previous page: 28 Rose Gardening: deadheading:
page up: Rose Gardening FAQ
next page: 30 Rose Gardening: fragrance:

29 Rose Gardening: fertilizer:


This article is from the Rose Gardening FAQ, by Bill Chandler chandler@austin.ibm.com, Jolene Adams jolene@cchem.berkeley.edu, Brent C. Dickerson odinthor@csulf.edu, Karen Baldwin kbaldwin@veribest.com, and many contributors

29 Rose Gardening: fertilizer:

Use a high Phosphorous fertilizer such as 5-10-5, 8-12-4 or 4-12-4,
(Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Potassium), (leaves,flowers,roots). Fertilize less
during the first year while the plant is getting established.

When planting roses, it is recommended that you add long-term sources of
Phosphorous and Potassium to the soil near the roots because these two
elements move slowly through the soil. Bone meal and rock phosphate are good
long-term sources of Phosphorous. Granite sand is a long-term source of

Cottonseed meal (lowers soil P.H.), alfalfa meal, and blood meal are organic
sources of Nitrogen. Alfalfa meal also releases a growth stimulator as it
decomposes. Many forms of inorganic Nitrogen leach quickly from the soil.
Nitrogen also helps stimulate basal breaks.

Some rose growers fertilize with Epsom salts. Epsom salts are magnesium
sulfate, a source of Magnesium. Being a sulfate, it will lower soil P.H.
Although the need to use of Epsom salts is frequently debated, Magnesium
(along with Nitrogen) is supposed to stimulate basal breaks. Many gardeners
use 1/4 cup of Epsom salts per plant in the Spring and/or Fall. Some use as
little as 1 tablespoon per plant, others up to 1/2 cup.

Seaweed is a good organic source of trace elements.

Floribundas: (abbrev. FB or FL)

Floribundas were created about 1909 by crossing the Polyanthas with Hybrid
Teas. They produce flowers in clusters, not singly like the Hybrid Teas.
Floribundas are usually shorter plants than Hybrid Teas and tend to produce
more flowers and smaller flowers than Hybrid Teas on shorter stems. Although
Hybrid Teas provide excellent cut flowers, Floribundas are well suited as
good landscape plants providing lots of color. Many Floribundas are not very
fragrant. See the FAQ article (part 5/6) on Modern Roses, for more
information about Floribundas.

bud-pinching Floribundas: When a Floribunda forms a bloom "spike" or
"candelabra" - it is setting many little blooms on one stem. To prune
Floribundas for quality of bloom, rather than the maximum number of blooms,
pinch out the center, fat bud so the side buds have a better chance at
developing at the same time. This encourages a big rounded mass of blossoms
- a "spray." Floribundas like to do this so it is relatively easy to
persuade them to flower in this manner. Once some of the blooms begin to
fade, you can just cut out the few that are dying and let the spray continue
to develop blooms. Once the entire spray is spent, or most of the
individually blooms are finished, cut off the entire spray.


Continue to:

previous page: 28 Rose Gardening: deadheading:
page up: Rose Gardening FAQ
next page: 30 Rose Gardening: fragrance: