How to Save Rain-Damaged Rosebushes


Powerful rain storms will damage even the strongest rosebush. Rain can break stems, shred petals and even change the soil structure around the growing plant. Fortunately, roses tend to be hardy and will rarely die out completely after a storm. Increase the chances of new, healthy growth with some careful pruning and general care. If the forecast in your region is for further heavy downpours, it might be worth waiting until the storm passes before making your repairs.

Step 1

Remove broken and damaged flowers to make way for new growth. A few damaged petals is fine, but cut off hanging or seriously affected roses.

Step 2

Prune damaged canes and stems with pruning shears. Wait until the last frost date of the season if the plant was damaged in winter, according to Ohio State University Extension. Trim stems back until you reach a healthy bud or undamaged leaves. Cut at an angle.

Step 3

Check the soil around the base of the plant. If muc has washed away from the trunk, pile up more garden soil around the plant base for support. Avoid standing on damp soil, as this will compress the ground, ruin drainage or damage roots.

Step 4

Replace any surface fertilizer granules. The rain will wash away any scattered granules. Fertilize in early spring using 5-10-10 fertilizer, according to Ohio State University Extension.

Step 5

Water the rosebush again only when the top few inches of soil around the plant is dry to the touch.

Tips and Warnings

  • Watch out for more slugs and snails after a wet spell.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Spade
  • 5-10-10 fertilizer


  • Free Library: Diagnosis--Rain Damage Save Your Garden After the Storms
  • Ohio State University: Early Spring Is a Good Time to Prune and Fertilize Roses
  • "Telegraph": Rain Damage--Repairing Your Garden
Keywords: rain damaged roses, repair damaged rosebush, rosebush care, repairing rosebushes, saving damages roses

About this Author

Based near London, U.K., Peter Mitchell has been a journalist and copywriter for over eight years. Credits include stories for "The Guardian" and the BBC. Mitchell is an experienced player and coach for basketball and soccer teams, and has written articles on nutrition, health and fitness. He has a First Class Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) from Bristol University.