Hot Tips for Rose Bush Care in the Hot Summer Months

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Summer isn't always the best time for rose bushes. As summer progresses many people forgo their normal rose maintenance and care. But remember, with just a few minutes of attention, you'll help your bushes stay beautiful.

Feed. Don't overlook summer feedings with a balanced ratio of NPK or nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Springtime fertilizing gets things growing, but fertilizing on a monthly basis should produce a gorgeous set of new blooms regularly.

Check pH. If off-balance it may interfere with the plant's nutrient absorption. Lean a bit toward acidity (6.5 to 7pH ), adding extra compost to provide balance if your ratio skews sharply either way. Garden lime lowers acid and acidifying fertilizers help balance excess alkalinity. 

Shed the deadheads. Many varieties of roses thrive throughout the hot summer months with a little grooming. Trim old, discolored or wilting blooms from the bush to keep its shape and encourage re-blooming. Prune back to a point where each branch forms a thick, sturdy, solid foundation for new blooms.

Water. Use drip irrigation for the best root system development, allowing the top inch of soil to dry between waterings. Watering often, at surface level, just leads to the need to continue doing so, since shallow root systems are formed. Soakers keep leaves dry to preventing fungus and clay soil hardening, which blocks water penetration. Mulch helps retain enough moisture to prevent caking. 

Deal with disease. Fungi present problems where humidity, rain, dew or fog are common. Shade or crowded planting also trap moisture. Watering at the roots and removing dead leaves helps. Treat any fungus early with organic fungicide.

Attack infestations. Thrips ruin yellow and white flowers primarily, while mites concentrate on browning the foliage. Wash aphids and mites away; pick off or trap beetles.Use a spray of organic pest control if needed.

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