How To Fertilize Roses

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This article will teach you how to fertilize roses.
by Gary Mueller · All Zones · Fertilizing · 0 Comments · June 14, 2010 · 8,598 views

There are many different types of roses, and therefore different methods for fertilization. Below are general guidlines for fertilizing most types of roses.

Best Growing Conditions

Soil - Most roses prefer a well-drained but moist soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. If you don't know the pH of your soil testing is recommended. Most nursery and garden centers sell soil testing kits or you can buy a soil testing kit online here. Your local Extension Service might also provide soil testing services.

Sun - With the exception of a few roses that will tolerate more shade, most prefer full sun to light shade. Keep in mind that morning sun is a must to dry dew from the leaves.

Fertilizing Roses

  • When planting a new rose in your garden, you should fertilize with a mild fertilizer that is slow to release, such as fish emulsion, cottonseed meal or Osmocote. Follow the application instructions on the label.
  • Fertilization of established roses can begin after new growth begins to emerge in Spring. Fertilize with a rose food or an organic fertilizer. Some rose foods have built-in systemic insecticides. Follow application instructions on product label.
  • Additionally, every two weeks, I water around the base of my roses with a solution of water soluble fertilizer. Never apply liquid fertilizers directly to the foliage of roses.
  • In regions that experience colder winters, where temperatures dip below freezing, stop fertilizing roses about a month or so before the typical first frost date. Promoting new growth during winter can lead to freeze damage.
  • Avoid fertilizing roses when they are under stress from extreme heat or drought. Doing so can cause damage to leaves or buds. It is be best to simply provide additional water during prolong periods of drought.

Buy Rose Food to Fertilize Roses online at Gardener Direct

Watering Roses

Watering your roses is as important as feeding them, and it can sometimes be a tricky thing. During the hotter months of the year, roses may need almost as much water to stay healthy as people do. Of course there are quite a few things that must be considered before you water your roses:

  • As might be expected, roses need more water during hotter weather than colder weather. Heat makes the soil dry faster and the roses become more thirsty. Keep an eye out for new growth that begins to wilt. This is a sure fire indicator that your rose needs water.
  • On the other hand, too much watering can lead to root rot and other damaging diseases. Roses like moist, but well-drained soils. They do not like their roots to stand in consistently moist soil.
  • Always provide water at the base of a plant. Water that stands on foliage too long can sponsor the development of powdery mildew, black spot and other diseases. Only the Knock Out series of roses are resistant to black spot.
  • A light coat of mulch at 1 or 2 inch depth can help to retain extra moisture.
  • During dry periods of Spring and Fall, roses may need watering once a week. During dry, hot periods of Summer, roses may need watering twice a week. Watering requirements may vary depending on the soil type. Clay based soils tend to hold water longer than do sandy or more porous soils.


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Gary Mueller

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Gary Mueller - Gary Mueller is an award-winning grower of hybrid tea and other roses.


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Roses, Fertilizer




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