Why do roses have thorns? (+Tips To Remove Thorns Easily)


All roses have thorns, but have you’ve ever wondered why? and is it actually thorns or something else? Read this article and get wiser on the above.

First of all to make it clear. Roses do not have thorns, but they have prickles. A thorn is a modified leaf stem or even parts of leaves, while prickles will always grow from the epidermis or cortex.

It’s, therefore, wrong to say that roses have thorns. However, now that you know that roses don’t have thorns but prickles let’s try to dive into what the purpose of prickles actually are on a rose and how you can remove those prickles or if you even should remove them.

What is the purpose of thorns on roses?

The prickles or thorns as many called them on roses are the roses’ best defense mechanism to keep away predators or any other animal that may want to come in contact with the rose.

It’s a necessary mechanism for the roses to have – even though they might be ugly, they are effective to defend themselves against attacks.

Humans, animals, and insects tend to get stuck by a thorn and it shows you how strong nature is to protect itself from attacks.

However, If you have to pick a rose, be careful or use gloves to avoid being stung by the sharp thorns from the rose as little as possible.

Roses are healthy and tasty plant according to deer and they love to eat the roses even though there are prickles on them.

Sometimes you can expect to see the prickles in some bright colors, which is a sign from the roses telling people and other animals, that they should stay away from the plant and that they don’t want their flowers stolen.

What is the easiest way to remove thorns from roses?


If you have roses in your garden or working as a florist or something completely third where roses are involved, then you’ll need to know that there are a lot of ways you can handle the thorns or pickles at a rose.

For small jobs, a pair of thick garden gloves and scissors will be a big help for a start to getting thorns from a rose removed.

Start by cutting off the prickly part of the thorn alone if possible and if it’s not enough, you can try to continue trying to get to the base for a cleaner cut.

If you have some bigger jobs involving roses and want to cut off the prickly part, we would recommend you to use a thorn cutter/stripper.

You just have to be careful that you don’t damage the stem when you pull and remove the thorn away from the roses.

Either way of those two methods you use, you will end up with a much safer stem to work with from here and especially if you are a florist – It’s a great tip you can use daily.

You might be sitting and thinking:

Should I remove the thorns from all my roses?

It is certainly not something that you need to do, but some prefer to have the prickly thorns removed from their roses, while others want to keep them as they are.

Do roses have thorns to get blood?

Answer: Roses don’t have thorns or pickles to get blood. As mentioned earlier in this article a rose has it as a defense mechanism to keep away predators, insects, and other animals.

However, roses actually like blood and other plants as well, because blood contains three macronutrients that plants thrive on. The three macronutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which will all be found in the blood.

It’s interesting that you can help your roses or tomato plants with growing by fertilizing them with quite a bit of blood. It’s really easy to over-fertilize plants, so try to avoid this by only using a few drops of blood once a month on your rose or other plants in your garden.

Try always to make sure you have diluted the blood to not overbear the plant, but instead ensure absorption.

If you don’t have your own garden you can try walking around in your own neighborhood and in the local countryside, to see if you can find a small part with the soil you can use to try test it out.

Pick a spot and if you have a shovel with you, dig a small hole to pour the blood in the whole and after cover it over.

Then after 1 month try to go back to the same spot and see if anything has happened and you’ll know if it’s something you want to use in your garden and on your plants going forward.

Can roses live without thorns?

If you don’t have in mind using a lot of hours pulling thorns off altogether, it might be a piece of great information that it’s not all roses, which contain thorns or prickles.

Today, there are more than 100 different varieties of roses and they will all differ in both fragrance, color, and if they have thorns or not.

Some of the varieties of roses without thorns are the Thornless Climbing Rose and the Grandiflora Rose. Some varieties of roses might look like they are complete without thorns or prickles, but you will notice them when you look at them up close.

The thornless roses can be planted everywhere around your garden and you will be able to pick them up from your garden with no worries because they are safe to touch and have no thorns on them.

In other words, roses can definitely live without thorns. You may have already seen a rose without thorns or prickles, without noticing it or thinking about it.

Final Thoughts

Roses don’t have thorns but have prickles, which are still sticky as we all know, but the prickles will always grow out from the cortex or epidermis on the rose.

The prickles on a rose are a necessary mechanism for the rose to have, to be able to defend itself against attacks from animals or insects.

It’s important to use a pair of garden gloves if you have to remove prickles from a rose and a scissor. The prickles are sticky so try to pick a thick pair of garden gloves, otherwise, you will be stung. However, if it’s bigger jobs involving roses and not just 1-2, it’s recommended to use a thorn cutter.

There are more than 100 different kinds of roses and some of the varieties have no prickles on them – meaning that a rose can definitely live without any prickles.

Do you which roses have 7 leaves? Read more here