Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Water Do Roses Need
What is the best way to water?
What type fertilize should I use? (Not Complete)
When should I cut my plants back?(Not Complete)
How Much Should I cut them?(Not Complete)
What is the difference between a patent and non patent rose?(Not Complete)

How Much Water Do Roses Need?

Roses need water to grow to their fullest and to produce large, long-lasting flowers with rich color and excellent substance (thick, sturdy petals). In areas with steady and sufficient rainfall, supplemental watering should not be need. Even in these regions, however, extraordinary conditions may exist. Sometimes it just does not rain deeply or frequently enough for roses to survive and prosper. Sometimes extreme heat or wind evaporates soil moisture and causes leave to transpire excessively. When rainfall or other natural water sources are insufficient, watering is necessary.

Roses need to be watered throughout the period when they are growing or flowering. However, the question how much and how often should I water? has no hard-and-fast answer. Under normal growing conditions, roses need 1inch of water per week, whether from rainfall or other sources. But more or less watering may be needed, depending on the circumstances. The condition of the soil, the temperature, exposure to the elements, and the proximity of other plants may all an affect on the watering requirements of your roses.

For example, sandy soil dries out more quickly than clay or loam and thus needs more frequent watering, perhaps every five days instead of once a week. Gardens in hot, dry, or windy surroundings also need more frequent watering than normal. In areas where the soil is heavy and retains moisture, less frequent watering is necessary; overwatering heavy soil can keep rose roots overly moist, making them prone to root rots.

It is important to water deeply, 12 to 18 inches, but as infrequently possible, to encourage deep roots. In temperate climates a weekly watering is usually sufficient. Roses whose roots grow deeply will be stronger, healthier, and more drought resistant than those with shallow roots. It is also important to water early in the day so that the leaves do not stay wet through the night, as this fosters disease. Thus, if you are using an overhead watering system rather than a drip system water only in the morning. If the soil is heavy, apply water slowly so that it is absorbed rather than running off.

No matter what type of watering system you use, you must be certain that the water is getting down to the roots where it is needed. Using a trowel or a pipe, probe the soil to a depth of 12 to 18 riches, and bring up a column of soil. Do his right after you have finished watering. If the soil is moist to the lower level, you know that you have applied the right amount of water. If it is partly dry, you will need to apply more water for a longer period until your soil can pass the test.

To ensure that you are watering often enough, take another soil probe one week after you have watered. If the soil at the bottom of the probe has completely dried out, you need to water more than once a week. Try watering every five days, and see if the soil passes the test. If it does not pass, reduce the watering frequency until t does. if, however, the soil is still moist at the bottom of the probe when you first test it, an interval of 10 days might be better.

You also need to test how long you should run your watering system. If you are using sprinklers place an empty coffee can halfway between the sprinkler and its outermost reach and note how long it takes for 1 inch of water to collect in the can. You can then determine how long to run

the sprinkler in a given spot to deliver 1 inch of water-assuming that your water pressure is constant. Under normal conditions, it takes about 1 to 1½ hours for an average oscillating sprinkler to deliver an inch of water. You can keep track of the amount of rainfall with a

rain gauge and adjust your watering accordingly. Combining this test with the soil-probe test tells you how long to run the sprinklers and how often to water. If you are using a drip irrigation system, a soil probe is the best way to gauge the proper amount, frequency, and duration of watering.

Adding organic matter such as compost or leaf mold to a sandy soil can help it hold moisture so that watering is not needed as frequently. A mulch of wood chips or other material applied to the top of the soil not only holds moisture but also deters weeds, which are notorious water thieves. If your roses are planted near a large tree or shrub, you may need to compensate by giving the roses extra water; probe the soil around the roses as described above to determine whether more water is needed. Underground barriers will help prevent neighboring plants from stealing water from the roses. In windy areas a windbreak such as a fence or a hedge helps slow evaporation.

One exception to the watering rule is newly planted roses. They should be watered daily for about a week and then every few days until new growth is evident. Then they can be watered in the same way as any other rose in the garden; if they show signs of wilting, you need to keep up the more frequent watering until they become established.

Roses growing in containers require more regular watering than the same plants growing in the ground. Water is quickly depleted from the limited growing space in a container, and can evaporate from the sides of porous pots. In hot or windy locations, container plants may need watering once a day or more, with smaller pots needing more frequent replenishing. Check the medium in the container every day, and water when the top becomes dry, applying water until it runs out of the drainage holes. Use a type of nozzle known as a bubbler or soaker head, which administers water in a soft flow to keep holes from being created in the planting medium. A water wand, which is a long tube with a nozzle at the end, is useful for reaching hanging baskets or out-of-reach containers. Rose can be watered with a watering can, but if you have many plants, this method is time consuming. To help roses survive the winter, make sure that the plants are watered before the soil freezes. if it has not rained in the fall, apply a deep watering before draining the hoses and shutting down the watering system for the winter.

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What is the best way to water?

There are a number of ways to supply water to rosebushes. The most traditional is with hoses and sprinklers, available at garden centers and hardware stores. The equipment for overhead watering with sprinklers is less expensive than that for drip irrigation, but overhead watering takes much more water and can promote fungal disease. Because of increasing concern about water conservation, many people are turning to drip irrigation, which is the most efficient way to water.

