Prepared by Dr. William M. Johnson, Ph.D.
 Galveston County Extension Agent - Horticulture

Question:  Why are my roses more fragrant at certain times?

Answer:  How a particular rose smells often depends on temperature, humidity, and age of the bloom.  The best time to smell your roses is typically during the early morning hours when the temperature is cool.  As the day gets warmer, the fragrance oils start to evaporate.  Pleasantly warm, sunny days with low humidity will bring out the best rose fragrance in the garden.  Roses are often more fragrant during the brief time before a summer storm.  Drought, extreme heat, or very cool days diminish the fragrance of roses.

Fragrance is determined by the concentration of chemicals in the petals of the flower, and how these chemicals interact with each other and the atmosphere.  Oils, resins, alcohols, fatty acids, and phenols all contribute to the character of the scent.  As a general rule, darker-colored roses are more fragrant than white or yellow roses.

The best time to smell your roses is typically during the early morning hours when the temperature is cool.  Roses are often more fragrant during the brief time before a summer storm.
PHOTO CREDIT: William M. Johnson

 

This web site is maintained by Master Gardener Laura Bellmore, under the direction of William M. Johnson, Ph.D., County Extension Agent-Horticulture & Master Gardener Program Coordinator.

All digital photographs are the property of  the Galveston County Master Gardener Association, Inc. (GCMGA) 2002-2010 GCMGA - All Rights Reserved.