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Watering Roses

Water is the Key to Life!

Watering correctly is the most important factor in growing healthy roses.

Roses have a reputation of being drought tolerant, and this is true once they are established. However, when planting new roses, it is important they are kept moist through regular watering.  New roses that do not receive adequate water will delay breaking dormancy, suffer dieback, or simply wilt and die.

Australia has a history of experiencing drought conditions and in many parts of the country water is scarce. A correct watering technique is vital so as not to waste this precious resource. By training our roses to send their roots deep into the ground they will require less water once established and will be insulated from extreme temperatures. The watering information below will encourage your roses to establish their roots deep into the ground and reward you for years to come.


In the first year after planting, roses require 10 litres of water, two to three times a week.
Once your rose plants are established, they will only require one deep soak per week in the cooler months.  Increase this to twice per week during warmer months or in warm / hot climates.  If you receive substantial rainfall of 15-20mm over a period of a week, it should not be necessary to water.  There is no better way to water plants than by rain.  Resume watering a week after rainfall. 


We recommend a dripper system as the most efficient way to water roses.  Unlike other watering methods it is the ideal way of providing a deep soaking, directly to the root zone. To determine how long the system needs to run in each session, place a bucket under one of the drippers and note how long it takes to fill.
For the time poor, dripper systems also have the advantage of automation by adding a timer.  So even if you are busy or away on holidays, the roses will be watered correctly.

AVOID the use a handheld hoses and lawn sprinklers.
DO NOT use soaker hoses as they will not water deep rooted plants efficiently.
DO NOT water each day, it is unnecessary and encourages root growth near the soil surface.

When dripper systems are not practical, try the ‘Bucket Technique’.

1.    With a bucket that holds approximately 9 litres of water, puncture 4 or 5 small holes in the base.
2.    Place the bucket directly next to the rose and fill with plain water. Move aside any mulch so that the bucket sits directly on the soil.
3.    Allow the water to completely drain from the bucket. This gives the plant a good deep soaking, without the risk of runoff.

If you are under water restrictions, or water is scarce - USE GREY WATER!! Avoid detergents with high phosphate levels. Water using the above Bucket Technique.



Potted roses require watering daily.

Provide enough water that it starts to run out the bottom of the pot. Ensure pots are well drained. Never sit your potted roses in a saucer but instead allow the water to drain away.

Pots provide the roots with little insulation from the sun.  The potting mix can dry out quickly and the plants become dehydrated and scorched.  Ideally, try to keep them out of the midday sun during heat waves.  HINT: plant trolleys are a great aid to easily move heavy pot plants.


1.    Mulch – an important tool in water retention. Keep the mulch to a maximum of 5 cm deep or the mulch material will absorb the water before it reaches the soil. Whoflungdung by Neutrog is our recommended mulch for roses.
2.    When soil is very dry, it becomes hydrophobic. This means it will not absorb or retain moisture. Giving a dose of Eco Hydrate or similar will help the soil retain moisture.