g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Natural Living
Folklore and Mythology
Distance Learning

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Roses Site

BellaOnline's Roses Editor


Rose Feeding Basics

Guest Author - Michelle Ullman

Roses are hungry plants. If they had voices, they would be crying out, “Feed me!” like the man-eating plant Audrey II in the musical, “Little Shop of Horrors.” While you don’t need to go to the lengths the hapless Seymour did to keep Audrey II happy, you will need to provide your roses with fertilizer if you want a green, healthy plant with an abundance of flowers.

During winter dormancy, roses require no fertilizing. It’s time to feed your roses when the first signs of new leaves appear in the spring. Depending on where you live, this could be anywhere between March and May. When your rosebush is showing a flush of reddish, new foliage, that’s the time to give the first feeding of the season.

There are probably as many methods of fertilizing as there are rosarians, but if you are like many gardeners, you are looking for a straightforward, easy plan that minimizes work and maximizes bloom.

• The easiest method of fertilizing is to buy a slow-acting, granular fertilizer like Osmocote, Miracle Gro Shake n’ Feed or Bayer All in One, and sprinkle the recommended amount around each rosebush. Water into the soil and your fertilizing is done for months.

• Follow up with a second feeding in the early summer, and you have fed your roses for the year, unless you live in the most mild-winter areas such as Florida or Southern California, where you will provide one more feeding in early fall.

While following the lazy man’s system will certainly get the job done, if you want the healthiest bushes with the best flowers, or if you simply enjoy getting more involved with your gardening, you can take your rose feeding to the next level.

• Start with a good, all-purpose organic granular fertilizer. Some easily found brands are Whitney Farms, Dr. Earth and Jobe’s Organics. Scratch a quarter cup of fertilizer in a ring around each rosebush, keeping the ring at least 6 inches away from the base of the plant. Ideally, your fertilizer should form a thin covering around each bush, in a band around 12 inches wide.

• Add a quarter cup of Epsom salt to the ring around each rosebush. Epsom salt is an excellent source of magnesium, and will help strengthen your rose’s canes.

• Bone meal provides extra phosphorus, which promotes more flowers, and calcium, which helps strengthen roots. Use one-quarter cup of bone meal.

• Finally, a cupful of alfalfa meal will give nitrogen to your roses, greening up the leaves. Alfalfa meal also helps convert nutrients in the soil so they become more available to your roses.

Work these amendments lightly into the soil around each rosebush, then cover with an inch or two of organic compost, such as Kellogg’s Gromulch. Water thoroughly, and hose off your rose’s foliage to wash away any fertilizer that may have blown onto the leaves.

• In early summer, repeat the application of all-purpose organic fertilizer and Epsom salt. If you desire, add a quarter cup of blood meal or fishmeal to the mix. These both contain extra nitrogen and trace elements to give your roses energy for rapid growth. Blood and fishmeal do not smell good, and can attract unwanted animal attention, so water in very thoroughly after applying.

• If you are in Florida, Southern California, or any other very temperate, mild-winter area, give one more feeding of the all-purpose fertilizer in early fall.

You can follow the above schedule for fertilizing your miniature or container-grown roses, but cut all quantities in half.

Well-fed roses are healthy roses. Your roses won’t ever demand human victims, like Audrey II, but if they could talk, they would definitely ask you to keep them satisfied with an annual fertilizing schedule that provides for their nutritional needs.

This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add Rose+Feeding+Basics to Twitter Add Rose+Feeding+Basics to Facebook Add Rose+Feeding+Basics to MySpace Add Rose+Feeding+Basics to Del.icio.us Digg Rose+Feeding+Basics Add Rose+Feeding+Basics to Yahoo My Web Add Rose+Feeding+Basics to Google Bookmarks Add Rose+Feeding+Basics to Stumbleupon Add Rose+Feeding+Basics to Reddit

Natural Rose Practices
Roses and Coffee Grounds
The Great Mulch Debate
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Roses Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2015 by Michelle Ullman. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Michelle Ullman. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


g features
4 Great Climbing Roses

Growing Knock Out Roses

Treating Powdery Mildew and Downy Mildew on Roses

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Less than Monthly

BellaOnline on Facebook

| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2016 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor