Roses forum: rose food

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May 10, 2014 11:54 AM CST
What type do you recommend ?
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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May 10, 2014 12:19 PM CST
All I feed mine is compost/barnyard manure. However, I have good soil and am a minimalist when it comes to rose care.
Name: Suzanne
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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May 10, 2014 3:21 PM CST


That's usually all I add, a compost dressing in early spring. I also like Espoma Rose Tone even though it isn't 100 % organic (it has some fast manufactured nitrogen) It can burn if you use it when first planting or potting up though.
Espoma Plant Tone is more organic and can also be used for roses. Either one is good for when they start leafing out.
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Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
May 10, 2014 5:22 PM CST
Actually, Ppal and Sue are on track, but what you use, how often you use it to feed a rose depends on your soil and on the rose.

When I started my garden, my soil was totally dead. In other words there was zero organic material in the soil which meant that there were no worms and no soil bacteria to break down manure or compost. Using either would have been of no use to the plants because organic material has to be broken down into a format where the plant can take up the nutrients through reverse osmosis. When the garden was young, I had to use chemical fertilizers for my roses.

I have a friend back east who never feeds any of her plants because she is gardening in very fertile soil.

In other words, what you use to feed your roses depends on your soil.

The thing to remember is that organic fertilizers take time to break down and provide nutrients to the plants. As for chemical fertilizers, you do not need to use a fertilizer especially for roses. As Ralph Moore, an important rose breeder used to say, "Roses can't read." So, if you are using a balanced fertilizer for other plants in your garden, it will probably be just fine for the roses, too.

Some roses are heavy feeders, while others do poorly if they are fed too often with the same food you are feeding your other roses. That's where "it depends on the rose" comes into play.

If you give us a bit more specific information about your garden and the roses you are growing or want to grow, we can give you more specific answers.

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Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
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May 12, 2014 2:15 PM CST
I feed Age Old organics, plain ol' MiracleGro, plus MiracleGro bloom.. but I have crappy soil, too. Soil makes a HUGE HUGE HUGE difference.
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Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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May 14, 2014 10:11 PM CST
This year I'm trying Mills Magic. The people in the local Rose Society who use it swear by it, and their roses are easily twice the size of mine, and the blooms are much much prettier.
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