Water: When More Is Not Too Much
by Michael Berger, ARF & PRS Master Consulting Rosarian
“Are you crazy?” my wife yelled at me. “You are out in the garden watering the roses when the weatherman said that we are expecting rain with strong winds.” I replied, “yes, dear, that is exactly why I’m watering the roses.”
Strong winds, whether with rain or without, can cause serious damage to some rosebushes, especially those that were recently planted, not only by causing a loss of leaves which is quickly apparent but by causing the principal cane of the bush to move back and forth, thus creating a space around the cane where air can enter and cause damage to the roots of the bush. In order to prevent this from happening, it is a good idea to spread water around the bush so that when the strong winds come, the bush is less likely to move. This treatment should also prevent the strong winds from knocking over the bush and exposing its root system to air, thus threatening the life of the bush.
Generally speaking, even if a significant amount of rain accompanies the strong winds, it is usually not enough to prevent the wind from causing significant damage. The extra water that is added should eventually be absorbed by the bush along with the few inches of rain brought by the storm.
Remember, the wind can be your rosebushes’ enemy, usually much more so than an abundant amount of rain. So when you hear that strong winds are approaching, a decision should be made whether the rosebushes will be better protected by a good watering.
Michael Berger (emamike[at]aol[dot]com), ‘Water: When More Is Not Too Much’, September 2013. The Capitol Rose, Joe Covey (coveyj[at]earthlink[dot]net), ed., Arlington Rose Society-Potomac Rose Society.
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