We love to watch the seasons change here in South Florida. The changes are subtle, but if you look closely you’ll notice that there are a lot more parking spaces at Publix, the temperature is rising and the afternoon showers are constant. Our long hot, humid Tropical South Florida summers often result in our roses becoming stressed from too much water, wind and heat.
We thought you’d be interested in the summer rose care program we use at Cool Roses:
In May we apply a granular systemic insecticide and start our summer fertilizer program which keeps the plants nice and green but discourages new growth. In addition to less nitrogen on the roses, which slows their growth, we stop deadheading.
The goal is to keep lots of mature green leaves on your plants. They help cool your roses in the brutal heat of the summer as well as help remove the extra water in the soil from the heavy summer rains. Leaves also produce energy through photosynthesis which is used for flowers in the winter months but is stored in the plants stems in the summer.
When we cut roses in the summer, that energy is wasted on spindly stems and inferior blooms and causes stress to the plants. The tender new growth that results from cutting attracts every insect in the state to your rose garden.
In the winter months, the life cycle of most insect pest, from egg to grand kids takes about 40 days depending on the temperature. In the summer, that same life cycle takes about 11 days so we are careful to avoid an insect infestation which further stresses the plants. We encourage you to not cut as usual but if you see a nice rose or two, cut them. We do a heavy cut back in the fall when the cool air returns.
Debbie & Geoff – Cool Roses