Rose Fertilizer Basics

Buy rose fertilizer here. Feeding your roses with chemical rose fertilizers vs organic rose food. Ways to feed different types of roses. When and how to fertilize your roses for best bloom.



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Rose bushes are heavy feeders. You must supply them with regular nutrients if you want them to enjoy good health and reward you with a fantastic floral display.

Fertilizing Roses will provide you with all the information you need about rose feeding.

As roses cannot use rose plant food without sufficient moisture, you should also take a look at Watering Your Roses.


Shrub Rose Fertilizing

When to Fertilize Shrub Roses

The Modern Shrubs require the same amount of food and the same number of feedings per season as any other class of rose.

Roses are not fed according to their class, type or variety but according to their age, size, and location.

Roses growing in pots need a smaller amount of fertilizer because the volume of soil they are growing in is smaller. Rose bushes growing in the tropics or subtropics require 1 extra feeding per season because of the longer growing season in these regions.

Always follow the directions on the rose fertilizer you are using as to the amount to apply. When in doubt, apply less. Especially when using chemical fertilizers. They can burn a roses foliage if applied too heavily.

I have made this mistake and the resulting leaf scorch is heartbreaking.

If this happens to you, flush the soil with clean water and keep it moist. Do not feed again until the rose recovers.


Organic Rose Food vs Chemical Fertilizer

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Ways to Feed Roses

There are granular and powdered rose plant foods that you sprinkle on the soil around the plants and water in.

Then you have liquid fertilizers that you dilute in water and pour onto the soil or spray on the leaves.

Last there are the fertilizer spikes. These are very neat and handy for use in pots. Many rose gardeners also use them for feeding roses in the ground with excellent results.

Composted manure is the absolute best organic rose food you can use. The problem is access. Many gardeners do not live near a farm.

If you can obtain composted manure, use generous amounts of it in your rose beds.

Chemical and organic rose fertilizers do different things. I use both and feel that both deserve consideration.

The proponents of organic gardening say that chemical fertilizers are damaging to important soil microorganisms. They also say that organic fertilizers build the soil and can improve it greatly when used over a period of years.

I tend to believe them. But in my sandy soil, I find that organic rose food alone is not enough. At least not yet. So I supplement with fast acting, high quality chemical rose plant food.

Jobe's, Scotts, and Dr. Earth rose fertilizer are all good brands.


Signs That Your Roses Need Food

  • The number 1 sign of a malnourished rose is stunted, weak growth.
  • Poor disease resistance.
  • Smaller flowers than is normal for the variety.
  • Small leaves.
  • Pale or discolored leaves (though this can also be a sign of disease).



Preventing Rose Diseases

'Abraham Lincoln' Rose

'Double Delight' Rose

Knock Out and Other Landscape Roses

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