They do like a lot of water. Many problems with rose bushes involve the plants not getting enough water. Water them generously, they need about 5 gallons a week in the summer months. Once the rose matures, about 3 years in, they become more drought-resistanct.
I manage a 2.5 acre public rose garden in Seattle, so when we are talking roses and water, I feel I should speak up! I can say from professional experience that roses need to be “well-watered”. To the average homeowner that seems to mean saturate daily. NO! Roses like a deep watering (meaning, really allow the water to get down into the root zone vs surface watering which just wets the above ground soil), but they don’t like “wet feet”, i.e. they shouldn’t sit in undrained, overstaurated soil. The best way to provide the right amount of water to your beloved bloomers is to set a slightly trickling hose at the base of the crown for about an hour every other day during the height of the growing season(either in the early morning or late evening when the soil is coolest and most absorbent). Note too, that soil compostion plays a vital role in how water moves through soil and whether or not it is taken up by plants (so, know your soil!) People often water by spraying the entire shrub from above which contributes to disease (moisture is favorable for destructive microbes) and wastes water-it is lost to evaporation while sitting on foliage surfaces. It is also important to consider your climate, and to regulate water needs accordingly. I am quite sure my Seattle roses are a little less thirsty than their cousins in Texas! Water smart, that’s the ticket.
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