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Rose Bouquet in Pitcher

Tips For Beautiful Summer Blooms

Roses in vase on counter

Summer Care Tips for Rose Bushes

Guest Blog with Charlotte from the Sierra Foothills Rose Society.

We asked local rosarian, Charlotte, how she cares for roses.
Here are her tips for maintaining rose bushes during the summer.


Water is the most important ingredient for beautiful roses in summer. Roses need deep and consistent irrigation; about five gallons of water per week, or two inches of water per week. If the soil is sandy or the garden is hot, dry, or windy, more frequent watering may be necessary. If some bushes look stressed, check your irrigation. If your bushes are on drip irrigation, adjust water flow to the emitters. Make sure roses are getting water on all sides not just in one place.

Mulching & Deadheading

Mulching your rose bushes saves water by reducing evaporation of water from the soil. Lastly, as the mulch decomposes, it slowly feeds the soil and your roses.

To prompt new flowers, cut off the old ones. For floribundas, miniatures, and carpet roses, cut just below the spent blooms. Hybrid tea roses should be cut where the stem is pencil thick. Thinner stems will not support larger blooms. Instead of deadheading, cut the blooms to bring inside to enjoy.

Planning a big day in your garden? Or just want a flush of blooms? For an impressive late-summer or early fall rose display, cut back spent blooms and fertilize bushes a balanced rose fertilizer six to eight weeks before your target date. Remember to water deeply before feeding.

Pests & Disease

Spider mites love hot, dry weather. Look for leaves that look dry and brittle. The underside will have fine web with itty bitty specks that move (these are mites). The best control is water because mites hate water. Focus on getting the water on the underside of the leaves. Do this daily for 10 days. Mites are unable to climb back up your roses. Water-stressed bushes are the most likely to be attacked and damaged by spider mites. They ride the breeze to infect other plants. Be selective when using pesticides against spider mites; they may actually be helping the mites by eliminating their natural predators. Read more about Integrated Pest Management for spider mites.

Spring fungal diseases—blackspot and mildew—have disappeared with our summer heat. The new leaves will come in clean and the bush will drop dead or infected leaves. Pick up the leaves and petals and toss in the trash can. Maintaining a clean garden reduces the amount of fungal issues in the spring and fall. If your bushes were plagued by fungal disease, consider adding more mulch—fresh wood chips or shredded bark. Remember to place mulch at least four inches away from the base of the plant to avoid rot.
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