purple roses, there are loads of options, whether you want to create a monochrome look or a multicolored bonanza.
Monochrome bouquets with purple roses
For bold violet hues, consider pairing lilac roses with allium, wisteria, and anemones. For more subtle purples, dried or fresh lavender, purple eucalyptus, and pampas grass make exceptional companions in arrangements.
Multicolored bouquets with purple roses
For multicolored arrangements, purple roses pop beautifully when mixed with alstroemeria, lilies, and vibrant shades of green filler plants.
Decorating with purple roses
Lavender roses are serene and graceful and look incredible when on display for special occasions in the summer or fall. Much of their symbolism is tied to tremendous and instant love and grandeur, making them an excellent choice for weddings.
Where to buy purple rose bushes
Purple rose shrubs can be purchased anywhere roses are sold, locally or online. If you have a specific variety you want to grow, speak with staff at local nurseries or search online for a retailer who carries them.
Where to buy purple rose bouquets
Where to buy gardening supplies
All roses are beautiful, but there is something especially enchanting about purple roses. Indeed, the best thing is that they are so easy to look after, which means they can be enjoyed by amateur gardeners and experts alike.
Are you a devotee of purple roses? If so, which ones are you a fan of? Let us know all about your favorite varieties and the ways you use them in your home in the comments section below!
Excited for more rose content? Then keep reading all about these beautiful flowers, how to take care of them, and more on our roses page!