The Q&A Archives: Yellowing leaves on roses

Question: My gardener recently cut my cascading rose tree, and all of the long cascades he cut off leaving the tree rounded. He has no idea how to care for this type of rose tree but it is now turning yellow on the leaves. It was getting about 6 minutes of water once a day so I am trying to see what the problem is and how to rectify it.

Answer: Since your plant has been drastically pruned back in mid-summer, I suspect the yellowing leaves are a sign of stress. When the canes were cut back, the lower foliage, which was somewhat protected, is now receiving more sunlight that it was before the pruning session. Yellowing leaves can also indicate under or over watering, or a lack of nutrients. Feed your rose with a good balanced rose food (in amounts as indicated on the label) and water it deeply once or twice a week. Check the soil moisture content by digging a hole down near the roots of your rose. Drip systems may deliver too much or not enough water, which could be stressing your rose. It might be best, as you nurse it back to its former glory, to hand water your rose. Best wishes with your garden!

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