Southwestern Deserts

November, 2003
Regional Report

Watering Roses

Reduce watering as temperatures abate. How often you'll need to water depends on your soil type, temperature, elevation, and winter rains, if any. Clay soil retains more moisture than sandy soil so it requires less frequent watering. In winter, a once a week deep watering is usually sufficient. Water should soak at least 2 feet deep and out to the edge of the plant's canopy to ensure the entire root system is moistened.

Fertilizing Roses

Stop fertilizing during dormant winter months, usually about the middle of November. Feeding encourages new tender growth, which is susceptible to frost damage. Resume feeding with a slow-release fertilizer after pruning in January or February (later at higher elevations).

Watering Container Roses

Because they dry out more quickly, container-grown roses need more frequent watering, perhaps 2 or 3 times per week. All that water leaches nutrients out of the soil faster, so apply a slow-release fertilizer according to package instructions.

Deadheading Roses

Clip spent blooms to encourage roses to continue their fall bloom period this month. Removing the dead blossoms stops a plant from expending energy on seed production and encourges more more flower production.

Make Plant Labels

Can't remember what varieties you planted from one year to the next? Buy some cute plant labels, mark them, and stick them in the ground. In addition to aiding your faulty memory cells, they are fun for visitors to peruse. This could be a fun project to keep kids or grandkids busy.

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