How Do You Revive a Rose Bush?

revive-rose-bush Credit: Elke Van de Velde/Digital VIsion/Getty Images

To revive a dying rose bush, determine whether the plant has any diseases or pests that may affect its ability to recover. If the rose appears disease and pest free, prune the bush, add mulch, and water regularly to promote healthy growth. The process of revitalizing a rose bush may take several weeks to complete, depending on the underlying issues affecting the plant.

  1. Inspect the plant

    Inspect the rose bush for pests or damage caused by disease. Signs of pests or disease include rotted roots and brown or damaged leaves. Use a commercial insecticide, or spray the rose with soapy water to eliminate pests.

  2. Provide regular care for the rose bush

    Water the rose bush once a week during spring and summer, and check the root system for signs of rot. Signs of rot indicate the bush is receiving too much water. Add a 2-inch layer of mulch around the base of the plant to promote moisture retention and to protect the rose bush from possible contaminants in the surrounding soil. The rose bush can be fertilized after the last frost of the season.

  3. Prune the rose bush

    Prune as much as one-third of the rose bush to encourage vigorous growth. Roses can be pruned at any time.