Roses are looking beautiful this month. They bloomed here a little late, the LSU AgCenter reports, because of the unusually cool weather we had in March and April.

So now we’re getting a show.

The roses will need a little help and nurturing, though, in the summertime heat that’s arrived.

During the summer, the colors of roses will be less intense and there will be even fewer petals on the bloom, said Allen Owings, LSU AgCenter horticulturist.

For example, the Knock Out rose, with its practically fluorescent hues — red is the one most in abundance here — usually has 10 to 12 petals on each rose in midspring, but may only have five to six by late summer, he said.

Keep watering through the summer but try to avoid getting the leaves wet. Those types of roses prone to blackspot should still be sprayed with a fungicide every 10 to 14 days. And a light application of fertilizer now through mid-June is probably a good idea, too, Owings said.

SUMMER FUN: The LSU Hilltop Arboretum, 14 acres of trails, trees and a pond at 11855 Highland Road, has two summer camps for children that teach about plants, gardening and the outdoors.

The Hilltop Summer Sprouts Camp is for children ages 4 to 7 and will be held June 3 to 14, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays. The cost is $225 for Hilltop members and $260 for nonmembers.

The other camp, Hilltop’s Junior Master Gardener Camp, for children ages 7 to 10, will be held June 17 to 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.

The camp is part of a series of camps that help children become certified Junior Master Gardeners.

Children earn the certification by attending, over three years if need be, three camps offered by Hilltop — a short one in the fall, another in the spring and this five-day camp in the summer.

Spots are limited in both of the camps. Online registration is available at or call (225) 767-6916 or email

Ellyn Couvillion

Advocate staff writer