Roses are dreamy additions to any garden landscape, filling the air with intoxicating bloom fragrances and inviting flowers. Once rose bushes have been planted, tended to, and are blooming magnificently, it is easy to assume that they will continue with vigor all summer long.
However, summer can throw us some curveballs where the weather is concerned, and that can wreak havoc on these prolific bloomers. So, how do you care for your beloved roses as extreme heat, excessive rainfall, drought, or overwhelming humidity bears down on your region?
Midsummer care and maintenance are vital to keeping your roses healthy, vigorous, and continuously blooming. Check out our summer rose care tips and tricks that will keep your roses thriving under even the most extreme summer conditions.
Summer Rose Care in Extreme Heat
Rose bushes crave the sun, but midsummer’s extreme heat conditions and drought can put a tremendous amount of stress on these blooming treasures. Keeping rose bushes healthy throughout the summer requires some specific summer rose care and maintenance, which can often be overlooked.
Many rose bush varieties will cease blooming when they are enduring heat stress. Still, you can keep your roses performing at peak levels with the proper summer rose care regimen that includes watering, pruning, and sun protection.
How To Water Roses in the Summer
Roses do best when watered deeply and steadily with time in between for roots to dry and take in air. Deeper watering promotes more profound root development and hardier plants that are more drought-tolerant. Shallow root systems are established when rose plants are watered lightly and fairly often and create rose bushes that are dependent on consistent watering.
Keep the following watering tips in mind as you provide summer rose care to your garden:
- Water roses bushes steadily over a more extended period by using a drip irrigation system. This is a great way to conserve water, get the water where it needs to go, keeps foliage dry, and reduces runoff.
- Mulching your garden and rose bushes well in the summertime helps retain moisture, decreases water lost to evaporation, regulates root temperatures, and prevents soil from drying out.
- If you do your watering with a hose or sprinkler, do your watering during the morning hours so that the leaves will have ample drying time before the evening sets in.
- Be sure to keep roses watered deeply but not soaked. Be sure that your planting area includes well-draining soil.
- Amend your soil with organic material to create pockets in the soil that allow air and water to penetrate more deeply. This will help the plant develop a strong root structure that enables the roses to grow lush and hearty.
**As always, if there are summer watering restrictions in your region, adhere to those regulations strictly.
Pruning Rose Bushes in Summer
We all hope that our rose varieties will bloom for us all summer long. By deadheading roses rather than permitting them to grow seed hips, you are beckoning your rose bushes to continue producing blooms. Cutting back spent blooms is essential for optimal bloom production.
Use these general pruning guidelines for summer rose care:
- Wear long sleeves and sturdy garden gloves to protect your body from thorns.
- Deadhead your rose bushes. Cut spent blooms ½” above the first set of five leaves on the branch behind the bloom head.
- Trim away any dead stalks. If you are unsure if a branch is dead, cut into the top of the branch. If it is brown throughout instead of healthy green, it needs pruning.
- Make your cuts at 45-degree angles, ensuring that you cut the angle away from the bud so the rain will glide down the edge of the branch like a slide and not lead the water into the bud, leading to blossom rot.
Protecting Roses From Extreme Heat
Provide some relief from the extreme heat by setting up some opportunities for shade cover during the most heat-intensive portions of the day. Consider using shade cloth or setting up a porch umbrella to provide a reprieve for optimal summer rose care.
Dealing with Excessive Rain and Humidity
While some regions contend with extreme heat and drought during the summer months, others may be combatting excessive rainfall and unyielding humidity. Such conditions can wreak havoc on rose bushes and their glorious bloom cycles.
Preventing Rose Bush Diseases
When leaves of rose plants remain wet for long periods of time, they can succumb to fungal diseases. Vigilance is key when gardening in excessive rain and humidity. Monitor your rose bushes for signs of distress and disease daily. The earlier that you can spot some of these problems, the more swiftly you can combat the problem.
Some of the most prominent fungal diseases to look out for are:
Tips for Keeping Rose Bush Diseases at Bay
When persistent rain and high humidity levels are in the forecast, there is nothing that you can do to change it. However, there are some summer rose care tactics that you can implement to help your roses perform at their best given the circumstances and to keep them from being plagued with disease until the storms pass and you see the sun again.
- Avoid growing roses in low spots in the yard where water tends to pool. Standing water can create susceptibility to disease, fungi, and root rot.
- Make sure roses are planted in a sunny spot.
- Monitor the rainfall in your area, only watering if soil is dry. Water in the mornings, preferably practicing soil watering rather than watering leaves. Both of these practices will keep leaves from becoming oversaturated and prone to fungal diseases.
- Heavy, persistent rain can tear foliage, break bloom heads, and damaged limbs. Prune away damaged blooms and canes with clean, sharp pruning shears.
- Leave as many healthy leaves as possible in order to reduce plant stress.
- Cutaway damaged rose canes down to a healthy portion of the branch.
- Dispose of any diseased foliage completely and far away from the rose bushes.
- Treat leaves with an organic fungicide where fungal disease presents itself.
Heat & Humidity Tolerant Rose Varieties
Looking for some hardy bloomers that don’t mind the heat and humidity? Check out some of our favorite varieties that promise to bloom throughout the summer and into the fall, despite the extreme weather conditions that summer can bring.
- ‘Cherry Parfait Grandiflora’
- ‘Lady of Shallot’
- ‘Rainbow Sorbet’
- ‘Carefree Wonder’
- ‘Black Cherry Floribunda’