Saturday, September 11, 2010

Late summer roses

Roses are one of the most drought resistant plants available but when the summer temps get really hot, the flowers are minimal. In late summer and early fall, however, they usually bounce back with blooms that hang on until the first frost. This is especially true for the older roses. The above is "Weeping China Doll", a polyantha rose that is very easy to grow. I grow it as a stand-alone shrub but I've seen it grown as a climber.

To get more fall blooms, trim back roses in mid-summer and continue fertilizing through August. As fall approaches, stop giving roses fertilizer because this will prompt them to put out growth that will be nipped by frost.

"Weeping China Doll" is a very dense, twiggy rose. For a rose like this, I cut it back with hedge shears or the electric trimmer. It sounds brutal but it won't hurt the rose.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy



  1. That is a pretty rose indeed! I luv growing roses they can take a lot and always come back looking their best. Thank's for sharing...."J"

  2. I like your blog's new format. I hope you have not had it long, otherwise I didn't notice until this morning.

  3. Les, I just changed the background and format - Blogger now has a template that makes it really easy.

  4. Great tips about the roses Phillip! Looks like you are having a lovely day there! Here my fingers are freezing. ;>)

  5. I've just noticed exactly what you are saying. After the hottest summer since 1855 here in MA, an old rose shrub + 2 new ones are about the only flowers still going strong (after a midsummer pause).
    Was just yesterday contemplating a purchase of some knock out roses, but didn't get them.

  6. Phillip, Dirt Therapy and roses are synonymous as far as I'm concerned.

    You're garden continues to shine.

    I know there was a pruning experiment done a while back where identical roses were pruned both conventionally and with hedge trimmers, the result being no difference, both performed equally well.

  7. Phillip,
    Great post. A very pretty rose! I like the new blog format.

  8. Roses are awesome. I need to post pictures of mine on my blog.

  9. Roses really do seem to do their best in fall, and yours is a beauty. I was thrilled at how my rose blooms rebounded after the departure of the Japanese beetles, but then the stupid spotted potato beetles started attacking them. It seems like everybody likes to eat roses.