For a rose lover, there is nothing more discouraging than having a rose bush die.  But before abandoning all hope, there are some steps you can take that may result in the revival of your rose bush – provided, of course, that it hasn’t completely died.

To establish whether your rose bush is still alive, break off a few branches.  If they snap easily, it’s likely that the bush is dead.  If the branches are still flexible, it could still be alive.  If that’s the case, choose a branch near the base of your rose bush and cut it off.  Scrape off the outside bark with a blade.  If you see green under the bark, you’re in luck.  If it’s brown, you know your rose bush has died.

Once you have established that your rose may still be living, go ahead and clear the base area of dead flowers and leaves. Fallen leaves can cause your rose bush to develop diseases. Pick up any dead petals or leaves around the base and discard them.

If your rose bush has any flowers or leaves that have developed spots or patches of discolouration, it’s a sign that they are diseased or dying.  Make sure to prune off those areas to prevent disease spreading to the rest of the plant.  You can also pop in and chat to us about the right products to use to prevent the disease of your rose bush.

The next step is to prune your rose bush.  Pruning dead and unnecessary branches allows for the center of your rose bush to grow healthier.  To get full tips on how to prune your rose bush, you can read this article.

Once pruning has been taken care of, you’ll need to ensure that your rose bush is fertilised and that you are putting nutrients back into the soil. The fertilizer should be applied once every 4 weeks during the growing season, or the beginning of spring.  Visit your nearest Blackwood’s to get advice on the right ferilisers to use if you are unsure. Water the soil before and after applying fertiliser. This will prevent the fertiliser from burning your plant.  Make sure not to allow the fertiliser to come into contact with the leaves or branches of your rose bush.  It will burn the plant, causing it to wilt.

Sprinkle the mulch around the rose bush in an even layer, leaving a clearance around the base of the rose bush of about 2.5 cm.  Don’t not pile the mulch up around the crown of the bush.  Adding mulch allows the soil to retain moisture and it also discourages the growth of weeds that steal nutrients from the soil.

If you don’t have weekly rainfall or if your rose bush is a potted plant on a covered verandah or patio, you must water regularly and thoroughly soak the soil.  Water your rose bush in the early morning or late afternoon.  Watering them in the middle of the day in the hot sun can cause water spots.

With these steps, you may start to see the beginnings of new growth – and in time, you may have a happy and healthy rose bush again.