Saturday, July 4, 2015


Problems With Over-Fertilizing Roses

by Amanda Flanigan, Demand Media Google
Roses attract bees and butterflies.
Roses attract bees and butterflies.
Roses (Rosa) provide a classic and elegant addition to your landscape or garden,
 with the added bonus of providing cut blooms for vases.
 Depending on the cultivar, roses grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 3 through 9. Applying the proper type and amount of fertilizer to your rose bush can help create a lush and healthy plant. Over-fertilizing roses causes more harm than under-fertilizing and leads several problems.

Weaker Plant and Fewer Blooms

Over-fertilizing the roses leads to fast and sudden growth, which produces an excessive amount of leaves and shoots that the plant cannot handle.
This leads to a weaker plant and with fewer blooms.
This overdose of nitrogen increases the foliage production at the expense of flower buds
and, since roses are grown for their blooms, you are left with a rose bush without roses.

Diseases and Pests

A weak plant cannot handle diseases and pests as well as a healthy rose bush.
When the over-fertilized plant is attacked by bugs, diseases or fungus that generally would cause little to no problems, its weakened state decreases its ability to fight off these problems.
 Furthermore, roses that have more nitrogen than needed
face an increased chance of an aphid infestation.


Applying too much fertilizer to the rose bush not only affects the plant,
 it also increases the chance of polluting waterways and streams.
 The excessive fertilizer runs off the soil or leaches out of the ground and containment waterways, and possibly makes its way into your local drinking water.

Burning and Leaf Dieback

Excessive fertilizer increases the amount of nutrients and minerals -- such as salt and nitrogen -- in the soil. When the rose bush absorbs these excessive nutrients and minerals, the tips of its leaves begin to yellow or brown and lead to leaf tip dieback.
 In addition, too much nitrogen -- such as from over-fertilizing -- burns the rose’s tender roots.

Mineral Toxicity

Over-fertilizing adds more minerals to the soil than needed,
 and having too much of a good thing can lead to several plant damage.

 Sulfur, nitrogen and potassium leads to leaf burn; 
calcium, phosphorus and iron reduces the plant’s ability to absorb other important nutrients,
 and copper, boron and zinc increase the chance of leaf drop.

 Furthermore, the excess nutrients change the soil’s pH balance and can build up to toxic levels over time.

Proper Fertilization

The proper way to fertilize your roses depends on what type of fertilizer you are using
 and when you are applying it. 
Fertilizer can be applied before or after you have planted the bush.

 Fertilizers added post-planting should be applied in early morning so the plant can absorb them quickly and reduce the chance of burning. 

Most fertilizers are added directly to the soil while others are sprayed onto the rose’s foliage. Apply fertilizer to the soil around the rose’s drip line. 

For foliage sprays, add a surfactant substance -- 
such as 1/4 teaspoon of mild dish soap per gallon of mixture -- that helps the fertilizer stick
 to the foliage.
 Spray the foliage until the liquid drips off the plant. 

 Water the rose well the day before and the day after applying fertilizer. 
This ensures the nutrients in the fertilizer move to the root zone quickly. 
Since each type and brand of rose fertilizer has its own specific directions, 
follow the feeding instructions on the fertilizer’s label. 



Directions for Fertilizing a Rose Bush

by Jasey Kelly
Roses love their fertilizer when it's applied correctly.
Roses love their fertilizer when it's applied correctly.
Rose bushes remain a perennial favorite due to their undying beauty, popularity and the many varieties that currently are available. Whether you choose shrub roses, carpet roses, long-stemmed roses, old-fashioned roses or climbing roses, fertilizing is necessary to do what's best for the bush. However, a few common mistakes that are made when fertilizing roses can cause problems due to over-fertilizing while neglecting other care.

Soil Tests

The key to understanding what your roses really need is having a soil test performed in the area
where your roses are located.
 Obtain a soil test from a local nursery, extension office or online,
but only choose those that read the results for you and can give you educated suggestions on what to purchase. A typical soil test will show you the pH of your soil, along with the nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) levels.
Sometimes they will show additional nutrient levels as well.
Over-fertilizing often is the result of pure assumption that your roses "need something" rather than cold, hard facts about what they are lacking.

Organic Vs. Chemical

Excellent rose fertilizers exist on the organic and inorganic sides of the spectrum,
and it will be your personal preference on which you'd like to use.

