Roses are popular plants in flower gardens all over the country. For the best results, roses need some extra TLC in the summer to ensure they stay healthy and productive.
Rose bushes need plenty of water during hot, dry weather. How much water depends upon weather conditions and soil type, but for most conditions deep watering every could weeks should be sufficient. Soak the soil to a depth of about 12 inches, and be sure to water the soil, not the foliage, to prevent spreading diseases. Use 2 to 4 inches of mulch around the base of the plants to help keep the moisture in.
To encourage healthy growth and abundant blooms, roses should be fertilized three times a year—first in spring, then after the first blooms, then again in mid-July. Do not fertilize too late in summer because the fertilizer may encourage growth that will not make it through winter. Use a general purpose fertilizer, such as 5-10-5 or 10-10-10, and water thoroughly after fertilization.
It is necessary to deadhead, or remove old flowers, to conserve the plant’s energy and encourage blooming. For newly planted roses, remove the faded flower above the uppermost 3-leaflet leaf. Removing too much foliage can weaken the young plant. For established roses, cut the stem above the first a 5-leaflet leaf. Use sharp tools and cut at an angle.
Be vigilant through the summer months to control pests and disease. Apply combination sprays, which include insecticide and fungicides, before symptoms are visible. Spray both sides of the leaves for best results.