The Q&A Archives: Roses - first year care

Question: I just bought several Rose bushes at Home Depot. Rosa Knockout and two other types. I followed the instructions for location, planting, watering, but was wondering if I need to do any other maintenance in this first year to be succesful (is food needed?)


Answer: Flower Carpet roses will grow in any sunny location. They need no special care or feeding aside from frequent watering. They?re hardy in North American Zones 5 through 10, from Florida to Maine, making them a hands-down choice for gardeners across the country who want a hardy, beautiful rose for their gardens.

Shrub roses should be fed 3 times a year. Many rose lovers come up with all sorts of "secret" feeding formulas. The truth is, however, that most hardy shrub roses grow beautifully when fertilized three times a year: spring, mid-summer, and early fall. Use a balanced fertilizer such as 16-8-8. Organic products such as home made compost also work well. For the last feeding in fall I often use a high phosphorus product such as 12-24-12 or 10-20-10. A low nitrogen and high phosphorous blend encourages less vigorous growth while increasing winter hardiness.

Best wishes with your new roses!

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