Santa Clara County Rose Society

Founded in 1927
The first local rose society on the World Wide Web!
Website Established April, 1995
Affiliated with the American Rose Society

Rose Culture in Santa Clara County

Here is a list of what to do when in Santa Clara County. Note that the county has many microclimates; roses in Los Altos and Palo Alto will tend to bloom later than roses in Almaden Valley due to cooler temperatures. Soil conditions range from adobe to the wonderful loam from the areas that were formerly orchards. Here are some guidelines of the tasks you can do during the year:

Calendar of things to do


  • Prune all roses except those that bloom once a year.
  • Plant bare-root roses.
  • If desired, apply pre-emergent weedkiller.
  • Dormant spray.
  • Clean up all debris.


  • Finish pruning by mid-month since the sap will begin to rise and the roses will try to put out new growth.
  • Also finish planting.
  • Do not apply dormant spray once the bushes begin to leaf out since the spray will burn the tender growth.
  • Can also add soil amendments.


  • Apply fertilizer.
  • Add soil amendments if you haven't already done so.
  • Begin spray program, if desired.
  • Finger prune.


  • Continue spray program (if you choose to spray).
  • Disbud for one bloom-per-stem.
  • Make sure roses have enough water.
  • Prepare for rose shows!

May - September

  • Be sure roses are well watered.
  • Continue fertilizer program.
  • Spray for disease and insects if you choose to spray.
  • Otherwise, use IPM practices such as introducing beneficial insects and using nontoxic sprays.
  • Keep garden clean of debris.
  • Improve air flow among roses by removing crossing canes and keeping the centers of the bushes open.


  • Decrease nitrogen in your fertilizer by using 0-10-10, or by ending your fertilization program.
  • Continue spray program if you are using one.
  • Garden should remain free of debris to help avoid the spread of disease.
  • Monitor soil moisture as the rains begin.
  • Send for rose catalogs and order new roses!


  • End fertilization program if you haven't already done so.
  • Dispose of garden debris.
  • Roses require less water as they go dormant, but make sure that the soil is still moist.
  • Let hips form to encourage dormancy.


  • Same as November.
  • Can begin pruning, if desired.
  • Prepare soil for new rose beds.

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