Roses require a constant supply of nutrients throughout the growing season to operate at their best. Roses in good health bloom better and are also more resistant to insect and disease concerns.
Because there are so many different fertilizers, it can be challenging to figure out how and when to fertilize your roses. Here’s all you need to know about roses so you can get the most out of them.
Essential Nutrients For Roses
Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are the three primary nutrients (macronutrients) that all plants require (K).
Nitrogen promotes leaf growth that is healthy and vigorous. Because a rose’s power to produce flowers is housed in its leaves, healthy foliage leads to more blooms. Inadequate nitrogen causes yellow leaves, stunted development, and smaller blooms, whereas too much nitrogen causes excessive foliage and fewer blossoms.
Phosphorus is essential for root development and floral production. Leaf drop, weak flower stalks, and buds that refuse to open can all be symptoms of a phosphorus deficiency.
When roses are stressed by insect and disease damage or extreme weather conditions, potassium, commonly known as potash, aids recovery.
Poorly developed buds, weak flower stems, and yellow leaf margins might indicate a potassium deficiency.
Other nutrients: Roses require micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, sulfur, boron, copper, iron, manganese, and zinc to thrive.
Fertilizing Basics for Newly Planted Roses
- Add organic stuff to the planting hole to make it more fertile.
- For good root development, use a slow-release fertilizer and a handful of bone meal as directed on the container.
- To encourage foliar and cane development, sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 cup Epsom salts around the base of the plant.
- Continue to fertilize with a moderate fertilizer such as fish emulsion every 3 to 4 weeks.
- Full-strength fertilizers can burn the leaf edges and root tips of a new plant if it dries out at all.
Fertilizing Basics for Established Roses
Begin fertilizing when new leaves grow in the early to mid-spring. I live in San Diego, CA. As I am writing this article in early winter, many of my roses grow new leaves and bloom.
Don’t let a chronological calendar override what you experience. If roses are growing, provide them with food regardless of the time of year.
To encourage fresh cane development and lusher growth, use a high-nitrogen fertilizer or top-dress with alfalfa meal (5-1-2) for the first application, coupled with Epsom salts. When the shoots are 4 to 5 inches long, apply a slow-release fertilizer.
Throughout the season: Depending on the fertilizer used, feed every 2 to 4 weeks during the growing season.
Again, where I live, I have growing seasons, and I have crazy growing seasons. I need to adapt to my roses and feed them according to their needs.
Late summer to early fall: Use a low-nitrogen slow-release fertilizer like a bone meal to encourage root growth and next year’s blossoms. Stop fertilizing 6 to 8 weeks before your average first frost date to avoid new growth being killed by frost.
Care for Container Roses
Because nutrients seep out more quickly due to more frequent watering, container roses may require more fertilization than those planted in the ground.
Additional Steps To Keep Your Roses Healthy
- Correctly prune them
- Aphids must be eradicated
- It is critical to treat powdery mildew as soon as possible
- Get rid of the black spot
- Control Infestations of Japanese beetles
- Improve the quality of your soil.
A Quick Primer For Best Rose Fertilizer
Because organic fertilizers are generated from plant or animal debris, they are better for the environment. These offer various nutritional benefits and can be used individually or in combination as part of your rose-feeding program. Some also help to improve soil texture and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Synthetic, chemical, and artificial inorganic fertilizers are ready-to-use and convenient, more concentrated, and often less expensive than organic fertilizers.
These products, on the other hand, do not improve soil and have no sound long-term effects. Once you take that path, you kill many beneficial insects and microorganisms that contribute to the health of your roses.
A quick fix usually means a long-term headache.
Some contain insecticides, which should be avoided at all costs because they harm wildlife.
Organic Rose Fertilizers
There are a variety of pre-packaged organic fertilizers explicitly designed for roses that eliminate the guesswork from fertilizing. While they all include a well-balanced nutritional profile, some also include vital trace minerals and helpful microorganisms. Here are a couple of ideas:
Rose & Flower Fertilizer by Dr. Earth
Great Big Roses Espoma Rose-Tone Espoma Rose-Tone Espoma Rose-Tone Espoma Rose Rose Food (Organic)
Jobe’s Organics is a company that specializes in organic products. Spikes of Rose and Flower Fertilizer
Compost improves the general health of plants, making roses more resistant to pests and illnesses. Apply a 1- to 2-inch layer around the base of established rose plants each spring, or mix into the soil at planting time. Learning how to make both compost and compost tea can save you money and produce much better results.
Manure can be stirred into the soil when planting, or a one-inch layer of mulch can be applied to established rose plants in the spring. To avoid burning plants, make sure the manure is well-aged. Teas made from manure are also effective.
Bone meal can be applied in the spring to provide a slow-release effect during the growing season and again in the fall to encourage root growth and flower production the following year.
Cottonseed meal improves the general health of plants. For a slow-release action throughout the growing season, apply once or twice a year. The pH of the soil may need to be corrected with lime or another alkaline source because it is slightly acidic.
Kelp meal or seaweed extract can be used as part of a regular fertilization program to enhance root development and increase resistance to pests and diseases throughout the growing season.
Fish fertilizer stimulates lush development and can be used as an all-purpose fertilizer. Apply as the main fertilizer every three weeks during the growing season, usually in conjunction with kelp.
Alfalfa is one of the best organic amendments in terms of overall bloom output and vigorous growth.
For a boost of nitrogen, coffee grinds can be dusted around the base of rose bushes during the growing season; however, because coffee is acidic, soil pH may need to be adjusted with lime or another alkaline source.
Epsom salts encourage brighter blooms, healthier foliage, and faster cane development. Apply in the spring or when you’re getting ready to plant.