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Roses are grown for there beauty, fragrance and outstanding visual appeal. To maximize your roses potential, you must feed your roses. Roses respond to a well-balanced diet in the spring, summer, and fall with a regular fertilizing regime.

Fertilize roses in the ground and in containers:

  • In the spring-when the leaves are just starting to bud out.
  • After the first bloom flush, and every 2 after weeks give a liquid boost for blooms in northern zones.
  • If you live in the south, fertilize in fall as well for late fall and early winter blooms.

To start with, get a soil-test-kit and test the soil and see what improvements your soil needs. They can be obtained from nurseries or chain retailers.

All Roses require a balanced soil of 6 to 6.5 ph and these three basic ingredients (NPK):

Nitrogen N For green growth
Phosphorous P For blooms, Photosynthesis, and healthy roots
Potassium K For hardiness, vigor and strong canes

The following are solutions to soil issues:

Bone Meal for Healthy Blooms & good root production (low in nitrogen)
Blood Meal for Green Growth (high in nitrogen)
Alfalfa Meal for Basil shoots & promotes plant growth
Epson Salt for Vigorous growth (magnesium sulfate)
Wood Ashes for Hardiness (potash)
Composted Manure or Compost for a combination of minerals, nitrogen & trace elements that feed and improve the soil, and great for Roses

Use the following formula during spring, summer, and fall fertilizing, or when planting roses: Add it around the base of each bush and work in gently. Use for planting new roses by adding in the hole and in potted roses by gently working it into the top of the pot.

  • Miniature roses under 2' tall
    -1/4 cup bone meal
    -1/8 cup-blood meal
    -1/8 cups alfalfa meal
    -1/8 tsp Epson salt
    -2-tsp wood ashes
    -1/4 of an ice cream bucket of composted manure or compost.

  • Small- Medium Roses 1-4' tall
    -1/2-3/4 cup bone meal
    -1/2 cup-blood meal
    -1/4 cup alfalfa meal
    -1 tsp Epson salts
    -1/4-1/ cup wood ashes
    -1/2 of an ice cream bucket of composted manure or compost

  • Large Roses 5 ft and over tall
    -1-1/2 cups bone meal
    -1 cup blood meal
    -1/2 cup alfalfa meal
    -1 tsp Epsom salts
    -1/2 cup wood ashes
    -3/4- of an ice cream bucket of composted manure or compost

In the spring, bury a dried banana peel under each rose plant for a boost of potassium.

In the summer, a liquid fertilizer boost every 2 weeks in summer will make your roses really grow. This is great for all roses, in particular potted roses. Use the following recipe:

  • Make Alfalfa or Manure tea
  • add 5 pounds of manure or 7 cups of alfalfa pellets to a garbage can 1/2 filled with water.
  • Keep covered for 3 days, stirring each day.

At the end of the growing season, try to stop fertilizing all roses 6 weeks before the average first frost date in your area