- Roses need to be fed in order to create beautiful blooms.roses image by Piotr Markowski from Fotolia.com
If you want beautiful roses, you need to feed them the proper nutrients. Roses are heavy feeders and require a lot of nutrients from the soil they grow in. Roses have three nutrient requirements in which to grow well. They need nitrogen for green growth, phosphorous for strong roots and potassium for vigorous growth. No matter which fertilizer you buy, always read and follow manufacturer's directions, otherwise you could use too much and burn your plants.
- Pull the weeds and remove any mulch that you have around your roses. Sprinkle slow release fertilizer over the soil, but do not allow the fertilizer to touch the canes or bud union. With a garden fork, scratch the fertilizer into the soil, being careful not to dig so deep into the soil that you damage the roots. Water the ground well after you have finished. Replace the mulch around your roses to help the soil retain moisture.
- Compost, a mixture of grass clippings, leaves, vegetable peelings, egg shells or other organic material, is a healthy alternative to feeding your roses and it is something that you can make at home. Not only does compost feed your roses, it also feeds the soil that the roses grow in. Place three shovels full of compost around the base of the roses. Do this once in the spring and again in mid-summer after the first batch of blooms.
- Remove any mulch that you have around your rose plants so the fertilizer can go straight into the ground and feed the roots. Measure out your liquid or dry fertilizer and put in a bucket or watering can. Add water and stir the contents with a long stick to thoroughly combine. Pour the mixture slowly over the soil at the base of the plant allowing the fertilizer to soak into the soil. When you have finished fertilizing the roses, push the mulch back in place.
- You can also feed your roses by spraying the leaves and blooms directly with fertilizer mixed with water. Instead of the nutrients going into the ground to be used by the roots, they will be absorbed through the leaves of the plant. Measure liquid or dry fertilizer into a bucket and then add water. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly and pour into your sprayer. To make sure none of the fertilizer goes to waste, remove the mulch around your roses so the runoff goes directly into the soil. Spray the top of the rose-bush and then work your way down, making sure that you cover the entire plant with fertilizer to the point of runoff. Foliar feeding should be applied in the cool morning hours or after the heat of the day, because that when the plant's pores are open. When you have finished spraying and the leaves are no longer dripping, push the mulch back in place.