Osmotic adjustment in Rosa hybrida L. cv Samantha was characterized by the pressure-volume approach in drought-acclimated and unacclimated plants brought to the same level of drought strain, as assayed by stomatal closure. Plants were colonized by either of the vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Glomus deserticola Trappe, Bloss and Menge or G. intraradices Schenck and Smith, or were nonmycorrhizal. Both the acclimation and the mycorrhizal treatments decreased the osmotic potential (Psi(pi)) of leaves at full turgor and at the turgor loss point, with a corresponding increase in pressure potential at full turgor. Mycorrhizae enabled plants to maintain leaf turgor and conductance at greater tissue water deficits, and lower leaf and soil water potentials, when compared with nonmycorrhizal plants. As indicated by the Psi(pi) at the turgor loss point, the active Psi(pi) depression which attended mycorrhizal colonization alone was 0.4 to 0.6 megapascals, and mycorrhizal colonization and acclimation in concert 0.6 to 0.9 megapascals, relative to unacclimated controls without mycorrhizae. Colonization levels and sporulation were higher in plants subjected to acclimation. In unacclimated hosts, leaf water potential, water saturation deficit, and soil water potential at a particular level of drought strain were affected most by G. intraradices. G. deserticola had the greater effect after drought preconditioning.