How You Should Be Watering Roses

Last Updated on October 31, 2022 by Stephanie

If you have roses that are planted in a fertile soil that has been amended with lots of organic matter, you should water your roses at least every week, with about 2 gallons of water throughout the season of growth, and preferably early in the morning. In warmer climates, you do not have to water your roses in the winter months.

Water Your Rose Once per Week in Normal Conditions

In the most temperate climates, you should water your roses once a week in the spring and summer. The roses prefer thesoak and dry method of watering since their roots are not able to tolerate the constant moisture of the soil. So long as they get an adequate soak and enough water, then once a week is sufficient in sunny weather.

But youll need be able to boost the amount of time you water if:

  • Your garden is situated in an extremely hot climate
  • If the summer is extremely hot, with no significant rain.
  • Your garden is open and it is windy.
  • The soil that you plant is naturally sandy and drains quickly.

In the hottest and dry months of summer, youll have to water your rose at least twice, but not more than three times every week. The drooping of the leaves and stems is typically the first sign of drought stress and you must take action to water your rose as soon as you notice it.

If you have a naturally sandy soil that drains quickly in your garden , or the rose is situated in an area that is more exposed to wind, then youll need to water your rose two times every week by soaking it for a long time.

If the soil in your garden contains substantial amounts of clay, it will drain slower. In this case, you should only water your garden once a week, even during dry conditions and enrich the soil with organic matter to aid in drainage.

Read my article for tips on how to plant roses successfully in clay soil.

In the fall and winter months, your rose will be in a state dormancy.

In winter, in climates with temperate temperatures you wont need to water your roses until spring, as the rose is not active and the soil naturally becomes humid during winter.

In climates that are dry, you can water your roses once every month in winter months and then resume the regular weekly watering routine as the weather begins to warm up in spring, and the first leaves begin to appear.

This recommendation is based on the fact that you have planted the roses in soil which has been amended with many organic matter because it holds moisture and lets the roots draw it in as and when they need it, while also allowing for good drainage to ensure that the water doesnt pool around the roots for long time periods, causing rot.

For clear guidance on improving soil structure, read my post on the most effective mulch for improving the soil structure for roses..

Regosa roses are among the most durable and drought-resistant rose variety and are therefore to plant in the garden of those who reside in a windy or dry climate.

No matter what you decide to do, make sure that you dont repeat these errors…

  • Dont give your rose a small amount of water and frequently throughout the week. If you use only sufficient water that soaks up the initial inch or two of soil , you are encouraging the roots to develop near the surface, rather than establishing deeper into the soil, making your rose less sturdy in winds.
  • Dont over-water your rose. If you frequent your watering of your rose (several times every week) with a lot of water, the ground may become saturated and the roses roots will begin to decay.

The process of soaking your roses at least once a week will encourage the roots to develop deep and increase the resistance of your roses to drought because they are able to draw moisture sources deep within the soil.

Rose Type and Watering

Type of RoseHow much is the amount of water (in the season of growth)Frequency 
Established Rose bushes2 Gallons (9 litres)1 watering every week
Large Climbing Roses4 Gallons (18 litres)1 watering every week
Newly Planted Roses2 Gallons (9 litres)3 to 4 times each week
Potted Roses2 Gallons (9 litres)One or two times each week
Roses in Sand Soil2 Gallons (9 litres)One or two times each week

The amount of water the rose needs and how often you will need to water your rose will be contingent on other factors, such as the type of soil, temperatures, wind, and the date when the rose was planted.

Continue reading to learn the best way to water your roses under these conditions, tips to make your roses drought-resistant, how to determine if your rose needs watering if youre unsure, and all the other information you have to be aware of when watering your roses…

How to tell if your Rose is in need of watering

In the hottest and dry months of summer, it is often difficult to determine if your rose requires to be watered more than once per week. The most reliable way to determine if your rose requires watering is to check the soil using your fingers.

Put your finger in the soil around the rose as deeply as you can.

  • If your soil is feeling dry to the touch and you are able to barely feel some moisture, then this is the ideal moment to water your rose.
  • If your soil appears dry, then youll need to water your rose right away.
  • If your soil is noticeable damp, then not water for a few days.

Your soil must be soft enough to pass this test.

If your soil is compacted or is hardened in the sun, then you need to spread mulch on your rose bed to improve the soils structure and reduce compaction.

How Much Water Your Rose Needs

The established Roses of all types require an adequate soak of at minimum 2 Gallons (10 Liters) of water every week. If your rose is a particularly tall or mature climber, (depending on the type of soil) you might need to increase this amount to 4 Gallons (20 litres) each time you water your rose.

Potted roses also require 2-4 Gallons each time you take care of watering. The soil in pots is less to draw up water from and may not get as much benefit from rain. Pots also heat up in the sun, which can accelerate the evaporation of water from the soil and cause the rose to dry out therefore you should check the moisture of the soil in potted roses regularly.

If you have many roses in your garden , using a hose that has an attachment for spraying will reduce the amount of work. Make use of a spray setting rather than a jet if it is important to water the roses in a slow manner to ensure that the water soaks in and than evaporating off the surface . Jets are able to blast away the soil surrounding the rose.

single stem rose in glass vase with water

Give the soil around your rose a good, even soak.

Do not water the leaves as often as you can since excessively humid conditions can encourage the growth of fungi like powdery mildew and blackspot.

