The Q&A Archives: Roses

Question: How often do I water and feed roses?

Answer: The soil for roses should be kept evenly moist like a wrung out sponge, not sopping wet and not dried out. How often you need to water depends on the soil and on the weather. To know if you need to water, dig into the soil with your finger. If it is still damp, not not water yet. When you do water, apply it slowly and thoroughly so it soaks down deep into the soil where the plant roots are. Using an organic mulch several inches thick in a flat layer over the root area will help reduce watering needs. It also helps keep down weeds and feeds the soil slowly as it breaks down over time.

Ideally, you would run some soil tests to determine how often to fertilize your roses. However as a rule of thumb you would top dress with compost at least once a year and also use a general purpose or slow release granular fertilizer according to the label directions each spring.

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