No matter where we live, if we want roses, we want them in bloom—and the benefit of growing roses in the desert is that we can enjoy those blooms 7 or 8 months a year!
Roses are perceived as a delicate plant requiring a lot of work—but this does not need to be the case here in the Coachella Valley.
Trust me: Roses can take the heat. It’s intense sunlight that will really stress them out. There are two steps you can take on a regular basis to help them survive the summer and get ready for fall blooms:
1. Plant them in a spot where they only get morning sun. They need eight hours of sun or so to thrive. When roses are planted on the east side of your home, thanks to our early rising sun, the roses can be in the shade by around noon, and will do very well!
2. Water them—deeply, even twice a day in intense heat, with the second watering happening before 6 p.m. Even a brief hose shower will help them cool off. Think of the misters at your favorite alfresco restaurants that help during the summer.
We do need to practice some patience over those hot months, though. Our bushes will look withered, and the few blooms that are pushed out may look scrawny. The best thing to do for your roses—beyond giving them shade and plenty of water—is to leave the burned leaves and the dead blooms on the bush. Every bit of shade does the plant good.
And when fall arrives, the roses will reward you with a fanfare of blooms lasting well into December.
There are many, many roses that do well in the desert. Here is a list of 10 to check out at your local nursery.
- Saint Patrick
- Marilyn Monroe
- Julia Child
- Fragrant Cloud
- Double Delight
- Rainbow Knock Out
- Sally Holmes
- Fourth of July
- Mr. Lincoln (pictured below)
Marylee Pangman is the founder and former owner of The Contained Gardener in Tucson, Ariz. She has become known as the Desert’s Potted Garden Expert. Marylee is available for digital consultations, and you can email her with comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow the Potted Desert on Facebook.