If the soil that has been altered with lots of organic matter to retain moisture, and the soils structure is sufficiently light to allow for adequate drainage, then precise measurements of water arent necessarily required, but make sure that youve given the soil an adequate soak.

Roses placed in gardens with sandy soil might require more water since rain and water drain too fast for the roots that support the plant to soak up the moisture.

Even with sandy soils, it is not possible to fix the rapid drainage issue by adding more water. It is much more crucial to amend the soil to bring an end-to-end change. For more information on how to grow roses on sandy soils, check out my complete guide.

Newly Planted Roses Need Watering Every Other Day

The roses you recently planted require more care. If youve planted a rose for the first time during the spring and summer , you will have to water the rose with two gallons each day during hot weather for the first four weeks, or on alternate days in the event that the weather is than cloudy and the soils evaporation rate is less.

After four weeks, the roots should be more established, and you can cut back the frequency of watering to once per week. After three months, you are able to return to a regular watering routine with a single soak every week.

If youve planted a rose during the winter or fall months, then the rate of evaporation is less, allowing the soil to remains moist for a longer period of time. Water the rose only at least once every three days for the first four weeks, and then water it every week during the spring, when the leaves of the new season begin to appear.

The Roses are watering after a significant rainfall

If youve had a particular heavy rain falls throughout the week, it might not be required to water your roses.

If you have experienced more than 2 inches of rainfall in your region, then you are able to not water the roses this week so long as your soil is rich in organic matter and holds the water effectively. The act of watering your rose after it has already had more than 2 inches of rain could possibly be excessive.

The rose roots prefer asoak and dry method of watering. If the soil remains damp, rather than just wet for too long, the roots could rot.

If you have had less than 2 inches of rainfall within 7 days, then you should you should water your roses as usual.

You can use an app for weather forecasts to inform you of the amount of rain has fallen, however your particular region may be unique in its micro-climate.

This is the reason I like to install an instrument to measure the rain in my garden, so that I know precisely how much rain was recorded during the week, so that I can alter my watering schedule for my roses accordingly. The best part is that rain gauges are sold at a reasonable cost on Amazon!

Early Morning is the Best Time to Water Roses

The ideal time to water your roses is early in the morning. A bath in the morning will fill them up with water prior to the scorching summer day that lies ahead.

The evening time when you water your roses is not likely to cause them any harm, however by watering your garden during late at night, youll create perfect conditions for snails, slugs and other pests that are nocturnal to come out under the shade of darkness to eat your leaves ( Rose slugs are the most frequent cause).

When you water at the beginning of the day, you let the water soak deeply into the soil. Over the time, the soils surface will dry out, which is beneficial to the rose and create conditions less favorable for snails.

The early morning watering can also allow for the leaves of the rose to dry in the sun, which could aid in preventing the spread of the two most prevalent rose fungi, blackspot and powdery mildew because they thrive in moist and humid environments.

How to Conserve Water (Make Roses Drought Resistant)

Regularly applying mulch can help to retain water in the soil surrounding your rose during during the growing season, and improve the resistance to drought.

Mulch is essential for gardens with fine, sandy soils that tend to drain fast as the mulch can improve the soils capacity to hold in water long enough for the roses to pull it out.

However, I highly recommend adding mulch to your roses every year, regardless of the soil type, mulching can benefit your roses in numerous different ways…

  • In the hottest months of summer, direct sunlight can be extremely hot to the soil, drying it out. The mulch on the top layer of soil can significantly reduce the temperature of the ground and reduces the rate of transpiration.
  • Organic material can also absorb water and retain it in the same way as sponges. This helps maintain the proper level of soil moisture to allow the roots to draw on the moisture when they require it.
  • Soils can turn hard and baked when exposed to extreme temperatures and constant sunshine, which causes water to flow across the top layer of soil and not penetrate deep enough to the roses roots. Mulch can help improve the texture of the soil, and allow rain or water to soak into the soil instead of flowing through the top of the soil of the soil and out away from roses roots.

The most effective types of mulch to keep moisture are compost, leaf mould, well-rotted horse manure , and grass clippings. My favorite mulch to use for your roses would be leaf mould because it is able to hold on water to prevent the soil surrounding the rose from drying out.

Mulches also provide nutrients to the soil and improve its structure, and are beneficial to the soil ecosystem which, in turn, will help your rose.

Spread your mulch over the ground around your rose in a layer that is 2 inches. Be sure to leave six inches between your mulch and rose canes since rose wood , which is above ground isnt a fan of be exposed to moisture.

To get the best results, apply the mulch towards the beginning of spring when temperatures begin to rise to ensure that your rose is less susceptible to the effects of drought and of extreme temperatures.

(Read my article on tips to make more roses).


The roses require at least 2 gallons water every week during the season of growth. It is best to water in the mornings. the best option as it can charge your roses with water prior to the hot summer day that is coming up.

Roses that are newly planted require more water once they become established. In hot weather , they could require 2 Gallons of water per day, however under normal conditions, theyll need regular watering for approximately 4 weeks once their roots have become more established.

When the climate is extremely humid, windy or hot or you have fast draining soils, then watering every week twice is required with 2 gallons of water per day.

If your garden has experienced more than 2 inches of rain in seven days, you are able to not water during that time. A second watering following an entire week of heavy rain could make the soil too moist for rose roots.

Mulch is always a hit in rose gardens because it is capable of retaining moisture, improving soil structure, and also adds nutrients.



Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)