July - August
Summertime gardening in the Lowcountry is not easy. We have to ease ourselves and our roses through the heat and humidity while we prepare for the glorious fall season just ahead.
Your roses will continue to bloom happily in the garden, even though their flowers are smaller and less full than in cool weather.
- Frequent watering during hot, dry weather is essential for healthy roses. Roses need to be watered daily when temperatures are in the 90s. Roses grown in pots may need more frequent watering.
- Spraying on a routine basis is essential for preventing blackspot and fungus diseases.
- Fertilize with light, but frequent feedings.
- Apply organics for the final time in August at the rate of 2-3 cups per bush.
- Deadhead your roses to keep them blooming.
- Keep an eye out for spider mites. They thrive in hot weather and will quickly defoliate rose bushes unless you take immediate corrective actions.
- Cut your roses back in late August - early September to produce big, beautiful fall blooms - for yourself and for taking to the fall rose shows.
- Trim away stems and branches growing toward the center of the bush to improve air circulation and reduce the potential for spider mites to gain a foothold in your garden.
- If you are planning to exhibit in fall shows, you will need to stagger pruning long canes over a a couple of weeks, considering recycling times for the various varieties:
- Slow Recycling Varieties: 55 to 60 days for heavily petalled varieties such as Uncle Joe, New Zealand and Touch of Class.
- Medium Slow Varieties: 50 to 54 days for varieties such as Crystalline, Elizabeth Taylor, Peace, and Olympiad.
- Average Varieties: 45 to 49 days for varieties such as Color Magic, Double Delight, Gold Medal, Nicole, French Lace and some heavily petalled miniatures.
- Fast Varieties: 40 to 44 days for varieties such as Altissimo, First Prize, Fragrant Cloud, and large minis such as Giggles, Tiffany Lynn and Miss Flippins.
- Very Fast Varieties: 35 to 39 days for singles such as Dainty Bess, Playboy, Playgirl and single minis.
Warm, sunny days and cool nights make our roses blooms larger and more brilliantly colored.
Water deeply, often and well. If your plan to exhibit or showcase your blooms in other ways, water daily as this will increase the substance of your blooms.
- Fertilize with water-soluble fertilizers until the end of September. Some use a bloom booster formula (one with a high middle number) to get larger blooms of intense color. Discontinue fertilizers from October through mid-March.
- Continue your spray program to keep leaves free of blackspot and mildew.
- Continue to cut roses for bouquets through the end of October. Some growers prefer to let rose hips form by removing only the petals of spent roses. This signals the plants that the dormant season is coming. The plants sense this as the days become cooler and shorter.
- Start thinking about new roses for the coming year and prepare your Christmas wish list. Send for catalogs and order your roses now to get the best selection.
November - December
We give thanks for our rewarding hobby and the joy it has given us.
- Resist the temptation to prune the roses! Novice growers often make this mistake. Do not prune now. Do not deadhead, and do not feed your roses. Let nature take its course, which will lead into dormancy. Pruning in the Lowcountry should be done toward the end of winter.
- Continue to water your roses. Roses need water throughout the year. They will survive the winter better if properly hydrated. Stick your finger down into the soil about 5 inches. If it is dry, it's time to water.
- Continue to spray once a month for black spot. Be on the alert for spider mites and aphids through November. Take care of these trouble spots when you see them.
- Practice good sanitation in the garden. Pick off diseased leaves and rake up fallen leaves in the rose beds and destroy. Your beds will look neater and disease-laden spores will not be there to multiply and resurface next year.
- Prepare new rose holes a or rose beds now. Let the holes mellow over winter and be ready to receive new plants next year.
- Roses can be successfully transplanted from one location to another while dormant. Wait until we have had several killing frosts to move your roses - probably late December or early January.
- It is a perfect time to winter protect delicate varieties. Pile mulch and leaves around the crowns of roses such as St. Patrick, Color Magic, Oklahoma and Signature, which are more tender than most HTs.