Roses forum: What is your fertilizing regime?

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Name: Ann
PA (Zone 6b)
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AnnofPA
Mar 16, 2015 12:44 PM CST
Hi All!

I'm fairly new to roses and last year tried Mills Magic Rose Mix after the roses leafed out, and again in August with weekly/biweekly applications of Moo Poo Tea throughout the growing season.

The American Rose Society listed a fertilizer recipe(per rose), which I would use instead of Mills Magic...if I can find the ingredients in bulk and it's less expensive. I wondered if anyone has used it?

•1 cup bone meal or superphosphate (0-20-0)
•1 cup cottonseed meal
•1/2 cup blood meal
•1/2 cup fish meal
•1/2 cup epsom salts (magnesium sulphate)

Moreover, what works for you?
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
Mar 17, 2015 1:40 PM CST
Mills Magic is the preferred food in our area, but to save money, I mix up a brew of fish emulsion, alfalfa pellets, superthrive, miracle grow tomato food, epsom salts and water. It all goes in a bucket, and I scoop out a few cupfuls for each rose. Stinks, but it seems to work. oh- Milorganite mixed in around the roots sometimes, too.
Our soils have enough phosphate so I have to watch that.
The hybrid teas are the only roses that get this special treatment. I would like to feed the rest; I just don't have time. Many summers, it's too hot to feed them, so spring is the main time for feeding here.
That's pretty much the same brew I make for the daylilies, and they respond real well too.
I quit using the bone meal and blood meal because it's expensive, and my dogs love it so much they dig when they find it because they think there's a carcass underground. If I don't find the uprooted plants for a few days, they're toast.
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Name: Ann
PA (Zone 6b)
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AnnofPA
Mar 17, 2015 4:20 PM CST
Thanks Cindi! That sounds do-able and I have wondered about superthrive for a few yrs. I used fish emulsion last year and the smell was so horrible! I guess I just have to focus on how good the roses will smell and look.. haha
Name: Patty W
La Salle Illinois (Zone 5a)
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Pattyw5
Mar 20, 2015 8:15 PM CST
Hi Ann, I do a little of both ways. First I'll mention that if there is any wildlife in your area particularly raccoons or dogs. Don't use bone meal they'll shred the rose roots digging for it. I would not use the high phosphate without a soil test. I get my meals from MillsMix the shipping is free and I've got a lot to feed. Besides the roses the other plants like it as well (hosta, clematis, daylilies and perennials). I just sprinkle less around the perennials. By the way these other ingredients contain phosphates anyway.
From Millsmix
Fish meal
Alfalfa meal
Cottonseed meal
Jersey Green Sand
For nitrogen I get milorganite from Menards it's a slow release nitrogen that won't burn your plants. I may sprinkle that on early in spring and again early summer.
Epsom Salts
Be warned thou this is incredibly messy. I mix mine in extra garbage cans that I have from when I used to do tea for the plants.
I also use a mask when mixing if you try it you'll understand. Takes an ultimate rose lover to do this I swear it makes me feel like a nut. Oh well they love it. Make sure to scratch it in I skipped this part last year and it forms a hard crusty mat on the ground.
The rest of the year I use a hose end sprayer and they get Neptunes Fish and Seaweed fertilizer. Also have used SeaCom from Johnnys Seeds. These last two are much easier to do. The roses, daylilies, clematis and hosta love it! I apply once a month thru Sept. and it goes a long way.

I'd really like to skip the meals if I could find another way. Most every other organic fert. that would enrich the soil is to expensive for me to use. If your garden is smaller the plant tone fertilizers are great especially with your moo poo tea.

Name: Ann
PA (Zone 6b)
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AnnofPA
Mar 21, 2015 2:25 PM CST
Hi Patty,

Thank you so much for your reply! I never thought to see what else Millsmix sold. What ratio do you use for your mix? And when and how much per rose?

Thanks so much!

