How Many Times Do Rose Bushes Die in the Summer?

If it looks like your rose bush is struggling to survive and thrive during the hot months, you might think it’s about to die or go into dormancy. Is this what happens to rose bushes during the summer? 

Rose bushes don’t die during the summer. They go into dormancy during the winter. This saves their energy and resources when they need to be revitalized during the spring to bloom. If your rose bush is dying in summer, you must adjust its care to bring it back to health. 

In this article, I’ll examine why rose bushes don’t typically die in the summer and what’s causing your rose bushes to struggle to grow during this time. 

Why Rose Bushes Don’t Die in the Summer But Go Dormant 

After rose bushes bloom, they go dormant for a few weeks before producing new flowers. While different types of rose bushes will bloom at different times, generally, roses will bloom late in spring all the way into early fall, as The Spruce reports. This dormancy is normal and nothing to worry about. It’s not a sign that your rose bush will die.

It’s uncommon for your rose bushes to die in the summer unless they’re not receiving proper care. However, make sure you research your specific type of rose bush to find out how regularly you can expect it to bloom. This will give you the tips you need to know so you can differentiate between a rose bush that is struggling and a rose bush that’s going into normal dormancy during its blooming cycle.

How Many Times Do Roses Bloom in a Year? 

Your roses can experience multiple bloom cycles, depending on the rose variety. Some bushes only bloom once a year, such as the old rose varieties Hybrid Tea and Ballerina. These roses should have their old flowers removed. You should also ensure you give your rose bushes enough water, fertilization, and mulch to ensure they will bloom the following spring, as New Mexico State University reports. 

Some roses will bloom twice a year, such as damask roses, while others will bloom every few weeks, such as the Rosa Peace. Modern rose varieties bloom all through the year, such as the Rosa’ Radrazz’ Knock Out rose. These have multiple blooms in May or June, and with enough sun, they will continue to display their flowers. 

You should prune old flowers on these rose bushes to ensure that their next cycle of blooming will be successful. You should prune above a leaf that’s aimed in the direction where you want a new stem to grow. 

Summer Maintenance Tips for Rose Bushes

To ensure that your rose bushes can thrive during the summer, you should follow some essential tips. These include the following: 

  • Conduct light pruning when the first flowers die. This is especially important for an older shrub rose variety. You want to remove old flowers so that new ones can bloom on the plant. Cut your flowering stems back to about three sets of leaves. 
  • Deep-soak your roses during dry, hot weather. You should do this every two weeks, ensuring that their soil is soaked to a depth of 10 inches (25.4cm), as Iowa State University reports. 
  • Check the rose bushes for signs they need watering. If your roses are wilting, you should water them. Roses need to be watered deeply three times a week during late spring all through summer, regardless of how hot the temperature is.
  • Apply two inches (5.08 cm) of mulch around your rose bush. This prevents weeds from growing while preserving moisture in the soil for your roses to absorb. Mulch can include pine needles, wood chips, or shredded bark. 
  • Avoid transplanting rose bushes during the summer. You should only do this late in November or later in the year as transplanting roses when it’s very hot can put too much stress on them.
  • Feed them with fertilizer a few weeks after they bloom. Your rose bushes will benefit from a complete fertilizer with a lot of phosphorus, such as a 5-10-5 fertilizer.
  • Add organic elements to the soil. It’s always wise to improve your rose bush soil to enhance its growth. Dig a hole that’s about two feet (0.6 m) around the rose bush and two feet deep. Mix in a bag of organic compost. 
  • Treat pests as soon as possible. Pests can decrease how many flowers bloom because they not only feed on the flowers but also weaken the plants. Use a granular systemic pesticide that gets mixed into the soil.

How To Make Your Roses Bloom

If your rose bushes don’t bloom during the summer, this doesn’t mean that they’re dying. However, there are some essential tips to follow to ensure that you can jumpstart your rose bush’s blooming cycle. 

Put Them in Direct Sunlight 

Your rose bushes need to get at least six to eight hours of sunshine every day. This has to be direct sunlight, so check that nothing is blocking the sun from reaching your roses, such as a nearby wall or tree. 

If your rose bushes are in a shady area of the garden, this can cause them to bloom less frequently. The bushes will also grow taller and become thinner while being a target for diseases, such as those of a fungal nature.

Ease Up on the Fertilizer 

Although roses are hungry plants that want fertilizer, you don’t want to give them too much of it in an attempt to make them start blooming. A lot of fertilizer will actually cause your rose bushes to only grow their leaves, as Better Homes and Gardens reports. 

Too much fertilizer boosts the growth of rose plants, which produces too many shoots and leaves that are overwhelming for the plants, as SFGate reports. 

Large quantities of fertilizer are also damaging to the soil by killing off its healthy bacteria. 

Don’t Let Your Rose Bushes Get Wet 

When you water your roses, you shouldn’t get water on your roses or leaves. Also, check your lawn sprinklers to ensure that they’re not wetting your rose bush. If your rose bushes get wet, this can cause fungal diseases such as blackspot. 

You should check for the following signs of black spot fungal diseases on your rose bushes: 

  • Round black spots that are about half an inch in diameter with a yellow area encircling them, as Home & Garden Information Center reports.
  • Leaves that drop off the rose plant. 
  • Young canes that develop purple blotches. 
  • Stunted plant growth
  • Flowers that look pale. 

When watering your rose bushes, do so from underneath the plant. This directs the water to the roots and avoids getting it all over the foliage or flowers.  

Tackle Rose Blindness

This term refers to when roses produce shoots that don’t end in a flower. The shoots are referred to as “blind shoots.” This issue can be caused by a variety of issues, such as:

Here’s what to do if your rose bush has some of these blind shoots. 

  • Cut blind shoots back by half to a strong rosebud. This will produce more flower growth. 
  • Remove some older wood on the rose bush to boost new growth. 
  • Feed the rose bush fertilizer and mulch. 
  • Keep your roses in a sunny area of the garden. 

Signs Your Rose Bushes Are Actually Dying

You might not always know if your rose bushes are showing signs of imminent death. It’s easy to confuse death with dormancy because they sometimes share similar symptoms, such as the loss of leaves and flowers.

However, a rose bush that’s currently in the process of dying will show various symptoms, such as: 

  • A cane that isn’t green when scratched. This shows a lack of healthy green tissue that produces new plant cells. 
  • Leaves that don’t grow on the rose bush during spring at all. 
  • Roots that are decayed or shriveled. If your rose bush is in a pot, gently tip it upside down and remove it from the pot so you can check its roots. 
  • Leaves that are yellowing or otherwise discolored.

Final Thoughts

If you’re wondering if it’s normal for your rose bushes to die in the summer, the truth is that this isn’t common for roses unless something is lacking in their regular care. In this article, I’ve explored tips for summer care of your roses to keep them growing and healthy. These tips include the following: 

  • Deep soaking your roses every two weeks. 
  • Applying mulch to the base of rose bushes. 
  • Avoiding the transplanting of roses during high temperatures. 
  • Keeping your rose bushes in an area that gets between six and eight hours of sun daily.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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