Drip irrigation uses less water than overhead watering since the water is applied only to the ground where it can be absorbed by the roots. Drip irrigation also prevents foliage and flowers from getting wet, thus protecting them from diseases and water damage.

There are two major kinds of drip systems: emitters and soaker hoses. An emitter system consists of a rigid main tubing interspersed with small holes from which flexible narrow tubes called emitters extend. The ends of the emitters are capped with small nozzles that emit water in a gentle drip or stream. These are placed wherever there is a plant to be watered; if there are no plants for a stretch of the main tubing, the holes can be plugged. Components of an emitter system can be purchased at garden center or from irrigation supply stores.

An emitter system can be laid on the ground, buried, or hidden beneath a layer of mulch. It is better to bury the system because this keeps the ultraviolet rays of the sun from weakening the plastic hoses and insulates the system from winter freezing. It is also more attractive. In areas with cold winters, an aboveground system should be removed in autumn to prevent it from freezing and cracking. The holes in an emitter nozzle system are very small and can clog easily. To prevent clogging, install a filter at the water source and clean the filter once a month.

Like emitter systems, soaker hoses deliver water directly to the soil at the base of the plant. But unlike them, they exude water through pores or pinholes all along their length instead of at designated locations. The oldest kinds of soaker hoses are made of heavy canvas through which water seeps into the ground. Anther type is made of flat plastic, punctured with pinprick-sized holes every few inches. The newest types are the tubular micropore hoses, which have a sponge like network of tiny holes through which beads of water "sweat" over the surface of the hose. These kinds of hoses are made from white plastic or recycled black rubber tires.

Like emitter systems, soaker hoses can be laid on the ground, but it is best to conceal them under mulch or bury them underground to protect them from the elements and prolong their life. The hoses are twined through the garden in such a way that each plant will receive water.

Roses can be watered with sprinklers or other overhead methods if watering is done in the morning so that the foliage has time to dry out; leaves and canes that stay wet overnight can foster disease. For this and other reasons, it is far better to water with a drip irrigation system or

with soaker hoses. But even if you have a drip irrigation system, occasional overhead watering every several weeks can help rid leaves of dust and spray residue, and can discourage spider mites, which thrive on foliage that is hot and dry.

Many types of sprinklers are available. Some oscillate, throwing water back and forth in a rectangular pattern. Others rotate, spraying water in a circle. A third type is the fixed sprinkler, which has no moving parts, and is usually used for watering small areas. It can be adjusted spray water in a circular, rectangular, or square pattern. The oscillating type is usually better than the rotating kind for large gardens, since its rectangular coverage results in less overlapping and thus less wasted water.

Sprinklers also come in different sizes to cover various square footages. Check packaging for specifications, and choose the sprinkler that best fits the size of your rose garden. Sprinklers are made of plastic or metal; both types work equally well, but the plastic sprinklers are not as likely as the metal sprinklers to corrode. Whichever sprinkler you choose, be sure to position it away from streets and driveways to prevent wasteful runoff. Never use an overhead sprinkler on a windy day, as the wind can waste water by carrying it away or causing it to evaporate before it reaches the ground.

Whatever type of watering system you use, shut it off and drain the lines after the final watering in the autumn. This prevents the water in the lines from freezing, thereby cracking the hoses and tubes.

Hoses, like sprinklers, come in various sizes. You should buy a hose that is long enough to reach across your garden, and preferably 5/8 inch in diameter rather than the less common ½ inch so that it can deliver more water. There are also hoses that are ¾ inch in diameter, but these work well only with very large sprinklers and do not work well unless the water pressure is very high. Hoses are made of plastic or -rubber; those of rubber are less likely to kink, while those of plastic are more flexible. Plastic hoses do not work well in cold areas because they lose their flexibility and are likely to crack. Some hoses are reinforced with an internal mesh that protects them against bursting and kinking.

You can reduce kinking by coiling hoses when not in use. A wall mounted hose hanger or a mobile hose reel makes this job easier. To keep hoses from dragging over low-growing plants, place guide stakes at the comers of the beds or in other strategic positions. Should your hose spring a leak, you can fix it with a repair kit from your garden center or hardware store. Be sure that the kit you buy will fit the diameter of the hose you are using.

Several types of nozzles are also available. Hand held pistol nozzles can deliver water from a hard spray to a fine mist, as can nozzles with twist controls. The hard spray is for knocking aphids and other pests off plants; the intermediate spray is good for general watering;

and the fine mist can be used to raise humidity. Fan shaped nozzles give a wide, coarse spray that is useful for watering small rose beds. Soaker heads are good for watering containers or filling the catch basins of plants. For adding water to the root area of a newly planted rose you need no nozzle at all; simply place the end of the hose into the catch basin around the plant let the water run gently until the basin is full.

Although many gardeners enjoy watering their roses by hand with a hose nozzle, this method is time consumingl and there is a danger that the roses may not receive enough water. However hand watering is sometimes necessary for rose containers yet even for these a drip irrigation system with emitters can be used to water plants easily and quickly. Allow the water to run until it flows out of the drainage holes; with high pressure it should take about five minutes to water containers using this method.

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