Summer Rose Care Sets The Stage For Fabulous Fall Rose Bloom

'Sugar Plum' Cascades of Candelabras of Fragrant Plum Roses in Fall

Summer Time of Easy Livin’ Sets The Stage

It’s the dog days of summer. Excessive heat can create conditions for our roses to produce smaller blooms and stunted growth to preserve water. Many gardeners don’t realize that right now is the time to prepare for a glorious fall rose display.

August is the time to prepare for a spectacular fall rose bloom

September, October, November and even up until Christmas, fall is perfect throughout much of the country to spend time in your rose garden. You can enjoy the fruits of your labor, contemplate strategies for expansion and begin to winterize your roses. The cooler temperatures of fall create a glorious canvas for the fall rose show. It’s time now to begin the process of cutting back roses for your fall bloom. ‘Kimberlina’, a ‘Floribunda of the Year’ 2009 winner is such a spectacular rose in the fall I chose it to show you how to cut back your roses to create a spectacular fall bloom.

Cutting Back Your Roses For Fall

Cooler Temperatures of Fall Intensify Colors

Cooler temperatures in fall create a palette of colors that makes your roses look doubly magnificent. From Wisconsin to Texas I’ve seen roses continue to bloom through the holidays. Roses can tolerate 3 days of hard frost of temperatures below 21 degrees before they are fully dormant for the season. So you can plan on roses for your bouquets for the Thanksgiving table in Illinois, maybe even Wisconsin. September is time to determine if there are still any American Rose Society rose shows in the area you may want to exhibit at as well.

Here are some ‘Rose of the Year’ winners and roses exclusive to Jackson & Perkins that I’ve grown from IL to Texas successfully that bloom beautifully all season and into the fall:

#1 ‘Kimberlina’ ‘Floribunda of the Year’ 2009


#2 ‘Black Cherry’ ‘Floribunda of the Year’ 2006


‘Black Cherry’, glorious in Plano, TX award winning garden

#3 ‘Moondance’ ‘Floribunda of the Year’ 2007


'Moondance' Glorious & One of a Candelabra in Gaga's Garden on a Fall Morning
‘Moondance’ one of a Candelabra in Gaga’s Garden on a Fall Morning

#4 ‘Sugar Plum’ Exclusive at Jackson & Perkins


'Sugar Plum' Cascades of Candelabras of Fragrant Plum Roses in Fall
‘Sugar Plum’ Cascades of Candelabras of Fragrant Plum Roses

#5 ‘Soft Whisper’ Exclusive at Jackson & Perkins


'Soft Whisper' Cream colored roses kissed with peach perfect for fall blooms
‘Soft Whisper’ Cream colored roses kissed with peach perfect for fall blooms

Cooler Nights Begin

The nights begin to get cooler which creates an environment for black spot* and mildew so water early in the day allowing time for your garden to dry out before night fall. When you travel, and if you are putting in a small rose garden, the perfect watering solution is planting your roses in the Greenwell Water Saver

Nature Demands Balance

When roses (and virtually any other plant) reach the point of excessive water stress, they don’t “feed,” nor do they try to grow, they simply endure the heat to remain alive. That’s why even when you’re watering daily with what feels like excessive water amounts, many rose bushes will begin shedding their leaves to reduce their water stress. Many folks mistakenly think that dropping of leaves means their plant may be dying or they have “done something wrong.” Let’s dispel the myth. This is nature’s way of plant preservation during excessive heat. Since roses transpire through their foliage, dropping some of their leaves helps minimize water loss. This slows and can literally stop the flow of sap from the roots upward, so no food is taken in. Remember cutting back for fall to leave some foliage because roses feed through their leaves. Nature demands balance. Even in times of extreme heat I have seen my roses continue to remain pretty with just smaller blooms and less frequent bloom cycles. Roses seem to go into almost a dormancy state to conserve energy and water during the hottest part of summer.

August Rose Garden Check List

  • Remove all debris from the garden
  • Check for spider mites by feeling the underside of the leaves, they look & feel like salt and pepper and can be removed with a water jet spray 
  • Fertilize with Jackson & Perkins Continuous Slow Release Plant Food Roses Ultimate Collection Rose Food
  • Add a layer of Good Dirt Soil Conditioner around each rose bush, top with hard wood mulch with breaks down into the soil and replaces it
  • Check out DIY composting options to convert useful veggie scraps into soil building organic plant food  
  • Replace mulch as needed to conserve water and keep your bed cooler
  • Continue watering program, plant new roses using Greenwell Water Saver
  • Order fall rose deals and companion plants like clematis specials that you can plant now. 

