Watering Your Roses
December 21, 2008
Rose plants typically need a lot of water. They can withstand a lot of problems as long as the water supply is steady and plentiful. The key to watering them is to get the water down deep enough into the soil to benefit the roots. To make sure that the water has time to sink down into the roots before it evaporates, the watering should be done to maximize the length of time it spends in the soil.
The roses will need more water during hot weather because the moisture will dissipate faster. To keep the water from dissipating as quickly in any weather, water your roses at night rather than during the day. Even when it rains steadily, it will probably not be enough to keep your roses happy. They will need extra watering just like during drier times.
Concentrate your watering efforts on the soil rather than on the plants themselves. Watering them directly too often can lead to fungal growths on the plants. Use mulch around the plants in order to help keep the ground moist. This will keep water concentrated underground and will make it less necessary to get the flowers or canes wet.
If you are using mulch around the soil to keep in the moisture and you water during cool times, your roses need a minimum of one inch of water each week. If you don’t have mulch or you water during the heat of the day, your roses will likely need more due to more rapid dissipation of the water. If you want to be precise with the amount of water you supply to your roses, use a rain gauge to find out how much water your plants have received from rain during the week. That will give you a better idea about just how dry the soil is and about how long you should water the roses that week.
The roots of a healthy rose plant are quite deep, making it a challenge to get the water deep enough into the soil to benefit them. If they do not receive enough water, not only with the plant be stressed and more prone to disease, it will also stunt the proper growth of the roots. To avoid this, don’t water your roses a little each day. This will result in shallow watering that will not benefit the roots. Shallow watering will cause the roots to grow shallowly and will keep the plants from becoming as established as they could be otherwise. With shallow roots, the plants will be unable to handle any period when the upper soil layer becomes dry.
Instead, do all of your needed watering at once. Choose one day a week to supply all of the irrigation to the roses for that week. That water may be supplemented alter in the week by rain, but if not, the roses will still get the deep moisture that they require. Pay particular attention to any rose plant that has been newly planted. It will not yet have its deep roots and will be more susceptible to damage during a period of dry soil.
This post is a part of 17 posts about Rose Gardening. If you want to start at the beginning you can click on Caring for Roses