Step-by-Step Summer Care for Rose Bushes


Rose bushes come in all sizes--from 8-inch miniatures to 50-foot tree climbers. Roses are grown for cut flowers, landscape color and fragrance. Modern rose varieties live 6 to 10 years without proper care. Summer is the main growing time for rose bushes. Summer care encourages beautiful, productive plants. Vigorous, healthy rose bushes are created by summer care, which makes the plants better able to survive harsh winters.

Step 1

Add water to the soil around the base of the rose bushes whenever the upper 1 to 2 inches of soil is dry. Soak the soil until the water reaches the depth of 1 foot. The soil around the roots needs to be kept damp, but roses do not tolerate standing water. Keep the water off the leaves because this leads to leaf spotting and plant disease.

Step 2

Spread a heaping tbsp. of 12-12-12 complete fertilizer evenly around each rose bush. Scratch the fertilizer into damp soil with a hand cultivator. Feed the rose bushes every 6 weeks starting in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. Apply the season's last feeding in the final week of July.

Step 3

Spread a 3-inch layer of pine straw, leaves, pine bark or wood chip mulch around the roses. Keep the mulch 6 inches away from the stems of the rose bushes. This reduces water evaporation, keeps the roots cool and inhibits weed growth.

Step 4

Cut the rose flowers with a sharp knife. Leave at least two of the five-leaflet leaves on each stem. Do not cut excessively long stems on your rose flower because it weakens the rose bush.

Step 5

Examine the rose bushes for signs of plant disease every two weeks. Spray the top and bottom of the leaves with a liquid fungicide if plant disease attacks your rose bush.

Step 6

Check the rose stems and leaves for insect pests such as aphids and spider mites whenever you water the rose bushes. Spray the rose bushes with an insecticide if your plants become infested.

Tips and Warnings

  • Roses are susceptible to plant disease and insect infestations. The best solution to these problems is to clean the debris and dead leaves from around the roses when preparing the bushes for winter.

Things You'll Need

  • Rose bushes
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Hand cultivator
  • Pine straw mulch
  • Sharp knife
  • Fungicide
  • Insecticide


  • University of Missouri Extension---Roses: Care After Planting
  • Clemson University Extension: Growing Roses
Keywords: step-by-step rose care, rose summer care, rose bush care

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.