Organic fertilizers are natural, meaning they come from a natural, living source.
 Common organic fertilizers used on roses include blood meal, 
bone meal, cottonseed meal, fish emulsion or fish meal.  

The inorganic, or chemical, fertilizers are man-made from various chemicals,
and still provide the necessary N-P-K values and other micro-nutrients roses need.

New Roses

Before planting, mix in high-quality organic soil amendments, such as compost,
composted manures, peat or others.
 As these break down, they'll also increase the drainage abilities of your soil
 while slowly feeding your plant. Once your young, tender rose bush produces its first blooms, you then can add chemical or stronger fertilizers.

Established Roses

The best time to start your annual feeding regimen is directly after pruning in late winter or early spring. This gives you a starting time to help you stay on top of the care of your roses.
 Right after pruning, add organic amendments back into the soil. 

The American Rose Society recommends the following recipe 
for your first spring feeding: 

1 cup bone meal, 
1 cup cottonseed meal, 
1/2 cup blood meal, 
1/2 cup fish meal 
and 1/2 cup epsom salts per bush.

 To add this mixture to the soil, water first, spread the mix thoroughly around the drip line, scratch it in and then water thoroughly again.
 After about three weeks, you can start to add your standard fertilizers every two weeks or so. 



Do You Cut Off Dead Roses?

by Jenny Harrington Google
Deadheading roses is a form of mild pruning.
Deadheading roses is a form of mild pruning.
Healthy, blooming roses (Rosa spp.) add a splash of bright color during their flowering period, but blooms quickly lose beauty as they begin to fade. Most roses thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 11, depending on variety
. Deadheading, the removal of spent flowers, can improve 

the appearance and health of the rose bush. 
When it's done correctly, the rose may even flower more prolifically and reward you with many more blooms.


Fading roses attempt to set seed, which depletes plant energy.
Success signals the rose that further flowering isn't necessary.
For many rose varieties, removing spent blooms 
can cause production of more buds,
 lengthening the bloom period.

The wilted roses detract from the appearance of the rose bush,
so deadheading also improves the ornamental qualities of your garden roses.
Dead plant material can attract pests or 
provide a breeding ground for fungal spores.
 Prompt flower removal may improve the health of your roses.

Rose Varieties

Not all rose varieties require deadheading. Some varieties of old garden roses, such as Rosa rugosa, bloom once per season. This variety produces a fruit, rose hips, which can provide interest and bird food during the dormant winter period.
The hips may also be used to flavor jams and other food items.
There's no need to deadhead if you want to produce rose hips.
 Rose varieties that can bloom multiple times during the summer, such as hybrid tea roses, benefit most from prompt deadheading.


Deadheading is a form of pruning.
It's vital to make the cut correctly, so the bush retains an attractive form.
 After the first flush of bloom, remove spent flowers 
by cutting just above a set of three or five leaves on the stem 
 beneath the spent bloom.
  For subsequent deadheading, cut mainly above a five-leaf grouping. You can also deadhead back to a seven-leaf set,
 although this may result in the removal of a long cane.
Make the cut at a 45-degree angle within 1/4 inch of the chosen leaf grouping.
 Bypass shears with sharp cutting edges will cut through the rose stem without crushing it.


Pests such as the rose borer (Agrilus cuprescens) can enter the cane through deadheading cuts. These pests bore into the cane and cause stem or plant death. 
Borers only breach stems wider than a pencil, or about 1/4-inch in diameter or larger. 
Sealing the cut after deadheading prevents pest intrusion, and helps keep the rose plant healthy. 
Rose sealant is available, but you can also coat the cut 
with a thin layer of clear nail polish 
or wood glue to keep the borer out. 
If you use sealant, paint it on thinly, following all package instructions for proper use and safety.  



How to Deadhead a Rose Plant

by Axl J. Amistaadt
Deadhead rose plants regularly to maintain a stunning display.
Deadhead rose plants regularly to maintain a stunning display.
The proper method for deadheading rose plants varies according to the type of rose,
although the reasons for deadheading are universal.

 Rose gardeners should deadhead throughout the blooming season
 to prevent the plants from forming hips, the fruits where seeds develop.

 Removing the old dead flowers allows the plant to direct its energies and resources
 to growing new canes and producing more blooms.
It also keeps your roses looking tidy and at their regal finest.
 It is safe to deadhead rose plants until October 1, when they begin to harden off for the winter.