Summer Rose Watering Guide

90+ degrees:    Water every day

80 degrees:       Water every two days

70 degrees:       Water every three days

60 degrees:       Water every four days

50 degrees:       Water every five days

  • Check hanging baskets and container roses daily because they dry out much faster than plants planted in the ground
  • Check on any fall rose shows, cut roses back for rose shows and State Fairs
  • Cut back your roses and stagger the times of pruning from now thru through the end of September when you want to start to let your roses form rose hips and go into dormancy so they don’t bloom all at once (what’s known as ‘cropping’)
  • Prune your rose like a vase
    'Double Delight' hybrid tea rose, pruned like a vase, fertilized, Canadian Spagnum peat moss layer added, ready for mulch for winter protection
    ‘Double Delight’ hybrid tea rose, pruned like a vase, fertilized, Canadian Spagnum peat moss layer added, ready for mulch for winter protection

How To Cut Back Your Roses For A Fabulous Fall Bloom

A good rule of thumb is to prune your rose bush about one-third to one-half their height. Prune out dead wood. Leave the strong hardy canes. Just deadhead your new rose bushes.

Folks that show roses cut back for the rose shows in their area or for the County and State Fairs. If you plan on showing in your local rose shows then cut back your roses based on this handy guide to approximately how long it takes to grow a rose:

Repeat Rose Cycles In Days  

Hybrid teas, grandifloras, and floribundas:                            42 to 54 Days

Multi-Petal Floribundas (Europeana):                                          54-60 days 

Single Petal Floribundas (Playboy)                                                35 Days            

Miniatures                                                                                              35-42 Days                

Follow this guide to a spectacular fall rose bloom and you can enjoy autumn in your garden and your roses will enter into winter dormancy the better for it as stronger plants.

Organic treatment for black spot

* Treatment: According to author and horticultural professor Jeff Gillman, who has conducted extensive research on black spot remedies, a spray composed of one part cow’s milk* and two parts water is the best answer to the disease. When applied weekly, the solution controls black spot as well as any synthetic fungicide, including Chlorotalonil.

Gillman says he thinks it’s the lactoferrin that milk contains that makes it effective against black spot. Lactoferrin also helps to fight diseases in people.

*any fat content you prefer. Rice, soy, and almond milk will have no affect on roses.

ANOTHER UPDATE: 2/3 water and 1/3 milk solution works on black spot. The solution also acts as a deer repellent according to the West Virginia Botanical Garden. I haven’t tried it with the raccoons as of yet, but I sure intend to try it.
















Rose Pruning Review

Gaga's Garden Floribunda Rose Garden in Illinois

“It’s like déjà vu all over again.” ~ Yogi Berra

Gaga's Garden Floribunda Rose Garden in Illinois
Gaga’s Garden Floribunda Rose Garden in Illinois Featuring Gene Boerner | From Pruned To Bloom

Have you ever experienced déjà vu and wondered: was that true déjà vu or have I actually done the exact same thing at the same time last year? My rose pruning, is a ritualistic Rite of Spring. The ‘Rite of Spring’ is an actual ballet and orchestral concert work by Russian composer, Igor Stravinsky, that when first performed, at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on 29 May 1913, the avant-garde nature of the music and choreography caused a sensation and a near-riot in the audience. I understand, if the symphony is anything like the cacophony of nature during spring and the urge to prune our bushes. Rosarians, and most all gardeners live for spring. It’s that simple. We lift leaves to peek for new growth and basal breaks.

Rosarians live for seeing new basal breaks
Rosarians live for seeing new basal breaks

What Is A Basal Break?

A basal break is a new cane that sprouts from the bud union on grafted roses and from the ground on roses grown on their own root. The most exciting discovery for rose lovers are new basal breaks on their rose bushes. Fresh, renewed growth – the sign of a healthy plant– and a promise of new flowers to come makes our work exciting and worthwhile.Use the proper tools  Corona_Principles_of_Pruning

How Can We Protect Basal Breaks?

'Corona Tools' Principals of Pruning Guide
‘Corona Tools’ Principals of Pruning Guide | Get Your PDF

Today let’s talk about pruning roses and some of the most finite processes that require delicate tools that let you feel like an artist or a surgeon.

Gardeners love to work with their hands. That’s why we love tools. Tools that allow us to do more finite work make us feel in touch with the force of nature.

