If you grow your own roses, you might know that they are great feeders. If you are a new gardener, it is important to keep in mind that roses need a lot of food to
If you grow your own roses, you might know that they are great feeders. If you are a new gardener, it is important to keep in mind that roses need a lot of food to flourish and bloom. This guide on how to fertilize roses show you how to fertilize, when to fertilize and with what for the best rose flowers!
Before getting into what roses need, it is crucial to know a little about plants and what they need to grow successfully. The three most important basic components are: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). These three are the ones you will see most in any fertilizer package, and they are also called the N-P-K ratio.
How to Fertilize Roses the Right Way
The N-P-K Ratio:
Nitrogen is responsible for helping outbreaks on the ground. In short, it provides healthy and green growth. Roses especially need a good amount of nitrogen to produce a bright and healthy green leaves.
Phosphorus helps roots grow underground. Basically, phosphorus helps in the production of roots and ensures the production of flowers. Adding too little can make the leaves dull and weak, with a slow sprout formation.
Potassium helps the plants around you. It’s like the multivitamin of a fertilizer: it helps roses stay balanced.
In addition to the big three (phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium), roses also need calcium, magnesium, sulfur, boron, copper, iron, manganese and zinc.
Choose the Right Fertilizer for Your Roses
There are several different types of fertilization which you can choose for your rose plants! However, the most important thing to remember is that the fertilizer has a good balance of the above elements. Go to your local nursery or hardware store and look for specific fertilizers for roses!
Organic fertilizers are part of fertilizers that are basically all natural and obviously organic! This includes manure, composting and other animal and vegetable products, such as alfalfa and bean sprouts, bone meal, seaweed extract, etc.
These types of fertilizers are usually more expensive, but if you have access to natural products such as manure and composting (excellent if you live on a farm!), this may be the best option for you!
You can choose between liquid or non-liquid organic fertilizers.
Synthetic or artificial fertilizers are also good for your roses, but they are not so good for the environment. They can be easily found in almost any nursery or hardware store and they come in a variety of different forms, from liquid to slow release.
Whichever way you choose to fertilize, it’s up to you, as long as the fertilizer is fully balanced and has all the above elements!
When to fertilize the Roses
Usually, the general rule for roses is to fertilize every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
Begin the first fertilization once you have 4-6 inches of new growth and can see the first real booklet that contains 5-7 leaves. There is no specific date, since everything depends on the weather. Wait until all the danger of frost has passed before feeding!
Stop fertilizing 8 weeks before the first frost. This is especially true if you live in a colder climate, as it allows any new growth to harden and reduce frost damage.
Apply liquid fertilizer if you see that your roses are in very bad condition. This will give them a quick health boost!
In the fall, apply fertilizer with little or no nitrogen, such as bone meal or rock phosphate. This will help promote growth for next year.
- Fertilize young rose plants with a liquid fertilizer. Granular fertilizers can be a bit hard on young first-year plants.
- If you are growing roses in containers, fertilize them with a liquid or water soluble fertilizer more frequently.
- Miniature roses should only receive liquid fertilizer and throughout their life.
- If you use compost or mulch, this can remove some of the nitrogen from the roses. Add additional nitrogen if necessary.
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