Springtime is a time greatly anticipated by many gardeners. It is when they attend to their precious roses by plantings, trimmings and soil preparation. Wise gardeners practice safe habits to keep from accidental rose thorn punctures. Well cared for roses continue to bloom throughout the summer and into autumn leaving almost a full year to take in their beauty and lovely scent.
Rose thorn punctures are common. Anyone handling a the sweet scented flower has the chance of getting pricked by a thorn. While protection, such as gardening gloves, do exist, sometimes the stem’s sharp barb will penetrate the fabric and puncture skin. If this happens, remove any thorn, dirt or debris and thoroughly clean the skin. Then use an antibacterial cream, or ointment, and if needed, cover with a bandage, or gauze to keep dirt from getting into the wound.
This may be all that is needed to make sure a safe and speedy recovery. If redness deepens, the area becomes abnormally painful, pus filled, or shows signs of watery drainage the injured person should immediately seek medical attention. Never ignore infections from rose thorn punctures as they can lead to complications later. Also visit a doctor for allergic reactions, rash, blisters, boils and hives after coming into contact with a rose thorn.
Some roses show no visible sign of fungus, but can still spread it to humans through rose thorn punctures. One such fungus is called Sporothrix Schenckii, which is present in the soil and compost. Sporothrichosis, otherwise known as Rose Handler’s Disease, spreads over the skin causing infection and lesions that irrupt, cause pus and drain. In severe, also rare, cases Sporothrichosis can infect the lungs, bones, and central nervous system. Such cases need hospital stays, though this is very uncommon. Normally, a doctor prescribes antifungal drugs to help fight off the infection.
There are roses that have little to no thorns at all. A “Softee” is a gorgeous shrub rose that grows without thorns. Other thornless shrub roses include James Galaway with lovely pink blossoms, the White Lady Banks, and Belinda’s Dream. The dark crimson Violette, Berries ‘n Cream, and the fragrant Aimee Vibert are among the many thornless climbing roses available today. The Pacific Serenade is a miniature thornless rose with deep yellow blooms that works wonderful as a small container plant.
Regardless of what type of rose is grown, gardeners should wear heavy leather gloves to avoid rose thorn punctures while gardening. Be watchful of the thorns when choosing the perfect rose for your partner come Valentine’s day, or any other “I love you” moment.