Roses not as bountiful this year – why?

(Question)

This year my roses don’t have as many blooms and the ones they have are not as big?  Why is this?

(Answer)

Our weather this summer in Ontario has not been as sunny or as warm as usual and we’ve also had more rain.  Roses need warm sunny weather in order to produce a show of blooms and like to be watered deeply and less frequently.  We can’t control the weather but here are a few tips you should do in order to have the neighbours jealous next year.

Mound the base of your rose bushes with a good mulch for the winter to protect the graft from freeze/thaw cycles.

Prune in the late spring when you see Forsythia blooming in your neighbourhood.  Cut away any dead or diseased material and then shape rose by cutting back to desired shape & height.

Water really well & less often will encourage roots to grow deep into the soil.  Watering in the early morning will allow foliage to dry which will help minimize disease.

Compost or well rotted manure should be added to the soil around rose bushes.

A granular rose fertilizer, 6-12-6, can be used every four weeks up until mid-August and then feeding should stop.

Deadhead any finished flowers to encourage re-blooming.

For further information contact the Greater Toronto Rose & Garden Club who hold their meetings at the Toronto Botanical Garden.   https://www.gardenontario.org/site.php/rosegarden