Its All In The Tools

Corona Needle Nose Pruners
Corona Needle Nose Pruners

You can see by the demonstration in the pictures how the needlenose pruners, loppers and the small fork allow us to get close to delicate growth while protecting it. These are the tools that let you get close and protect delicate new growth. A picture of how these tools work is worth a thousand words.

Corona Convertible Loppers
Corona Convertible Loppers

Have thee tools ready. God will find thee work. ~ Charles Kingsley





Wordless Wednesday | A Hibiscus In The Rose Garden

Surprise! A hibiscus with the Little Red Barn!

Hibiscus and The Little Red Barn
Hibiscus and The Little Red Barn

The floribunda rose garden in its second full bloom cycle.

Floribundas in Bloom in July
The Illinois Floribunda Rose Garden is in its second full Bloom Cycle in July

‘Anna’s Promise’ by Weeks Roses with rain drops.

'AnnasPromise' with Rain Drops
‘AnnasPromise’ with Rain Drops

‘Watercolors Homerun’ debuting at #Cultivate15 in Ohio this week.

Watercolors Homerun Knocks it Out of the Park
Watercolors Homerun Knocks it Out of the Park

‘Pink Cupcake’ one of Proven Winners Oso Easy Series of roses.

I just pruned all of them with the hedge clippers that’s how easy they are. I will have a hedge of roses for fall.

Oso Easy 'Pink Cupcake'
Oso Easy ‘Pink Cupcake’

‘Veteran’s Honor’ the morning of the 4th of July. 

Veterans Honor with rain drops in full sun at sun rise
Veterans Honor with rain drops in full sun at sun rise on the 4th of July

‘Love & Peace’ Pictures worth a thousand words. #WordlessWednesday

Love & Peace is simply glorious
Love & Peace is simply glorious

Why I Wrote Four Seasons of Roses

Julia Child
New floribunda rose garden bed in planning stage, non-elevated, eastern exposure
New floribunda rose garden bed in planning stage, non-elevated, eastern exposure

Necessity…the mother of invention ~ Plato

Necessity is why I wrote Four Seasons of Roses 2014 Monthly Guide to Rose Care.  Everyone that visits my rose garden tells me that they want roses.  I ask them “what’s standing between you and the object of your desire?” The answer is always the same. “I think roses are too hard to grow.” Then they ask me if I “will teach them how to grow roses?” Let me tell you 3 short stories of how Four Seasons of Roses came to be.


Gene Boerner Magnificent Floribunda, 2013 spring bloom
Gene Boerner Magnificent Floribunda, 2013 spring bloom

Education is the Key to Growing Roses

I was working for the Fine Jewelers Guild, owned by the Zale Corporation in Irving, Texas. Roses are a topic that people like to talk about when they see rose bouquets that I bring to the office or they stop by to see my rose garden. The vice president of the division at the time loved roses and said to me “I will put in a rose garden if you can make it easy.” I said to him “roses are easy, people can be difficult.” That’s when I wrote my first one-page easy instruction sheet for him that I called Rapid-Fire Results with Roses. I said to him, “if you do exactly what this tells you to do you will have a beautiful rose garden.” During this same time I was asked to speak to the Dallas Master Gardeners about roses and the Plano Master Gardener group on growing roses. The brochure Rapid Fire Results with Roses, had to be re-printed and distributed 100’s and 100’s of times and it wasn’t quite sufficient for a beginner’s needs.


Karen & Carrie
Karen & Carrie

Rosarian Apprentices

My dear friends and neighbors wanted to put in their own rose gardens.

In planning their new rose garden the first thing we determined was location. Each of us has a special window that we spend more time viewing the landscape, this is a good place to put a rose garden if it has 6-8 hours of sunlight. Next we talked about color palette. One of my rose garden apprentices didn’t care for the traditional red rose and loved oranges, peach and tangerine colored roses so that’s the basis of the rose garden color palette for her garden. Rapid bloom cycle and lots of blooms were important so we chose floribundas. Before I knew it I had three rosarian apprentices with rose gardens. And I was doing the pruning for a local middle school rose garden.  A handy guide Like Four Seasons of Roses would be the perfect hand-out for my apprentice gardeners.


