Heat Stress, Water, and Tips to care for roses in heat
Updated: Jun 16, 2022
Are you feeling the heat? Our roses and plants outside are feeling it even more...all day long. Caring for plants this summer seems more challenging as we're dealing with high temperature, lack of rain, and more pests here in Houston this year. You may be hearing/reading an advice to water..water..and water.
Mary rose showing heat stress and dropping leaves
However, don't make the same mistakes that I did. There's a window that you can "safely" water your roses, the right way to water, frequency, and all under high heat.
Hold your hose (and horse). Don't grab a hose and go to town under hot/bright/sunny day and mist/hose your roses in an attempt to cool them down. Water droplets under strong sunlight act like a magnifying glass which helps the sun penetrate and burn your rose leaves. Ouch, burn..burn..burn!
Also if you have noticed that your roses stop making buds/blooms, but other people's roses in the FB group are still blooming abundantly and beautifully, don't fret! There may not be anything wrong with your roses.
Each rose is different. Their roses may not be in full sun all day like yours, the condition/location, feeding schedule , water routine and all. Or they may like this crazy hot weather than yours.
It's completely normal for some roses to stop blooming because they're focusing on staying alive in tough conditions.
Continue to care for them by making sure they get enough water, not too much, not too little (which can be tricky for potted roses). Don't try to heavily fertilize to make them produce flowers. Shift your priority to help them thrive. Some liquid/water soluble fertilizer like fish fertilizer can be used as a supplement, but once again not too much.
I've compiled some articles relating to caring for roses in hot summer months that I found from different sources/referces below:
Q: Heat Damage and Heat Tolerance in Roses explained
A: more info here
Q: How to indentify if my roses have heat stress?
A: see more details from American Rose Society
Q: Should we automatically start watering more during heat
A: Not neccessarily see more info
Q: Tips for watering? How much? How often do roses need water? When?
This Summer Care Tips video from Paul Zimmerman is also very helplful. Great info about layering with rich compost between your soil and mulch. This was what I did before applying mulch. I added a compost first then mulch. His video will clearly explain the benefits of that as well as what type of mulch to use (pine, hardwood or etc).
Last but not least, don't forget to put sunscreen on yourself, grab a hat, try to water early in the morning if you can. If not, do it in the evening but avoid wetting the leaves.
My June Garden Tour showing one side of the garden
I went through my photos in Google and found several that never got to post so I'm starting a " What's blooming series which will showcase what roses are blooming each month with name under each photo. I'll start with April and catch up to current month soon. See what's blooming in April here.