The Q&A Archives: Old rose bush

Question: Hi: I have a rose bush that is 25+ years old. When it was new it blossomed (I believe it is a everblooming rose bush - it had beautiful white blossoms that smelled fantastic!). However, it was planted near a new lilac tree. Well the lilac tree took off and is still blooming and growing. The rose bush blossomed for a few years and then stopped. For the past 15 years it never blossomed, just grew each year and each year I would cut off the dead branches. Two years ago I transplanted it to a new spot - a spot where it got sun for about 7 hours a day and no tree or bush shared the sun. And the bush grew - and this year it has grown bigger than last year. But still no blooms. Should I just consider it a

Answer: I think there's hope, especially now that it is in full sunshine. Since roses bloom on new shoots which develop from the old canes, be sure to prune it back in the spring. Feed it with a low nitrogen, high phosphorus fertilizer (the second number on the fertilizer package) to promote blossoming.

Best wishes with your rose bush!

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