Roses are classic additions to any garden, but for the more adventurous, a black rose plant can add a touch of drama among pink and blush tone rose bushes. A true black rose plant is really a very deep, dark red, but from a distance, a plant like Rosa 'Black Prince' (U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 10) looks like its namesake color. Like all rose bushes, growing black rose plants in your garden requires sun, soil and patience.
What Is a Black Rose?
While a black rose flower carries the name, the petals themselves aren't really black. They're usually a very deep red or have a purple tint, more maroon than pure black. The clustering petals of the black rose flower give the appearance of a black hue from a distance and create a striking look when planted with rose bushes in traditional hues of hot pinks and bright reds. A black rose plant like the black prince rose appears as a velvety reddish-purple when in full bloom.
How to Grow Black Roses
Growing a black rose plant from an existing container-grown seedling bush or a dormant bare-root rose bush is the easiest way to start your rose garden. Since all roses come with thorns, protect your hands with gardening gloves when handling your new black rose plant. Choose an area of your garden that receives 5 to 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. The soil must be loose, with drainage away from your black rose bush roots. Overwatering or continuously damp soil will harm your black rose plant.
Bare-root roses must be soaked overnight before planting, while container roses require their roots shaken loose from the tight compact soil before transferring into the ground. Space your black roses apart so they have room to grow in the future. Dig a wide hole of 15 to 18 inches and at least 4 inches deeper than the bottom of the rose roots.
Plant your black rose bush with loose soil and add a fertilizer made specifically for roses when planting. Soak the soil with water. Roses do well with mulch to help them grow, so add mulch or a mound of soil around the base of the plant. Be sure to water your black roses twice a week during the hottest months of the year.
Planting Black Rose Seeds
Propagating a black rose plant from black rose seeds requires a little more patience than planting a seedling. Rose seeds go through a state of cold stratification before any new germination can occur. Depending on the category of your rose, it may be necessary to soak the seeds for 12 to 24 hours and then leave your black rose seeds in a refrigerator for up to 10 days to break the dormancy cycle.
This can also be achieved by planting your black rose plant seeds in shallow seed trays with 3 to 4 inches of rich, moist soil. After the seeds are planted, the seed trays can be covered with plastic wrap or a plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator for 10 to 12 weeks. This imitates the natural process of cold stratification on the seeds. When planting outside in the late summer or fall, the seeds will naturally go through the cold stratification process with the seasons and sprout in spring.
Timeline for Growing From Seeds
A black rose plant can take as long as two to five years to reach full maturity. When growing a black rose bush from seed, expect to see sprouting growth within two to three weeks of exposure to sun and water.
If you plant your black rose seeds in seed trays and refrigerate them for stratification, they'll need a warm environment after refrigeration for the seeds to thrive. Young rose bushes need at least 70-degree weather and five to six hours of full sunlight to grow.
Introduce your seed trays to direct light through an indoor plant light or a hydroponic lighting system, or place them directly in the sunlight. Don't overwater your young seeds and seedlings; this can damage the roots.