Answer: Although the symptoms can be caused by droughty conditions, the rose shoot sawfly can also cause those symptoms. Carefully inspect the stems for small holes. If you find them, the sawfly is the reason the shoots are dying back. If you find no evidence of insect holes, lack of sufficient water is probably the cause. The best control for either problem is to prune away the affected plant parts and water your rose regularly - two deep soakings per week during the hottest months of the year, one deep soaking the rest of the year. Best wishes with your rose bushes.
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