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How to Save Wilted Roses in Your Garden

How to Save Wilted Roses in Your Garden
May 2023

Rose bushes have long been a popular foundation plant, often positioned in front of windows so that people inside can enjoy the blooms--which often appear in the spring and stick around until early fall. While the hardy plants do require care and attention, taking the time to remove dead or dying flower blossoms--a process known as deadheading--allows new blooms to grow.

Unfortunately, the blooming cycle doesn't always work that way, and in some cases, the blooms begin to wilt in early spring--including before they've fully opened. As frustrating as that can be, it's not uncommon. Here are a few ways to save roses that have wilted before their time.

How to revive wilting roses

In order to save your wilting rose blooms, you first have to figure out what went wrong. Here are some of the most common causes of premature wilting, and how to bring your roses back to life:

Transplant shock

If you recently purchased and planted your rose bush, and now the blooms are wilting, there's a good chance it's transplant shock. This condition occurs when the plant's roots aren't yet capable of delivering the rose bush the water and nutrients it needs.

The fix: To help your rose bush get over its shock, monitor the plant and work towards maintaining even temperatures and moisture-levels. You can also try pruning back the bush's stems (canes) to reduce the stress on the plant.

Not enough water

Whether your area is experiencing a prolonged springtime dry spell, or you simply haven't been giving your bush the amount of water it needs, your blooms may start to droop.

The fix: Water newly planted roses every two to three days, and more established buses once or twice a week. The idea is to keep the top layer of soil around the roses moist at all times.

Too much water

When roses are overwatered, the soil they're planted in can become oversaturated or even waterlogged, which can deprive the plant's roots of the oxygen they need, and in some cases, lead to root rot.

The fix: First, carefully unearth a root from the plant to see if it's dark and mushy (the signs of root rot). If it is, trim the rotten parts from this and other roots, apply fungicide, then replant the bush in a fresh mix of soil. If the roots are still intact, amend the bush's soil using plenty of compost, leaf mold, and well-rotted manure.

Other factors

While the conditions discussed above tend to be the most common causes of rose bushes wilting early, it could also be one of the following factors:

Extreme temperature fluctuationsToo much fertilizerNot enough fertilizerSoil with poor drainagePestsFungi and disease

You can read more about these problems and how to fix them in this article from Plants Craze.

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