Morning watering is ideal so that leaves have a chance to dry off before nightfall – this prevents some types of disease.

Watering should be deep, soaking the roots, and infrequent.

Water delivered at a slow pace can soak into the soil instead of running across the surface. Soaker hoses and drip systems are good tools for delivering water at a slow pace. Water should be on for as long as it takes to completely soak the root zone to 6-12” deep. This could take up to an hour depending on how dry and dense the soil is when watering starts.


Watering Frequency

When rains stop, start monitoring water needs.

For new plantings: water freshly planted roses after planting, whether it’s raining or not. During the rainy season, additional watering is usually not necessary. When temperatures start to rise, and rains slow down, start watering regularly, about once each week. If temperatures are in the 80’s, water twice each week.

For established plantings: when temperatures reach into the 80’s, water once every 10-14 days.


The happiest roses are fertilized. Feed from the first growth in spring until September 1. Organic fertilizers are great for a holistic approach and synthetic fertilizers can be added to give roses some extra oomph. Be sure to follow the directions on the package of any fertilizer you choose.

Please be aware that fertilizers which incorporate systemic insecticides may be a hazard to the health of bees and other pollinators.


Major rose pruning happens around President’s Day in late February.

For all roses – remove dead branches, 1-3 of the oldest canes on established roses all the way to the ground, branches that grow toward the interior of the plant rather than toward the outside, spindly growth and rose hips.

For climbers – follow the above directions. Tie and train any wayward canes to a support system and do not prune low to the ground.

For shrubby types Hybrid Tea, Floribunda, etc. follow the above directions, then prune remaining branches to 12-18”.

See our Rose Pruning page for more information.

Summer Rose Tips

Want your roses to be better than ever? Here are some helpful tips to keep the flowers coming all season.

  • Deadhead your roses. Plants that are allowed to set seeds are less likely to continue blooming, so remove spent flowers. Make cuts just above the first set of five leaves that faces out, away from the center of the plant.
  • Prune out branches that grow toward the center of the plant to allow for good air flow.
  • Fertilize after the first flush of flowers if finished, and follow the directions on your fertilizer of choice.
  • Monitor for diseases. Black spot, rust and powdery mildew proliferate in temperate humid weather, so be on the lookout for these rose nemeses! Pick off leaves at the first sign of infiltration!
  • Spray for diseases if needed. Serenade is an OMRI listed fungicide with a bacteria as the active ingredient that is listed for treatment of black spot, powdery mildew and rust. It will not remove what is present, but it can prevent further damage.
  • Aphids will arrive soon if they haven’t already. Ladybugs are a great insecticide, as are little birds, and often a strong stream of water is enough to knock aphids to the ground. If you choose to spray, insecticidal soap should be sufficient.
  • Mulch the ground under roses. Mulch covers existing spores to prevent them from splashing onto lower leaves, helps to prevent weeds and keeps soil wetter in summer and drier in winter.
  • Water roses in the morning, and try to keep leaves dry. Soaker hoses are your allies in the quest to keep roses looking lush.


All you need to know about caring for roses in the Pacific Northwest.