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Summer Care Tips

Watering - Deep and thorough watering cannot be over-emphasized. Plants, like humans, are composed largely of water and cannot function without it. Insufficient watering will stress the plant, making it more susceptible to disease. If your beds are well drained and the soil is sufficiently porous, you cannot over water. Continued, intense heat and windy days in Central Texas demand more water for your roses.


Mulching - Four inches of mulch on the rose beds will help keep soil microbes active and the soil healthy. Maintain a 3 to 4 inch layer of loose mulch over the rose beds throughout the summer, adding more as the mulch decomposes. Pine-bark mulch (not nuggets), shredded oak leaves, pine needles, weed-free hay or grass clippings, compost or combinations of other humus material are all good. The material should not pack down and must permit easy passage of water and air. Mulch conserves moisture, retards weeds, protects feeder roots from heat stress and improves the soil.


Grooming - You should prune throughout the growing season for optimum bloom production and plan growth. As blossoms mature individual florets in a spray can be removed as they deteriorate to maintain the beauty of the display and to make room for the buds yet to open. This is known as grooming.


Whenever you cut faded bloom stems, however, cut down to a portion of the stem that is sturdy enough to carry the weight of a new bloom stem. This is a pruning cut.


Foliage Canopy - During the summer, it is advisable to maintain a healthy canopy of foliage to support continued bloom (via photosynthesis) and to reduce heat stress by shading the soil surface above the root zone. While much of the foliage should be preserved, don't let the plant become overloaded with small, spindly bloom stems. Roses should be lightly pruned throughout the growing season.