How to Care for Roses Damaged by Hot Weather – Orange County Register

Q: My iceberg rose has very large branches that cross in the middle. If I prune it this winter should I prune these out? It hasn’t thrived in a few years, but neither have my regular iceberg rose bushes. The leaves are greenish yellow and I get small roses where they used to be big and beautiful. I live in Northridge and I think it might be because of the intense heat we’ve had over the past few summers. You lie in a south-facing bed.

A: The hot, dry summer hasn’t been good for my roses either. Heat damage shows up as brown or burnt-looking leaves on the outside of the plant. Your roses may have suffered some heat damage, but they may also need some serious pruning and fertilizing. Extreme heat can stress roses, especially when accompanied by water stress. If the bush does not get enough water, the flowers will become smaller, sometimes with washed-out colors. As with any plant, pay extra attention to watering when the weather warms up.

Yellow leaves are most often the result of a lack of nitrogen. Once the roses come out of their hibernation, use a balanced fertilizer. In many regions, roses don’t fully go into dormancy, but they do slow down in winter. Apply fertilizer after your last frost date (usually in spring). If the leaves are still yellow after fertilizing, there could be an iron deficiency. Alkaline soil binds available iron, making it less available to plant roots. If this is the case, you can use an iron supplement like Ironite.

Crossing branches should be removed from all types of roses. I have found that tree roses are particularly prone to crossed/crowded branching. Prune with the aim of creating an open structure within the bush. Opening things up is good for your plant’s health as it increases airflow and exposure to sunlight. As a bonus, the extra sunlight helps with flowering.

Q: I recently had some trees and shrubs removed from my yard. They weren’t healthy and I think it’s because of the heavy clay in the soil. Before I invest in new plants I want to know what to do with the soil. Is there a way to get rid of the clay? We’ve got 3-4 inches off the top, but there’s still work to be done.

A: There are three general soil types: clay, sand, and loam. Clay soil is made up of small particles, resulting in a heavy, sticky texture that often doesn’t drain easily but does hold water and nutrients. Sandy soil is made up of large particles, resulting in a loose, gritty texture that drains too easily and doesn’t hold nutrients. Clay is soil that is rich in organic matter, has adequate drainage, and retains nutrients.

To improve your soil, whether it’s clay or sand, you need to incorporate organic matter. This can be done by digging in compost, old manure, grass clippings, or shredded leaves. Soil removal and replacement is not recommended.

https://www.ocregister.com/2022/12/03/master-gardener-how-to-care-for-roses-damaged-by-hot-weather/ How to Care for Roses Damaged by Hot Weather – Orange County Register

Adam Bradshaw

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