Wanda, Dedicated Blackspot Eradicator

Wanda’s Rose Garden

Friends at work have always let me know they also want rose gardens and need instructions on pruning. Here’s the story of my dear friend Wanda who bought a home out in the country and also wanted a rose garden. We started with the basic planning of adding soil amendments because of clay soil conditions and then choosing the plants she wanted based on color, and rating after I explained how the American Rose Society Handbook of Rating Roses rating system works. I explained that I usually do not buy a rose that is rated below 7.0 and for good reason.So you see I know people want to have a rose garden and I wanted to create an educational, easy to follow guide filled with possibilities. I’m committed to getting knowledge into the hands of people that want roses.

Four Seasons of Roses 2014 Monthly Guide to Rose Care is a garden planner that also features my own photography because many of you have asked me to publish the pictures I take since Julia Child

Julia Child
Julia Child

was included in the American Rose Society 2014 calendar. I also included a place to take notes since I always make notes every time I go to the garden. A historical reference helps me grow better roses. Whether you grow roses for photography, landscaping, accessorizing, arranging, collecting or cooking I know you will enjoy my Four Seasons of Roses 2014 Monthly Guide | 2014 Monthly Guide to Rose Care Garden Planner.


Wallace Gardens GiveAway: Four Seasons of Roses & Alfalfa Tea

Four Seasons of RosesWallace Gardens is doing a promotional giveaway of Four Seasons of Roses | 2014 Monthly Guide to Rose Care and Alfalfa Tea Soil Conditioner by Annie Haven @GreenSoil of Nancy Wallace, @SassyNancy, is a Garden Artisan and creator of original container gardens from beautiful Wallace Gardens. Nancy lives in the Atlanta area and posts pictures of her original gardening creations on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.  Here’s the details to win. Thank-you for all of your support of the gardening community Nancy!

Here’s all you have to do for a chance to win. Simply click like on this picture on Pinterest or if you don’t have a Pinterest account click this link for details on her Web site. 

WallacePlease check Nancy’s Web site Wallace Gardens and for additional details.

Best of Luck!



Rainbow Colors of Weeks Roses®

Karen Kemp Docksteader, Weeks Roses, Sales & Marketing Manager

“I love you more than rainbow colors.”

Ella Claire Fox*

Jump For Joy Floribunda Rose, available 2014 from Weeks Roses
Jump For Joy Floribunda Rose, available 2014 from Weeks Roses

Roses speak to us in rainbow colors.

A single rose bud is a tapestry of color unfurling in a single day. If you could hear colors I am sure it would be a rainbow orchestra.

Roses In The Summertime on #Twitter

Tonight on @twitter I’ll be the talking about “Roses in the Summertime,” from 9:00 PM EST-10:00PM.  As Week’s Roses, an almost 100 year old company, dedicated to building relationships has graciously partnered with me and to provide three gift certificates valued at $50.00. Join me on twitter to talk about roses Just use the hashtag #roses. Of course my twitter ID is @gagasgarden.

Weeks Roses®

Available Spring of 2014

We are so excited to be the first to show you what you can put on your Roses for my 2014 wish list.

Jump for Joy™            

(cv. WEKnewchi)



Lusciously lovely, delectable peachy-pink color sets apart this sister seedling of Sparkle & Shine. They may have their differences (peach pink vs. deep yellow). But, like most sisters, they share some likenesses, too. Both are distinctive because of their large showy clusters, long-lived flowers with lovely color, round bushy super-flowerful habit, loads of glossy green leaves & consistent dark red new growth. Buy ‘em both & let these sisters battle it out for who’s the best in your garden.

Color:                    Peachy-pink

Height/Habit:     Medium/Very rounded & bushy

Flower Form:     Ruffled, in large clusters

Bloom/Size:        Medium, up to 4-inch diameter

Petal Count:       Around 25

Fragrance:           Mild apple

Hybridizer:          Bédard—2014

Parentage:          Julie Newmar x Julia Child

Coretta Scott King, Grandiflora available 2014 season from Weeks Roses
Coretta Scott King, Grandiflora available 2014 season from Weeks Roses

Coretta Scott King

(cv. WEKstohoco)



Elegant long buds of cream begin to ‘frost’ with blushes of coral-orange as they spiral open. This color persists on the blossoms for a great display of color and flower power…big clusters held high for all to see. Very good disease resistance means her ‘wrapper’ of green stays handsome in the garden for a full season of elegance.

