The Q&A Archives: Why Roses Don't Bloom

Question: Why don't my roses bloom or set buds? I do not over fertilize, enrich my clay soil with compost, kill the japanese beetles and sing to them year after year... still no flowers only foliage Help! Liz Bradwell Amity, PA

Answer: Roses do best in rather heavy soils (mostly clay) to which an abundance of organic matter has been added to loosen the texture and help moisture drain away. Well-rotted cow manure is THE BEST source of organic matter. To help the plants grow strong roots (and more flowers) apply 20% superphosphate at the rate of 3-4 pounds/100 square feet. Roses like a slightly acid soil with a pH between 6.0-6.8. For soils of average consistency, the pH can be raised 1 point by adding 5 pounds of ground limestone/100 square lower the pH 1/2-1 point, add 3 pounds of iron sulfate or 1/2 pound ground sulfur/100 square ft.

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