Weichert Realtors®-Triangle

How to Make Roses Thrive in Southern Gardens

by Mary Gallert 02/04/2020

 Photo by Silvia via Pixabay

Most people associate roses with English cottage gardens and northern cities such as Portland, Oregon, which has proudly carried the nickname "The City of Roses" for over a century. It's common garden lore that roses can't successfully be grown in areas that don't receive a few months of cold temperatures, but some varieties can be successfully grown with a little preparation and planning. Here's what rose lovers need to know about making them thrive in Southern gardens.

Add a 4-inch Layer of Light-Colored Organic Mulch 

Plants that fail to thrive in hot climates usually do so because of the way the high temperatures affect their root systems rather than their leaves and branches, so it's important to keep roots cool. Roses also like acidic soil, so choose a mulch that does double due by adding nutrients to the soil along with protecting the roots. Homeowners in hot climates sometimes make the mistake of choosing a dark mulch, but these absorb heat. Choose a mulch with a light color, such as natural cedar chips, to reflect heat away from the root zone. 

Plant Hybrid Tea Roses

Hybrid tea roses are much better at resisting heat than their non-hybrid counterparts, so choose these over standard cabbage roses or heirloom types. Hybrid tea roses were bred to withstand a variety of adverse gardening conditions, and their particularly sweet aroma is enhanced by hot temperatures.

Learn How to Force Roses Into Dormancy 

This is the most important part of successfully growing roses in hot climates. Roses are hardwired to experience a period of dormancy each winter. Dormancy is triggered by decreasing outdoor temperatures in autumn and in areas where temperatures remain warm, roses won't enter dormancy. Dormancy is essential for renewed growth and vigor — think of it as beauty sleep for roses. Without it, they'll become scraggly, weak, and eventually, they'll stop producing flowers. Here's how to force your roses into dormancy:

  • Apply a late-season fertilizer once per week for four weeks beginning in December. This primes the plant's metabolism for slowing down and building root health rather than promoting foliage and flower growth. 
  • Apply a dormant oil specifically for roses in mid-January. 
  • Prune the roses back to three strong canes in mid-January and remove any remaining foliage from last year. 
  • Begin your weekly growth fertilizer program in late January or early February.
  • Enjoy your first bloom of the season around the middle of April.

Always keep your roses well-watered, and give them an extra drink when temperatures rise about 90 degrees. Don't be afraid to cut flowers often for household bouquets — that helps promote growth — but use a sharp, sanitized cutting tool to guard against the spread of fungal disease. 




About the Author

Mary Gallert


If you are interested in buying or selling in the Triangle area of North Carolina, I'd love to work with you!  Real estate transactions can be smooth -- if you have the right professional by your side.  I am passionate about real estate, dedicated to helping you sell your home for top dollar, and find the next home which is uniquely ideal for you.  

My professional background is in allied health, as well as sales and marketing.  I majored in Communications in college (my undergraduate was in Speech & Hearing), and I have a clinical doctorate in the field of Audiology, so I understand the importance of communication and advocacy!

As your agent, I will keep an open line of communication with you to understand your unique situation and goals, arm you with accurate information about the fast-paced Triangle market,  be responsive to your questions and concerns, and advocate for you throughout the entire process! If you read my client testimonials, you will see that I will negotiate effectively on your behalf, and I will “go the extra mile” for you. For you as a seller, this equates to my getting you the maximum return on your investment in the least amount of time.

I hail from the beautiful Hudson Valley region of New York.  My family and I relocated to Wake county over a decade ago, and we love all that this area has to offer.  I like to spend my free time outdoors with two daughters and two dogs (especially at the beach), and I enjoy keeping fit, and reading.   One of my goals for 2020 is to expand upon my support of dog "rescue" and fostering organizations in the area.

 I am proud to be affiliated with Weichert Realtors-Triangle, which is ranked in the top 20's of over 500 Weichert offices in the nation.  Call me today at 914-450-9054 (yes- a 914 area code); I am happy to answer any questions you may have about the home buying and selling process.  I would love to hear from you!