Color:                    Creamy white blushing coral-orange

Height/Habit:     Tall/Very upright, bushy

Bloom/Size:        Double, in clusters/ Medium-large, around 4″ diameter

Petal Count:       Around 25 to 30

Fragrance:           Moderate tea & spice

Hybridizer:          Bédard—2014

Parentage:          Moonstone x Hot Cocoa

Good As Gold, Hybrid Tea Rose, New from Weeks Roses 2014
Good As Gold, Hybrid Tea Rose, New from Weeks Roses 2014

Good as  Gold™           

(cv. WEKgobafa)


Hybrid Tea

Some might say “orange”, some “gold”, some “amber” or maybe it is even double-dipped yellow”. However your eyeballs perceive it, we can guarantee it is bold & beautiful, especially with the kiss of red on the finish. This handsome bushy bouquet machine will fill your garden with loads of long-stemmed lovelies clothed with a clean gown of rich green. Certainly not for the faint of heart…nor for the lovers of pastels.

Color:                    Deep golden orange-yellow finished with a kiss of red

Height/Habit:     Tall/Upright & bushy

Bloom/Size:        Double, formal/Medium to large, up to 5″ diameter

Petal Count:       Around 30

Fragrance:           Grapefruit & citrus

Hybridizer:          Carruth—2014

Parentage:          Golden Beauty x About Face

Happy Go Lucky, Grandiflora Rose, New 2014 Introduction from Weeks Roses
Happy Go Lucky, Grandiflora Rose, New 2014 Introduction from Weeks Roses

Happy Go Lucky™   

(cv. WEKsirjuci)



BIG fragrant & full old-fashioned blossoms of pure yellow have all the charm of an English rose but born on this side of the pond. Yet it easily bests the disease resistance of any English variety hands down retaining its gown of rich green foliage. The vigorous bushy plant flowers like a fool well into the season without turning into a sprawling stingy space-eater in the landscape. With a bloodline like this, you know it’s gotta be good.

Color:                    Even pure yellow

Height/Habit:     Medium-tall/Upright to somewhat          rounded, very bushy

Bloom/Size:        Very double, old-fashioned/Large, up to 6 inch diameter

Petal Count:       Around 40

Fragrance:           Moderate fruity & tea

Hybridizer:          Bédard—2014

Parentage:          Strike It Rich® x Julia Child

You're The One, Miniature Rose A 2014 New Introduction Awarded the American Rose Society's Award of Excellence
You’re The One, Miniature Rose A 2014 New Introduction

You’re the One™  

(cv. WEKtaclagoma)



Here’s a blue-ribbon grabber that goes great guns in the garden, too. Perfectly miniature-ized Hybrid Tea shaped buds of cream open very formally with several blushing shades of pink. But beyond the show table, this baby will knock ‘em dead in the landscape with a bushy flowerful plant you can tuck into smaller spaces to create a riot of color. Loads of deep glossy green leaves provide the perfect background for the ever-changing show of plentiful pinkness.

Color:                    Ivory white blushing pink & finishing ruby

Height/Habit:     Medium-tall/Rounded and very bushy

Bloom/Size:        Medium for the class, 1½ to 2” in diameter

Petal Count:       20 to 25

Fragrance:           Mild apple

Hybridizer:          Carruth—2014

Parentage:          Santa Claus x Goldmarie

The History of Weeks Roses

O. L. and Verona Weeks founded Weeks Wholesale Rose Grower, Inc. in 1938 in Ontario, California. This highly respected company’s reputation reflects the high standards and integrity that came to be known as the ‘Tops In Roses’. In 1985 Ollie and Verona retired and sold Weeks to Charlie Huecker and Bob DeMayo. Today, Weeks Roses is part of the Gardens Alive! family of horticultural companies. Today, the name of Weeks has become synonymous with personal service and top quality roses throughout the U.S.

Weeks Roses Today

Week’s Roses state-of-the art processing, refrigeration and distribution center is located on 1200 acres of production facilities and growing grounds in Wasco, California, in the San Joaquin Valley. Wasco has deep loamy soil, plentiful clean well water and a natural climate that fits commercial rose production perfectly. There they produce strong healthy bushes that ship easily and adapt well to most climates in the US. The research and licensing office is located on the Cal Poly Pomona Campus along with the hybridizing greenhouses and display/test gardens.

Spring Shipping of Roses 

Beginning in early December and ending about mid-February, Weeks Roses ships over four million bare root roses throughout the US. Immediately following harvest, the roses are carefully graded and packed, then shipped in temperature-controlled trucks, either directly to customers or to various strategically located cold storage warehouses and made available to nurseries and garden centers.

Karen Kemp Docksteader, Weeks Roses, Sales & Marketing Manager
Karen Kemp Docksteader, Weeks Roses, Sales & Marketing Manager