Why Are My Roses Drooping?

Rose Rose image by Jan Wowra, Frankfurt from Fotolia.com

Roses add beauty to any living space, but when their blooms begin to droop you have to act fast to prevent further damage to your plants. As beautiful as roses may be, they are not without problems. Roses are susceptible to pests and disease and even something as simple as an environmental change could seriously threaten the health of your roses.


Verticillium wilt causes drooping, as well as yellowing or pale foliage and dying stems. Botrytis blight makes buds droop and causes lesions on the plant as well as decay of buds. Management of these diseases often includes trimming away any damaged foliage or flowers, transplanting the plant in an uninfested area, and treating it with fungicides to kill off any lingering disease. Never leave a diseased rose around healthy roses or you risk infesting those roses with a droop-inducing disease.


Pests may also cause roses to droop. Drooping canes, or stems, of roses may be caused by pests called borers. Borers are the larvae of insects. Types of borers include rose stem sawfly, rose stem girdler and raspberry cane borer. These larvae dig their way into the stems of rose bushes, producing a wilt or droop in the foliage, stems and new growth on the plants. Borers are treated by pruning away areas of the plant affected with pests or covering openings on the plant's stems with paint or putty to prevent re-entry. Insect pests called thrips infest flowers of roses, causing drooping flowers. Treat thrips with insecticide.


Dehydration causes blooms and foliage to droop. Roses need to stay hydrated, so water thoroughly two to four times weekly. Keep soil moist, never soggy, as overwatering also causes roses to droop. Allow soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Water roses in the morning to prevent diseases such as powdery mildew. As a general rule, do not wet the rose's flowers or foliage, as this also increases risk of disease. Once weekly, spray the rose bush with water in the morning to wash away any dust, pests or mildew. Do this on a sunny day allowing the rose plenty of time to dry out.

Roses in Vases

If you choose to enjoy cut roses indoors, it is quite disappointing to discover your fresh roses have begun to droop. This occurs because roses are cut too soon or left out of water too long before being placed into a vase. To rescue your roses, remove your roses from the vase and place them into fresh, lukewarm water. Separate the roses while they are in this water. Cut 1 inch off of the stem of each rose, while keeping the stem in the water. Roll each individual flower in its own sheet of newspaper, holding it closed with a rubber band. Place the individually wrapped roses into a tub of water, allowing them to soak for two to four hours. Remove the roses from the water, then unwrap and place into a vase of fresh warm water.

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