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Take care of roses during the summer

Summer is not the most enjoyable time to work in the yard but roses need attention to ensure good performance and bloom through the summer and into fall.

Roses will benefit from disease management and irrigation during periods of drought. Typically, roses need three-quarter to 1 inch of irrigation weekly when rainfall is lacking.

Late-summer pruning is recommended for rose varieties such as hybrid tea, floribunda. Grandiflora and shrub roses. August to early September is the best time to prune and should be less severe than done in February. For now — remove or ‘deadhead’ old flowers as they fade. 

Here are some other rose care recommendations for summer:

• Watch roses for insects and mites. Spider mites, aphids and cucumber beetles are the main problem insects on roses.

• Clear debris from rose beds and pull any weeds that may be present.

• Add fresh mulch if you didn’t earlier in the spring.

• Continue a preventative fungicide spray program for blackspot control. Treatment depends on the kind of roses you have. Roses have varying degrees of blackspot susceptibility. Spray on a 10–14 day schedule if blackspot issues exist.

• Spread a light application of slow-release fertilizer when pruning is completed in late summer.

Roses are a wonderful addition to any garden. They will bloom from late spring until frost.  Best of all — cut them regularly and tuck them into vases indoors. Share them with your friends and neighbors. With just a little attention they give back in so many ways.

Rebecca Bates is an MSU Extension-Lincoln County agent, and can be reached at 601-835-3460 or by e-mail at rebecca.bates@msstate.edu.