Rose Cuttings – August, 2011

Drought-stressed Roses

The dramatic arch at the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham frames a garden that rebounds no matter what Mother Nature dishes out. Photo courtesy of Mike Shoup.

Many of our trees and plants are struggling because of the overly hot temperatures this summer. This, along with a lack of adequate rain, has created a lot of stress on our gardens and landscape.

Roses are not immune to this stress, but the good news is that as bad as some may look right now, they have quick recuperative powers that allow them to bounce back in a matter of weeks. Their wonderful defense system allows them to drop their leaves when faced with drought, excessive heat, freezing temperatures or over-fertilization. These roses essentially go dormant, resting until the environment improves. This is why many of the roses have survived so many years in places of neglect like cemeteries and abandoned home sites.

It is important to be patient in our approach to revamping our landscapes and gardens; waiting until cooler weather is prudent. As far as roses go, deep watering or a ground-soaking rain, some added mulch, and some moderate trimming come September will result in a surprising flush of new growth and bloom. Roses will champion the fall garden with their amazing recovery and floral display, making this current drought a distant memory.

About the author: Mike Shoup is the owner of the Antique Rose Emporium. Visit his company’s Brenham and San Antonio display gardens for endless ideas on landscaping with roses. To order roses online, visit

Posted by Neil Sperry
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