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We are in the dog days of summer. It is hot in most parts of the country and here in North Carolina it is very hot. For many of us it is a great time to go inside and enjoy the air conditioning or go to the beach and just relax. Our roses do not have those options. They are out in the heat all day long every day trying to bloom for us. There are few things that we can do to make it a little easier on them.
When temperatures reach the 90 degree range it gets uncomfortable for roses and when it gets hotter than that, it is downright miserable for them. It is even tougher when there is very little relief at night. They were not hybridized to deal with that kind of weather and your roses will let you know that they are not happy. You will notice that the blooms are small, there is a longer delay between blooms, the colors are pale or washed out, and the leaves have lost their beautiful shiny green color. These are all signs of heat and they cannot all be fixed, but the damage that heat causes can be limited with a few simple steps.
1. Keep your roses watered – the best way to avoid any issue is to keep your roses healthy. In the heat of summer rose bushes need 5 gallons of water per plant per week or an inch of rain. Well watered bushes will be able to handle any stress better than thirsty ones.
2. Give them an occasional shower – all rose growers know that you want to keep water off the leaves. In times of extreme heat and long dry stretches you may want to bend that rule a little. If there has been no rain for a while you may want to wash your bushes off no more than once a week. This will help to remove accumulated dust and dirt and cool off the leaves a little. Only do this during long dry stretches.
3. Let them relax –don’t push too hard with fertilizer. It is fine for them to have fertilizer at this time but don’t give them a bunch of boosters in an attempt to push them to bloom faster. It is hot and they don’t want to work too hard trying to bloom. If you let them slow down during the summer they will thank you with great health and a bounty of blooms when the weather cools down.
In the sometimes extreme heat of summer remember that people slow down, animals slow down, and plants want to slow down too. Roses are such amazing plants that they will bloom for you throughout the summer, in the heat, and give you lots of buds to enjoy. Keep them well watered and let them bloom at their own pace and your rose bushes will make it through the heat just fine. Once the weather cools down the blooms will get bigger and more vibrant and you and your rose bushes will love to be in your rose garden again.