roses - Knowledgebase Question

Erie, Co
Question by bkbertsch29
June 30, 2010
I haven't had any new growth on my 3 year old roses(they already bloomed once though) what will help them grow new growth? Fertilizer, can I also use coffee grounds? Maybe they aren't being watered enough?


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Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010

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Without knowing what care your roses are receiving, it's hard to tell but here are some ideas to consider:

Are your plants receiving at least 6-8 hours of sun daily?

Here?s some basic info on fertilizer and nutrients that plants require. The 3 numbers on a fertilizer bag refer to the percentage of N (nitrogen), P (phosphorus), and K (potassium) in the bag. There are different formulations for different purposes. In general terms, nitrogen produces lush green growth, phosphorus helps strengthen stems and produce flowers, and potassium keeps the root system healthy. If you're applying fertilizer to fruiting (e.g., tomatoes) or flowering plants, you're not as interested in the plant developing leaves as you are in it flowers and fruit, so you'd use a formulation lower in nitrogen and higher in phosphorus, such as 15-30-15.
Organic sources of nutrients:

Nitrogen: alfalfa meal, blood meal, coffee grounds, cottonseed meal, fish emulsion, seabird guano.
Phosphorus: bone meal, rock phosphate
Potassium: greensand, seaweed, kelp

How much to water depends on numerous factors, but if your roses were underwatered, they'd likely be experiencing yellow leaves and other problems.

Roses are heavy "feeders" during their bloom period. If you haven't already fertilized, I suggest you apply a slow release rose fertilizer, which will have the right percentages as well as micronutrients. Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) is used as a source of magnesium. Roses sometimes benefit from the additional magnesium. Coffee grounds provide some nitrogen but they aren't a complete fertilizer. Lots of people use them as an organic mulch, working them into soil as they decompose.

Did you prune your roses in late winter/early spring? Hybrids typically require quite a severe pruning to grow new canes and flower. I wouldn't recommend pruning in the midst of summer, too stressful on the plant and it opens it up to sunburn. I hope these ideas help.

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