In most home gardens, roses bloom and provide the most color during the spring and fall months. But during the hot summer months of June, July, and August, rose bushes often do not look their best. Colors may be less vibrant, and blooms may be smaller due to lower petal count. It’s important to provide them with excellent care during the summer, so that they stay healthy and bloom again soon.
Watch out for diseases. To promote healthy rose plants and ensure prolific blooming in the fall, make sure to prevent fungal diseases from developing over the summer. Some varieties have moderate to high susceptibility to black spot, such as certain hybrid tea roses, floribunda, and grandiflora species. We suggest (and only sell) roses that have a good disease resistance level, but keeping an eye out for issues is still important. For roses that are more susceptible to diseases, some gardeners spray with a fungicide every couple of weeks. Rose varieties with a lower susceptibility to fungus, such as the popular Knock Out roses, can be sprayed on a less frequent schedule (or, in this area, not at all).
Fertilizer. Apply fertilizer in the spring, but avoid fertilizing your roses during the summer.
Irrigation. It’s particularly important to keep your rose plants well hydrated in the hot summer months. However, avoid overhead watering, because you don’t want the leaves to remain wet for long periods of time. Water plants at the roots, with an underground drip irrigation system. Overhead spray systems are not a good choice for gardens with roses.
Pruning. Roses should not be pruned in July or August, other than removing old flowers as they fade. The exception to this rule is David Austin’s English Roses, which continue to flower during hot months. In this case you need to prune after each flush of flowering. This will maintain the shape of the plant and improve repeat flowering.
Mulch. Add new mulch to retain moisture, or consider using about three inches of pine straw in your rose beds.
Weed control. Clear debris and weeds from flowerbeds during summer months. Since weeds can be a significant problem during the summer, you can use a pre-emergent granular herbicide to control weed growth.
Watch out for pests. Watch out for spider mites and aphids, the main pests that affect rose plants. At the first sign of a problem, give us a call or come visit us. We can recommend a remedy to protect your valuable rose plants from pests.
Roses are far stronger than most people give them credit for, however, practicing good routine maintenance on them will ensure they continue providing you beauty for years to come.