August Rose Care

This is the time of year when we despair over our roses.  The Japanese beetles have had their way with them and many blossoms and leaves have been lost.  Thankfully they are on the wane having mated and laid their eggs in the soil  where the grubs will hatch soon to feed on the roots of your lawn.

So what to do now?  The roses are gearing up for their Fall show which will not be nearly as dramatic as the Spring one, but will bring you joy nonetheless.  With continued deadheading and selective pruning you can almost restore the bush to a decent appearance. 

Continue your spraying program and there will be only one more feeding in mid-August and then no more food until next March.  This will support the new growth but still allow the roses to “go to sleep” when the time comes.  If you want to prevent the grubs from becoming new beetles for next year mid-August is the time to put down a grub killer with Dylox in it. 

If we have further dry spells, and you have the capability of watering, they do need a good drink now and then, especially your newly planted bushes.  Speaking of which, the catalogs are now selling roses at reduced prices.  It’s OK to plant them as long as you can water them.  Try to get roses grown on their own roots, called “own root” roses.  I have an own root rose which I thought did not survive the 22 degree frost we had in the spring. So sure was I that I almost dug it up to make room for a new one but something told me to hold off.  Low and behold!  It started to sprout from the base and has had at least 3 blooms so far!