blooming - Knowledgebase Question

Marion, Io
Question by tjskconn
June 30, 2010
I have two rose bushes beside each other. One blooms alot (35 roses this year) and the other one not at all. Why do you think this is?


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Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010

0

It's puzzling when side-by-side plants show different results.

Roses need two things for blooms: sun and nutrients. Are your plants receiving at least 6-8 hours of sun daily? Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are the 3 major nutrients for all plants. (They correspond to the 3 numbers on fertilizer packages.) Nitrogen promotes growth of green leaves. Phosphorous is essential for blooms. Roses are heavy "feeders" during their bloom period. If you haven't been fertilizing, I suggest you apply a rose fertilizer. The second and third numbers on the package should be higher than the first. The thing to avoid is feeding them with high-nitrogen fertilizer that will encourage foliage growth at the expense of flowers. Keep them consistently moist and mulch with 2-3 inches of compost to help maintain soil moisture. Rosarians I know fertilize their roses every 6 weeks during the blooming season. One other possibility is that the rose died above the graft and the rootstock is growing. Most tea roses are grafted onto a hardier rootstock. If the grafted variety succumbs to cold or disease, the rootstock often sends up shoots. Look for the bulging graft union. If the shoots are growing from below the graft union, the rootstocks have taken over and it's time for you to replace the rose. If the shoots come from above the graft unions, your rose is fine, it just needs a sunnier spot or more nutrients. Good luck!

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