Deadhead newly planted rose bushes of all varieties without cutting back cane length
 during their first year after planting.
Snip the spent bloom off just below the base of the flower with clean, sharp shears.
 This allows the young plant to keep as much cane tissue and foliage as possible
 while it is developing.
Canes form the basic framework and foliage makes food for the plant, resulting in a healthier,
more robust rose bush with larger and better flowers.


Cut spent blooms of all mature rose plant varieties just below the base of the flower following the first spring flush of the year.
 This leaves as much wood and foliage as possible, which promotes healthier canes a
nd sturdier main stems in mature rose plants.


Prune the stems of spent floribundas and hybrid tea roses back to ¼ inch above the first or second leaf with five outward-facing leaflets throughout the remainder of the blooming season.
 Slant the shears at a 45-degree angle pointing away from the plant.

 The further down the stem that you deadhead, 
the thicker the wood grows. 
 Deadhead down to the first leaf if you want the stem to bloom faster but produce more numerous flowers, which will be smaller.
Make your cut lower if you do not mind waiting longer for fewer but bigger blooms.


Deadhead mature shrub and climbing rose plants back to ¼ inch above the first five- or seven-leaflet leaf with an outward-facing bud throughout the remainder of the blooming season.
 Make a clean, outward-slanting, 45-degree-angle cut.


Apply a dab of white glue to large, woody cut canes if you wish.
 This will seal the wound and prevent insects from boring into it and fend off fungal and disease organisms. Small stems seal themselves.



Why Roses Stop Producing Buds

by Jenny Harrington Google
More rosebuds means more abundant flowering on the plant.
More rosebuds means more abundant flowering on the plant.
A flowering rose bush (Rosa spp.) adds color and texture to your garden,
but only if it sets plenty of healthy buds.
Roses flower at different times depending on the variety,
 but many can bloom all summer with proper care. Most roses grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. A rose bush may fail to set flower buds for various reasons, but you can fix most of them if you can identify the cause.

Bloom Period

The flowering period and time of bud formation depends on the rose variety. Most roses begin producing leaf buds on old wood in late winter or spring, although the old-fashioned, spring-blooming varieties form their buds on new wood during the winter.

Flower buds are also only formed during specific seasons.
The modern rose varieties, which include hybrid tea roses, floribunda roses and grandiflora varieties, should produce flower buds from late spring through fall. Old roses, which include European and Chinese roses, produce flower buds in spring and sometimes early summer, but they won't have buds for the rest of the year.

Pruning Problems

Pruning at the wrong time can prevent flowering
 if you've removed all the bud-producing wood from the plant.
Modern roses need pruning in late winter during the plant's dormancy,
 after the leaf buds becomes visible but before they begin to actively grow.

Old rose types require pruning after they bloom. 
Trimming earlier removes the flower-producing plant canes
and you end up with few or no buds.

 You can encourage more budding on modern roses by making pruning cuts within one-fourth inch of an outward-facing bud near a three- or five-leaf set
 when you cut flowers or trim out damaged wood throughout the flowering season.

Water Stress

Too little water stresses a rose bush.
The plant responds by decreasing bud formation and flowering.
The leaves may wilt, dry or drop from the plant.

Watering the roses deeply once a week 
when they are actively growing encourages healthy flowering. 

 Provide 2 to 3 inches of water weekly,
or enough to moisten the soil to a 12 to 18 inch depth.
Avoid soggy soil but don't allow the site to dry out completely.

Nutrient Deficiency

Nutrient deficiencies can result in small flowers, fewer buds and overall poor growth on the rose bush. Apply a granular fertilizer formulated for roses, using the amount recommended on the package.

 Roses generally need fertilizing in spring after the leaves grow in, then after each blooming flush for the remainder of summer.
Stop feeding the plants about six weeks before frost,
 otherwise they produce tender new growth that suffers winter damage.
 Apply fertilizers six inches away from the plant's base, and water thoroughly after application so the nutrients soak into the soil.

Site Problems

Too little sun or too much wind exposure can also affect budding.
Wind damage, especially dry, hot winds, suck moisture from the plants and cause water stress,
even if you water regularly.

 Roses require about six hours of direct sun a day.
 An overly shaded area prevents the plant from producing its optimum amount of foliage and flower buds.



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