Roses Are Plants Too!

Hot Weather Rose Tips

Alfred Sisley, One of the Impressionist Series of roses from Delbard
Alfred Sisley.  One of the Impressionist Series of roses from Delbard.
Photo/Illustration: Paul Zimmerman Roses

Hot Weather Tips

In watching the Weather Channel this morning I see most of the country is going to be HOT this week.  Even up into the hundreds in places where that rarely happens.  During heat like this there are a few things you can do for your roses they will appreciate.

Water.  I know this seems like a no-brainer but we forget sometimes to perhaps water a little more during the heat.  Particularly if it involves a garden hose where we are the ones standing out there doing the watering!

But should we automatically start watering more during heat?  Not necessarily so.  Don’t assume your roses need more water, because some things might actually mean less watering is in order.  High humidity is one.  The roses will bring in some moisture through their leaves if the humidity is up there to steam room like levels.  So more water to their roots might be overkill.

Roses also shut down when it gets real hot.  It’s a self defense mechanism they use to get through both hot and drier spells.  Shutting down means they don’t need as much food and water to survive.  It’s actually very similar to their winter dormant period.

The best thing to do is keep an eye on your roses.  If they look a little droopy then hit them with some more water.  If they aren’t droopy leave them alone.

Don’t worry if you see a few more yellow leaves than normal during hot weather.  Plants lose moisture through their leaves if the humidity isn’t high, and shedding a few leaves simply means less moisture is lost.

And lastly give your roses a bath with overhead watering to wash the leaves and cool them down.  I know, I know, every book says not to do this.  When encountered with this logic I always respond by asking, “What do you do when it rains?  Go outside and stand over them with an umbrella?

I figure if Mother Nature thinks it’s okay to overhead water roses then who am I to say it isn’t.

And remember to water yourself too!

View Comments


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  3. valleygardener 07/09/2010

    I have enjoyed your blog articles on roses. Even though I have grown roses for almost 30 years, I always appreciate new information plus reminders to keep me on top of making my roses look their best. Thanks.

  4. PFZimmerman 07/10/2010

    Valleygardener. Thank you for the kind words and I'm glad you are finding the information useful. If you have anything you'd like to see me write about feel free to make suggestions.


  5. kleep 07/12/2010

    I would never plant roses because of the extra care that was needed. Then Knockouts became so popular. I was told Knockouts were disease resisitant and took no extra care. I planted Knockouts both in back and front yard. I have 7 around my maple tree in front; they did great last year-beutiful plants beautiful flowers! Cut them back last fall. One bush died over the winter and I replaced it this spring. Now I have three bushes that seem to have "black spot"-one bush is almost leafless, two have started turning yellow and are losing their leaves. I have a sprinkler system that waters overhead (and did last year, too).
    I would not have planted the Knockouts had I known they were as bad as the normal roses. I can't change the sprinkler because it is a perimeter sprinkler in that area. I used a spray for black spot but continue to lose leaves. Help please!

  6. PFZimmerman 07/12/2010

    How often are the Knockouts being watered and for how long does the sprinkler run? You also mentioned the roses are around a maple tree. Are they in full sun or in shade? How much rain do you get.

  7. ddejean 07/12/2010

    Thank you for your tip on summer care

  8. elizabethFL 07/25/2010

    kleep: The only thing you can do about black spot is to avoid moisture on the leaves, cut the leaves with black spot, and if it's really bad, I cut the whole stem back to the point of healthy leaves. I tried sprays, but they just gave them more black spot. When your cutting the leaves, be careful not to let them touch the healthy parts of the plant, as the mold spreads REALLY easily. If you cant get rid of your sprinkler, then perhaps you should transplant the rose and put something that likes moisture in that particular spot, instead. I live in northern new jersey and have nine different varieties of rose, and am constantly fighting black spot. It's the bane of my existence.

  9. grizmom3 07/27/2010

    Back again Paul. Really appreciate your wisdom of roses as I have several people I do landscaping for and your info has helped me to reassure them that their roses are fine. Thank you so very much!

  10. grizmom3 07/30/2010

    I would like to know your opinion on Hybrid Teas. I live in southern IN and find them to be a pain...for various reasons.


  11. ggcarroll 08/09/2012

    This is my first season growing roses. I've been watching four buds with anticipation. They hardly bloomed, never really opened and then dried out. It has been hot here in Northern California. Do I need to water more? Less? Help!

  12. PFZimmerman 08/10/2012

    How much are you watering now? Keep in mind roses can actually go dormant during hot, dry weather and you may be seeing that.

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