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Tips on Watering Roses

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Watering roses properly is one of the keys to growing roses successfully. Proper watering is particularly important during times of drought or high temperatures. Roses generally need one to two inches of water each week, either from rain or other sources.

Here are some simple tips for watering roses with maximum efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Water in the Morning

Water your roses as early as possible in the day. If you water in the middle of the day or in the afternoon, much of the water evaporates before it can reach the roots. If you water in the evening, your roses are at greater risk of developing mildew because the leaves may remain wet for several hours. Standing water on leaves makes the plant susceptible to mildew, insects, pests, and a variety of rose diseases.

Water Deeply

When watering roses, make sure you water at the base of the plant, rather than spraying the foliage and blooms. Roses have extensive, complex root systems, often at a depth of 15 to 18 inches. The water needs to get all the way to the roots. If you do not water deeply, you may encourage the roots to grow close to the soil’s surface, which can result in plants that are less hardy and more prone to damage from harsh winter weather.

Drip irrigation has made correctly watering roses easier than ever. Drip irrigation lets your rose bush absorb water slowly and thoroughly, without wetting the foliage. A dripline usually supplies your rose plants with roughly one to two gallons of water per foot each hour, depending on your water pressure. You can connect your drip irrigation system to a water timer that lets you establish an automatic watering schedule.

Make the Most of the Water

Even if you are properly watering, you want to be sure that they are efficiently using the water by mulching and providing good drainage.

Mulching is a way to help the soil retain its moisture. Good mulch helps prevent water evaporation and provides moisture to the roots of your rose plants. As a bonus, mulch made from organic materials breaks down and adds nutrients to the soil.

While roses need at least one to two inches of water each week to properly thrive, they do not like standing water. Water standing around the roots is an invitation for molds and mildews to infect the plant. Make sure that the rose bed or garden has good drainage so that the soil is moist but free of standing water.

Summary

Even though roses do like a lot of water, it is possible for them to get too much. The easiest and best way to gauge whether your plant is receiving enough water involves simple observation. Are the leaves limp or sagging? If so, your roses probably need more water. Are the leaves yellowed and starting to drop off? This could be a sign that you’re overwatering your roses, and the plant is starved for oxygen.

Updated: November 11, 2012 — 11:48 pm

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