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.
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.