The Q&A Archives: Flower Carpet rose question

Question: Can you give me some brand name example recommendations for feeding flower carpets? I read that the fertilizer should be high in potash, but being new at gardening I don't know where to start. I would like to use the easiest possible method. Thanks.

Answer: The easiest thing to do is purchase specially formulated rose food (there are several brands) and apply in amounts and with the frequency as recommended on the label. These special rose fertilizers have all the major elements plus some trace elements that your carpet roses will need.

As for deciphering fertilizer labels, here's a short course:
All fertilizers contain 3 major elements - nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Nitrogen promotes green growth; phosphorous helps plants develp healthy stems and promotes flowering; potassium encourages root growth. All three major elements work together to keep plants healthy. You'll find numbers on fertilizer packages which correspond with the amount of N (nitrogen), P (phosphorous), and K (potassium) in the package. So, a fertilizer label with the numbers 10-10-10 means there are equal amounts of NPK. This would be a good all-purpose garden fertilizer. A fertilizer label with higher N numbers will contain more nitrogen and would be more suitable to applying to lawns. A fertilizer with a higher P number would be more suitable to flowering and fruiting plants. A fertilizer with a higher K number would be more suitable to root crops such as carrots. Some plants need more of a certain element than others so you can use an all purpose fertilizer plus additional amounts of that specific element, or you can purchase a plant food formulated especially for the type of plant you're growing - such as rose food. Hope this makes sense to you!

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