Earth Sky Time

In the garden and beyond

Tending roses in high heat and humidity

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clem shryb

‘Clemintina Carbonieri’


I’m sharing tips and recommendations about roses this month because so many are at their best now.

In my last post I extolled the virtues of using Coast of Maine compost to fertilize roses. Since then, it’s been hot and humid with temperatures more than 20 degrees higher than normal for this time of year. And since roses need at least 6-8 hours of direct of sun, what’s the best way to care for them in high heat and humidity?

Water them deeply and daily, if necessary. Roses are thirsty by nature and baking, hot sun only makes them thirstier.

Mulch them with compost, shredded bark or buckwheat hulls. I recommend a layer 2-3 inches thick. Mulching helps the soil retain water and keeps root systems cool and moist.

Hold off on fertilizing roses until somewhat cooler conditions return.  Otherwise, apply an organic fertilizer once a month. In Zone 5, that means April through August and no later.

Note: Clemintina Carbonieri’ does well in high heat and humidity.


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