Ann
Name: Patty W
La Salle Illinois (Zone 5a)
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Pattyw5
Mar 21, 2015 7:24 PM CST
This is the recipe that I used. Thou I don't use the super phosphate because my soil doesn't need It. I also stopped using the urea but I put a dose of milorganite down in early winter so that it's available to plants in spring. This is Rosenuts recipe he is a well known rosariun who was active on the garden web for eons. It's pretty much the same as the ARS recipe. The link isn't working for me so if you google Rosenuts fertilizer his recipe is on the one that says Rosenut Speaks - Rosenut.com
I don't use as much epsom salt as he does but I have a hard time finding large bags of this.
I don't necessarily agree with everything on this as I don't use pesticides. The rest is good information thou.
If you google Pappu's Roses you will be able to see some of the results he had with his roses.
[Last edited by Pattyw5 - Mar 22, 2015 10:11 AM (+)]
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Name: Ann
PA (Zone 6b)
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AnnofPA
Mar 24, 2015 3:27 PM CST
Thank You Patty! I will definitely take a look at this recipe.
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
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Skiekitty
Apr 8, 2015 3:29 PM CST
Patty - Do you have any dollar stores in your area? They usually carry Epsom Salts and it's a lot cheaper than at a nursery. Although I was at my local Walmart last night & saw they had 8lb bags of Epsom Salts for $4.86! Too bad I don't need any..
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Apr 10, 2015 11:47 AM CST
The first year I planted roses they were spectacular. The two years following they got worse and worse, they received almost no fertilizer during those two years. After the awful year with them last year, I swore I would do better with them. So this year I fertilized with some 13-13-13, then later came back with some Alfalfa pellets, then finally when the black spot began to show I used some Bayer 3 in 1. The roses have responded very well, and this looks to be a great rose year.

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Name: Jason
Gold Bar, Washington (Zone 8b)
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riverman123
Apr 13, 2015 9:29 PM CST
5-3-3 organic slow release in late feb, along with a cup of alfalfa meal worked into the surrounding soil. another cup of alfalfa meal right about now; and again in another 6 weeks; and again in another 6 weeks. followed up with another dose of 5-3-3 in first week of july. and yet another cup of alfalfa meal to round out the summer...
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Apr 13, 2015 9:43 PM CST
Welcome! Riverman123 ..

I think your fertilizer routine depends on the fertility of your soil and where you are gardening. When I started my garden, my soil didn't have any organic material in it, so I used fertilizers with higher numbers, but as I've improved the soil, I have gone to lower lower numbers. I also have low levels of magnesium in my soil, so I give the roses a dose of epsom salts in the spring. I am still building my soil, so I cannot rely totally on organics to provide for the needs of the roses.

I also don't treat every rose in the garden equally. Just like people, they have different needs. Anything with large flowers with many petals tend to be "heavy feeders" with higher water needs than your traditional HT or floribunda. It takes resources to generate larger flowers with many more petals on larger, longer canes.

Yes, I do keep garden notes .... Green Grin!

Smiles,
Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
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zuzu
Apr 13, 2015 9:44 PM CST

Moderator

Thanks for the information, riverman123, and welcome to ATP. Welcome!
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Apr 13, 2015 10:56 PM CST
Ooops. Sorry @richard123. I should have put my welcome in a separate post. My thoughts about my fertilizer routine in my garden were an answer to Ann's original question.

Smiles,
Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Ann
PA (Zone 6b)
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AnnofPA
Apr 18, 2015 5:02 PM CST
Thanks for your responses! : )
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Apr 22, 2015 10:28 AM CST
I have heard that banana peelings are good for roses (wives tale or not?) Can I just lay them on top of the ground under the shrub or do I bury it a little, chop it up? Also are coffee grounds ok, because I have access to those. I have knockouts and drift roses. I am a rose murderer so I have resorted to those kind that never die!

springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Apr 22, 2015 10:29 AM CST
well I guess I should ask how much? If banana peels are treats for roses, how often to I put them down? Can I give it too much?

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