Q.Growing Roses in Tucson
I have relocated to Tucson where the weather is now 100+ degrees daily. I rented a home with a number of rose bushes in the backyard, none of which are doing well despite daily morning waterings (I have no irrigation system). One is turning brown, another is green but constantly wilted, and two others have stopped growing. I hate to let them die like this. What can I do?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
While most all rose bushes love the sun, the intense heat can be a stressor for them. When the temps are in the high 90’s to 100’s, it is important to try and keep them not only well hydrated/watered but also to provide them some form of heat relief. When the foliage looks wilted, it is a form of natural protection that will usually come out of it during cooler times. This can be done by creating shade for the rose bushes during the hottest times of the day. If you only have a few rose bushes this can be done by using umbrellas. Buy some umbrellas that are made from as light colored a fabric as possible. Reflective silver or white are best and can be made using any color of umbrella. Just cover the umbrella of any color with aluminum foil with the shiny side up or cover the umbrella with a white fabric. Using a Liquid Stitch or sewing compound to attach the white fabric to the umbrellas works well. Silicone caulking works well to adhere the aluminum foil to the umbrella as well. Buy some ½ inch diameter or bigger wood doweling to attach to the handle of the umbrella to give it enough height to clear the rose bush. The shading will help give the relief break needed and the light color of the umbrellas covering will help reflect any further heat build-up. Be sure to keep them watered well but not soaked.